Five PR Lessons from ‘Born to Run’

If you are wondering why Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run album is back in heavy rotation on the radio, the explanation is simple. The Boss’s landmark LP was released 40 years ago this week.

Born to Run is a piece of rock and roll history. The album’s tracks have stood the test of time and remain among the highlights of Springsteen’s live performances. The record also helped turn Springsteen from a popular regional act into a superstar.

Aside from the music, the LP and the campaign to promote it – provide several important lessons for today’s public relations and marketing professionals.

1. Don’t cut costs

Columbia Records invested $250,000 in a promotional campaign for the album – a small sum by today’s standards, but Continue reading

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The presidential debates don’t need Jon Stewart

I enjoy and admire Jon Stewart immensely, but you will not find my name on the petition urging the Commission on Presidential Debates to select him to host a debate during the 2016 campaign.

It’s not that Stewart lacks qualifications to moderate an exchange between the candidates for the White House. As host of The Daily Show for 16 years, he interviewed some of the most powerful people in the world. He asks insightful, challenging questions that illustrate how well educated and informed he is on domestic and international affairs.

So why is a man with such credentials a poor choice to host a presidential debate? Continue reading

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The Boss, the Gov, Jon Stewart and a ‘Stranger in the Night’

Three Jersey guys were in the national spotlight last night.

Gov. Chris Christie took part in the Republican presidential debate on the Fox News Channel, and his spirited exchange with U.S. Sen. Rand Paul was one of the most talked about moments of the evening.

On Comedy Central, Jerseyan Jon Stewart signed off after 16 years of comedy and commentary as host of The Daily Show.

bruceWhen it came time to end that final episode, Stewart turned the stage over to the Garden State’s biggest rock star – Bruce Springsteen, who once again showed why he is known as The Boss.

Springsteen’s energetic performance left an indelible mark on the evening that will last longer than Christie’s spat with Rand or any of the entertaining and touching segments of Stewart’s final program.

And it may not be long before New Jersey garners such national attention again. Another entertainer who rose to the top of the music industry and influenced American culture was born in Hoboken, New Jersey, on December 12, 1915. The posthumous celebration of Frank Sinatra’s 100th birthday surely will extend beyond the borders of the Garden State.

Think about it: Chris Christie, Jon Stewart, Bruce Springsteen and Old Blue Eyes. How is that for some real strangers in the night?

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Five questions tonight’s GOP debate may answer

Tonight’s debate among Republican presidential candidates is a benchmark in the 2016 race for the White House, but how helpful will it be for voters who want to make educated and informed decisions when they cast their ballots?

The 2016 election is more than a year away – a virtual eternity in politics, so the landscape may look much different when the campaign heats up and the general public begins paying attention.

Those who do choose to watch tonight’s debate are unlikely to learn substantial information about the candidates and their agendas. With 10 candidates on stage for two hours and with time needed for the panelists to ask questions, each presidential hopeful will be lucky to get 10 minutes of airtime – hardly ample time to make a convincing case for the Oval Office.

But even if the debate is light on substance and policy, it may very well provide some early clues Continue reading

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Mets should look in mirror, not blame social media

Wilmer Flores

Social media is not to blame for the latest Mets’ debacle. Instead, Mets’ management just needs to look at itself in the mirror.

For those unfamiliar with the story, a report broke during Wednesday night’s game indicating the Mets had traded Wilmer Flores  and Zack Wheeler and to the Milwaukee Brewers for Carlos Gomez.

While news of the blockbuster trade spread quickly on social media, Flores remained in the game and became so emotional he actually cried on the field – not all that surprising since the Mets have been family to Flores ever since they signed him as an international free agent out of Venezuela when he was just 16 years old.

Although the Internet was buzzing about the trade during the game, Continue reading

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‘The Donald’ seizes on Christie’s missed opportunity

Need evidence to support the theory that Chris Christie would have been better off had he run for president in 2012 rather than 2016? Look no further than Donald Trump.

In the early days of the 2016 campaign, The Donald has risen to the top of several GOP presidential polls by employing a style and a tone quite similar to Christie’s. These same tactics once helped the New Jersey governor earn high approval ratings and land on the cover of several national magazines. They also might have helped him become a top contender for national office in 2012.

As governor, Christie has called a U.S. Senator a partisan hack, a state assemblywoman a jerk, an openly gay legislator numbnuts, and a former Navy Seal an idiot. He once told reporters to “take the bat out on” a 76-year old state Senator and grandmother who was critical of his administration.

Today, it is Trump stirring the pot by Continue reading

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Tension on display between public officials and the press

Hillary Clinton is not the only public figure trying to put journalists in their place.

Earlier this month, the former Secretary of State angered reporters when staffers from her presidential campaign kept the media at bay – with a rope – while she marched in a Fourth of July parade in Gorham, New Hampshire.

This week, two highly visible exchanges illustrated the less-than-affable nature of the relationship between today’s public figures and the men and women who cover them. Continue reading

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