Tag Archive: Bruce Springsteen


“We lost because of Clinton Inc. The reality is Clinton Inc. was great for her (Hillary) for years she had all the institutional benefits. But it was an albatross around the campaign.” – Clinton advisor/friend to the authors of “Shattered.”

“I love Hillary. I think she has a right to analyze what happened. But we do have to move on.” – Senator Al Franken (D-Minnesota)

Is it smart personal public relations for Hillary Clinton to write “What Happened,” an angry tome about her unfortunate 2016 campaign?

Think of it this way: Is there a PR and marketing counselor on this planet, who would have the gravitas to talk her out of writing a book, way too many will regard as “boo-hoo-hoo”?

More to the point: Would the Clintons actually listen?

Your author can’t remember a general election loser of a modern era presidential campaign writing a here’s-what-went-wrong book so soon after a bitter defeat.

Jimmy Carter wrote “Keeping Faith” in 1982 and Barry Goldwater penned “With No Apologies” in 1979. Both were memoirs.

Undoubtedly “What Happened” debuting today will become an instant New York Times best seller, directly benefitting the Clinton family fortunes … but there lies a key problem.

 

Almost DailyBrett believes Hillary could provide mentorship to candidates who follow, if she would publicly acknowledge her own critical mistakes: setting up her own personal server, putting her name on the masthead of the Clinton Foundation, giving three speeches at $225,000 each to Goldman Sachs, not addressing the woes of millions in the fly-over states, and essentially having no overriding message to justify her candidacy.

Behaving as if the presidency is simply my turn underestimates the collective intelligence of the electorate, especially tens of thousands who feel left behind, disdained and betrayed.

Let’s face it, Hillary’s “Stronger Together” campaign motto will not make historians forget Kennedy’s “New Frontiers,” Reagan’s “Morning in America” or more to the point, Trump’s “Make America Great Again.”

She spent way too much time in safe coastal enclaves with Katy Perry and Bruce Springsteen, and cancelled her only general election campaign stop to Wisconsin. Instead of tailoring her message to address the growing electoral populism, she repeatedly railed against the character deficiencies of Donald Trump.

The only problem with that approach is you can’t beat someone with no-one. Where was the alternative?

Pointing Fingers

“We owe him (Trump) an open mind and the chance to lead.” – Hillary Clinton, November 9, 2016

Political journalists Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes were given access to the Clinton campaign operations with the anticipation of a book, intended to provide chapter and verse about Hillary Clinton’s historic breaking of the greatest remaining glass ceiling of them all.

Instead,“Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign” provided a  radically different story, the biggest political upset in American history.

Hillary said all the right things in speaking to her millions of supporters the morning after, but reportedly was angry in her follow-up conversations with friends and compatriots.

Almost DailyBrett thrives on political campaign books, and will read this one as well. One would hope there would be more self-reflection, acknowledgement and taking personal responsibility by Hillary for what went wrong.

One anticipates the book will bore into the FBI (Comey), KGB (Putin), KKK (Trump). We already know from early reports about the book that Hillary takes particular aim at Bernie Sanders, who she does regard as a Democrat. Looking back to last year, Sanders tapped the mood of the electorate when he said the system was “corrupt.” Trump talked about a “rigged” America to the detriment of the lunch-pail crowd with high-school diplomas.

They vote too.

Hillary offered the status quo, the third-term of Barack Obama.

Personal public relations are the most important of all when it comes to individual branding and reputation. An angry book from an incensed candidate less than one year after a devastating defeat is most likely going to come across as sour grapes.

It will undoubtedly make the Clintons even richer as well her publisher, Simon & Schuster.

But will we be wealthier in our knowledge about what really went wrong with Hillary’s campaign, and why the fireworks were cancelled and the glass ceilings at the Javits Center and most of all, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, are still standing?

http://www.thedailybeast.com/hillary-clintons-what-happened-a-national-monument-to-getting-it-wrong

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-mcmanus-clinton-book-20170910-story.html

http://www.nytimes.com/1982/11/07/books/keeping-the-faith.html?pagewanted=all&mcubz=1

http://www.nytimes.com/1979/11/04/archives/favorite-conservative-goldwater.html?mcubz=1

 

“The ‘Carmen’ we are going to see is a flirtatious one.” – ABC analyst Dick Button commenting immediately before Katarina Witt’s 1988 Olympic Gold Medal long program

wittgold “Bitch (noun): A woman who won’t bang her head against the wall obsessing over someone else’s opinion – be it a man or anyone else in her life … She doesn’t try to live up to anyone else’s standards – only her own.” – Sherry Argov, author of Why Men Love Bitches: From Doormat to Dreamgirl – A Woman’s Guide to Holding Her Own in a Relationship.

Not for a nanosecond is Almost DailyBrett suggesting Katarina Witt is the B-word. Having made this point, there is no doubt that “Kati” as she is known in das Vaterland is as Mizz Argov would define: (A) Babe-In-Total-Control-of-Herself.

To put it more succinctly, Witt is the total package: Olympic Champion, Entrepreneur, Philanthroper, National Renewal Icon, Diplomat and Sex Symbol.

And this unique combination may explain daily fascination with her by so many, especially her Playboy au naturel photo session even though it was 16 years ago (e.g., December 1998 issue).

Why do we remain so interested in her all these years after she last competed in the Olympic Games? The Katarina Witt brand is a great case study of personal public relations, reputation management and her contribution to Germany’s enhanced national image.

A Story That Has Legs

Who cares what I think about them (Playboy photos)? It’s time to see what other people think?” – Katarina Witt

Rarely does a day go by and the words “Katarina Witt,” “Katarina Witt Playboy” or “Katarina Witt Nude,” “Kati Witt,” “Kati Playboy” or some variation of the same theme are not entered into the Almost DailyBrett search engine. Yes, these repeated searches (even after the conclusion of the Sochi games) are at best anecdotal, but they must be relevant.

More than two years ago, Almost DailyBrett wrote about “The Decision to Pose for Playboy.” This good decision/bad personal public relations decision piece was a direct response to the $1 million directed to Lindsay Lohan to bare it all. The story recounted the most recognizable women to pose nude in this iconic publication including Pam Anderson, Jenny McCarthy, Cindy Crawford, Amanda Beard, Farrah Fawcett, Nancy Sinatra, Kim Basinger, Joan Collins, Ursula Andress, Elle Macpherson and of course, Marilyn Monroe and Katarina.

wittpb After all of these years, the original issues debuting Marilyn and Katarina are the only two to sell out. Marilyn is legendary. Katarina may not (yet) be legendary unless you are among those who contend she is the greatest figure skater of all time, including winning Olympic Gold in 1984 (Sarajevo) and 1988 (Calgary).

Katarina will turn 49 this coming December, and yet there is this almost two-decade fascination with her decision to take off her clothes for Playboy. Considering the literally hundreds of women who have made a similar pose decision for Playboy photographers, we cannot dismiss this 16-years later interest in Katarina as merely, “Boys will be Boys.”

There is something besides pulchritude here, something called persona, intelligence, class and charisma. Are men really interested in these traits?

The Most Important Public Relations are Personal Public Relations

“Glory days well they’ll pass you by. Glory days in the wink of a young girl’s eye.  Glory days, glory days” — Bruce Springsteen

When Witt made the “who cares” about her photos statement at the conclusion of her 10-page pictorial/commentary was she taking a “damn the torpedoes” stance or making the ultimate expression of confidence, thus contributing to her timeless appeal?

As mentioned before in Almost DailyBrett, Witt’s pose or no pose decision came when she was 33 and her biological clock was ticking in a sense that waiting too much longer to say “ja” would be too late oder zu spät.

There is also the consequential fact that she made this choice nearly a decade after Germany’s reunification. ESPN’s 30-for-30 recounted how some criticized her as being a main propaganda tool for the draconian Deutsche Demokratische Republik or DDR. This was the same evil police state that kept a secret Stasi file on her and lived in dreaded fear that she would defect to the West.

In the end she didn’t defect, and she and other talented women (e.g., Angela Merkel, Steffi Graf) have softened the image of Germany as it transitions from the specter of the Holocaust to Normalcy, anchored as the strongest economy in the center of Europe.

wittdiplomat The majority of great athletes fade into the fabric of society once the cheering stops. Some have tried to make comebacks (including Witt) with less than stellar results; Michael Jordan and Muhammad Ali come immediately to mind.

Instead of becoming irrelevant, only to be remembered in Winter Olympics flashbacks ever four years, Katarina is assisting the less fortunate in society through her foundation (Katarina Witt Stiftung) that she began in 2005 to support physically challenged children and teens, providing them with courage to face the challenges of life.

Witt as the founder of privately held WITHWITT Sports & Entertainment GmbH also participated earlier this month in the women entrepreneurial “We Own It Summit” in Philadelphia and addressed the need for women to pursue their dreams and start their own companies.

Almost DailyBrett could provide more examples of Katarina’s present contributions, but perhaps the most important points are that she is not living in her championship past. She has always maintained a healthy confidence in herself and she is giving back to the society that has made her famous.

For Katarina there is always a future or Zukunft and a reason to be confident, optimistic and happy.

Ihre Schale ist immer halb voll.  Yep, her cup is always half full.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57R7aAY5QiM http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dick_Button

https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/25840.Sherry_Argov

http://en.katarina-witt.de/

http://www.katarina-witt-stiftung.de/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katarina_Witt

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2012/01/10/the-decision-to-pose-for-playboy/

http://www.zimbio.com/Katarina+Witt/articles/3K9PQoiROZ3/Katarina+Witt+Playboy+Images+Still+Hot+After

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVbVTwzn06c

http://www.askmen.com/top_10/celebrity/top-10-athletes-in-playboy_4.html

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2011/06/24/feminizing-the-fatherland/

http://frontrow.espn.go.com/2013/08/co-directors-of-new-nine-for-ix-film-the-diplomat-fascinated-by-charismatic-katarina-witt/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2013/06/18/germany-from-holocaust-to-normalcy/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BDI2ZPqSP0

“Yeah, just sitting back trying to recapture a little of the glory of, well time slips away and leaves you with nothing mister but boring stories of glory days.” Bruce Springsteen, Glory Days.

glorydays

Remember the PC/Internet connectivity era?

The one that ended about a decade ago?

Remember when investing in Intel (NASDAQ: INTC); Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT); Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) and Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) was close to automatic profits on Wall Street?

Of course, you wanted to invest in these stocks and so did everyone else…but over time the world changed: Pentium processors became a commodity, just like all other semiconductors.

Microsoft operating system announcements became less-anticipated and the results less than stellar…most of all they were being used for ubiquitous PCs.

Cisco makes switches and routers. They work. The Internet works. Thank you very much…and just this week the company laid off 6,500 workers.

And Dell? Well, Dell produced a great model for inventory…How about big-time results?

If you are engaged in public relations, marketing, employee communications and social media for these four companies, you are probably singing Bruce Springsteen’s “Glory Days,” if you are singing anything at all.

So what is the connection between music and technology public relations?

Two days ago CNBC after-market anchors were hyperventilating about another blow-out quarter for Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), they really had nothing negative that they could say about the company as the stock reached $400 a share for the first time. Reportedly, the company sold every iPad that it made.

And then one of the talking heads asked the rhetorical question: “What happens when the music stops?”

For companies such as Apple, search engine Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), social media Facebook, cloud computing Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM) and social media LinkedIn (NYSE: LNKD), it is downright heresy to suggest that the music will stop someday…but based upon history it will because in virtually all cases it has to.

Ten years ago, Apple was trading at $9.07 per share. Today, Apple is listed at $387.90. Anybody remember Gil Amelio? Hint, he was the guy running the show before the resurrection of Steve Jobs. Remember all the hoopla about Blackberry’s and Research in Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM)? The music stopped.

Ten years ago, Google didn’t exist. All the search discussion focused on Yahoo (NASDAQ: YHOO)…but the music stopped for Yahoo as Google went public in 2004 at $101 per share. Today the Google is trading at $606.78: Yahoo at $13.61. And just this month, the company introduced Google+, taking dead aim at its chief competitor, Facebook.

Facebook didn’t exist 10 years ago. Its eventual founder Mark Zuckerberg was a secondary school student attending Phillips Exeter Academy in Massachusetts. He was still a couple of years away from that famous dorm room at Harvard University.

Ten years ago, Salesforce.com was privately held and still going through the growing pains of a two-year old company. The company went public in 2004 at $15 per share. Today Salesforce.com trades on the big board at $149.16.

LinkedIn.com was the first social media company to go public, debuting two months ago at $45 per share and today trading at $101.02 per share. The biggest question is whether the shadow of Facebook will stomp on little ole LinkedIn, if Zuckerberg et al decide to take Facebook public.

The music is playing fast and furious for Apple, Google, Facebook, Salesforce.com and LinkedIn. Times are good. Reporters/editors/analysts/investors can’t get enough of Jobs, Zuckerberg, Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Google and to a lesser extent Marc Benioff of Salesforce.com and Reid Hoffman of LinkedIn.

Now imagine for comparison reasons if you were managing public relations/marketing/employee communications/social media for Intel, Microsoft, Cisco and Dell. These used to be hot jobs; not as much today…Keep in mind that a job is a job in this economy.

Ten years ago, Intel traded at $29.97; today, $22.69.

Microsoft was priced at $33.60; today $27.10.

Cisco was a $20.61 stock 10 years ago; today $16.39.

Dell traded at $27.61 a decade ago; today, $17.46.

dell

Anyone want to hear another story about Moore’s Law? How about the genius of Bill Gates and Paul Allen? Bet ya it’s a whole lot easier to get an interview with John Chambers of Cisco, but does he really want to talk about layoffs? And how many Silicon Valley-based reporters are accumulating frequent flyer miles to spend time with Michael Dell in Austin?

The point of this Almost DailyBrett exercise is to remind PR types that nothing lasts forever. If things are going great, don’t get giddy. If things are heading south, keep your wits about you. And if you have stock options in a high-flying company, start selling in increments as the stock moves upward. There are two kinds of remorse when it comes to options; the one that you sold too early…and then there is the other one.

And never lose hope. Apple was a dead company before Steve Jobs came back. But also don’t be guilty of drinking your own bath water. In most cases as Don McLean once wrote in “American Pie” there comes a day “when the music died.”

DISCLOSURE TIME: The author of Almost DailyBrett presently owns shares of Salesforce.com and LinkedIn. Decisions regarding the impartiality of my rhetorical ramblings are left to the discretion of the reader.

http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2011/07/19Apple-Reports-Third-Quarter-Results.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Facebook

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salesforce.com

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linkedin

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phillips_Exeter_Academy

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gil_Amelio

The World Is Their Oyster

Is a university campus the ultimate “start-up?”

Does this mean that Irish playwright, dramatist and Nobel Prize winner George Bernard Shaw swung and missed when he coined the clever and oft-repeated, “Youth is wasted on the young?”

One of the reasons that I made the decision north of life’s Mason-Dixon Line to leave the foreclosure and traffic madness of Silicon Valley for a college town in Oregon’s Willamette Valley pertains directly to quality of life. Another revolves around the young attitudes of the majority of people around me.

In the corporate world, it is populated by a cadre of middle-aged complainers/whiners who can’t believe that their lives turned out the way that they did. Worse, they don’t have time anymore to start over. And they will tell anyone their plight, who cares to listen.

These people have baggage, and in most cases it is not a carry on. For many, their marriages are a distant memory. Their trapped in an underwater house and the bank has no interest in providing them with a loan modification. They may have been laid off and the economy has been downright cruel. Gas prices are heading toward or exceeding $4 a gallon. The commute (if they have one is at least 45 minutes one way). Their job, let alone their life, is not what they anticipated 20 years ago. I just can’t stop humming Bruce Springsteen’s “Glory Days.”

In a college town, such as Eugene, another set of lyrics comes to mind, “Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow” by Fleetwood Mac. Students are dreaming about their futures. What do they want to do? How will they change the world? The tyranny of FICA has not yet completely made its presence known.

This point was made evident this past week when I was grading a series of three-and-four minute student multimedia (e.g. video, audio, still photography, graphics) autobiographies. Even though I had a template for grading these projects, I pretty much cast it aside. Instead, I was looking for quality in how they told their stories and made my grading decisions in how well they presented their futures compared to their student colleagues.

I was floored by the one woman who told the story of how her mom was on meth amphetamines and her father, heroin. She doesn’t understand why her parents have turned their respective lives over to these dangerous addictions. She is not following their footsteps, but she still loves them for being her parents. She is dedicated to making something out of her life. Some would say the deck is stacked against her, but she is not buying any of that and neither am I.

Another hearing disabled student, has learned how to interpret sounds and to speak with some difficulty. Nonetheless, she is going to become a story-teller. She has already overcome much in her life, so what’s another challenge?

One African-American student absolutely blew me away with the quality of his website. He wants to be a blogger for a major publication, such as the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times or the Washington Post. And at the same time, he wants to be a rapper. Blogging, rapping, blogging, rapping…Go for it.

An émigré (or the daughter of émigrés) from the Czech Republic told the story of how she has been stereotyped as just another pretty blonde. She has a very active brain under those golden trusses and a remarkable ability when it comes to audio, video and layout presentations. She already has the talent to work for a major corporation in telling multi-media stories.

Not only going back to college, but also going back to a campus environment has changed my life. Anybody who has known me for a few nanoseconds or more knows that I have faced more than my fair share of adversity. As the Germans would say macht nichts. I am stronger for the experience and I am surrounded by people who are excited about the future, so why shouldn’t I too be excited about the future?

Whether these students, regardless of their story and their backgrounds, make most of their opportunities is still to be seen. Some have already faced steep hills with a sneer of their faces. The challenges of this 21st Century world are great. They will take them on with an infectious enthusiasm. More power to you brothers and sisters. And thank you for being such as inspiration to the follicly challenged TA sitting near the front of the lecture hall.

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/George_Bernard_Shaw

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glory_Days_(song)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don’t_Stop_(Fleetwood_Mac_song)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_Insurance_Contributions_Act_tax

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