Ebola: Image Versus Reality

ambulance

 

The potential of an outbreak of Ebola versus the current reality could not be further apart, but in a nod to the power of the media, President Obama canceled critical fundraising opportunities to go back to Washington to deal with the “crisis.”

People need to take a step back from sending swat teams and rapid response groups, and disinfecting where it is not necessary or medically mandated

Ebola is not transmitted like the flu; you must come into contact with the bodily fluids of infected people when they are symptomatic. That is what all the scientists tell us.

And the possibility of transmission through the air would only be possible if the virus somehow mutated, and then we would indeed have something to worry about. I have recently seen reassurances stating that mutation into an airborne disease is highly unlikely.

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The Lessons of History

soldier

 

We all learn the famous adage as schoolchildren, “Those who do not learn the lessons of history are condemned to repeat them.” But the highest levels of the U.S. government do not seem to acknowledge this basic reality.

A sobering C.I.A. study published in the lead story in The New York Times this morning recounted the ineffectiveness of arming and training rebel leaders in the ultimate outcome of a conflict. It went back to the Bay of Pigs in the Kennedy administration, the struggle against the Sandinista government in the Reagan administration and a long list of similar exercises in futility.

A sobering C.I.A. study published in the lead story in The New York Times this morning recounted the ineffectiveness of arming and training rebel leaders in the ultimate outcome of a conflict.

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Political terrorists

doctor
 

The Republican Party and its candidates are purposefully trying to scare the electorate, and, in a reprise of 2004, doing so to win an election.

The issues of Ebola and ISIS will soon fade into background noise while the economy will remain front and center.

The twin specters of ISIS and Ebola are, of course, legitimate issues, but neither of them rises to an existential threat to the United States, or, arguably, any threat of all.

There have been two, count them, two incidents of Ebola in the United States, both traceable to the same person, and the CDC is moving vigorously to tighten decontamination procedures, both among medical professionals and at U.S. airports.

Of all the things to worry about, Ebola should register very low on concerns about the election. But Republicans are using this disease and the threat of ISIS to portray the world as somehow spinning out of control, with a President who is either disengaged or doesn’t care. Nothing could be further from the truth.

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Defining Public Relations

politician

 

Public relations is one of the few professions struggling to define itself in the public’s eye. The term, public relations, or PR, is used differently among the general population than its professional meaning.

Public relations as a field has nothing to do with the casual use of the term, often applied in a somewhat derogatory context …

Public relations as a field has nothing to do with the casual use of the term, often applied in a somewhat derogatory context to mean image or fluff or lacking substance. The proper use of the term is defined simply as “unpaid publicity.” Thus, public relations is best contrasted with advertising, its polar opposite, defined as “paid publicity.”

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Ebola Disease and Airborne Transmission

emergency sign
 

In its current form, Ebola does not present the danger of an outbreak in the United States. But there’s one big “if” to that statement. If Ebola does not mutate to a form that can be spread through the air.

But there’s one big “if” to that statement. If Ebola does not mutate to a form that can be spread through the air.

The interest of government officials largely centers on the ability to prevent panic by the public. And they have succeeded in doing so; most Americans trust scientific reassurances based on the requirement for the disease to be spread only through bodily fluids.

But in its current form, there is no cure or vaccine for the diseases, and the inability of modern medicine to prevent its ravages unnerves us all. Ebola is a very bad way to die, and no one would want to go through that kind of suffering.

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Pitching Prospects, Part 2

silhouette

 

As a follow to my September 29th blog post on pitching prospects, here’s a suggested procedure after the lunch is over.

One important caveat: do not ask the prospect for too much upfront. Maybe half of the first month in advance, only for new clients you should explain.

Most prospects will be unwilling to hire you after just one meeting so you need to calm any residual fears and gently lead them to the next step. As your business talk is winding down to a close, you need to offer the prospect a written proposal in about a week. Most prospects will go this far unless you have horribly alienated them, especially since it doesn’t cost anything.

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Democrats and Spiking the Ball

U.S. capitol dome

 

Chris Matthews made a very relevant comment on “Hardball” last night. He said the Democrats were not very good at spiking the ball. He was referring to the inability of the Democratic Party to celebrate its accomplishments and to make sure everyone knew about them.

… the upcoming election will largely depend on the enthusiasm of the base, as opposed to the small sliver of undecideds remaining, and no one is better at whipping a Democratic crowd into a frenzy than a Democratic President.

As an example, he cited the drop of the unemployment rate to 5.9 percent and the creation of millions of jobs since President Obama assumed office. He rightly noted, the Republicans would be holding a party, similar to when they hoisted the banner of “Mission Accomplished” to mark what President Bush thought represented the end of the Iraq campaign. Moreover, after a rocky start, Obamacare has become widely accepted in American society, and the Republican plan to campaign solely on that issue has fallen flat.

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The Value of a Media Room

news van

 

Creating a media room for your company website is a critical task for creating publicity and benefiting from it. The media room should be an integral item of your site with its prominence ensured by its listing on your top navigation bar.

Upon clicking on the media room, the visitor should be transferred to a landing page with various categories of publicity …

Upon clicking on the media room, the visitor should be transferred to a landing page with various categories of publicity including press releases, bylined articles, video clips, newsletters, etc. Clicking on one of the categories should, in turn, take you to another landing page with specific items listed for the publicity you have achieved.

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Press Hysteria on Ebola

ambulance

 

The ability of today’s media outlets to control the country’s political agenda is bad enough, but when it leads to public panic and distracts us from more critical tasks, the effect can be fatal.

True, Ebola is a terrible disease, and infection can be terrible, but the ability of a modern health system to halt its transmission represents a tried and true scientific fact.

I am specifically thinking of the way the press has seized onto the Ebola epidemic in West Africa and created public concern about an outbreak in the United States. One isolated case of Ebola in Dallas, from a traveler returning from West Africa, does not an outbreak make. And the fact that the 100 or so people who came into contact with the infected person are all Ebola-free reinforces medical knowledge about the difficulty of transmitting the disease.

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An “Engaging” Image

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After you have built up your followers on Google+, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, you are faced with the necessity of engagement on a long-term basis. Each social media site presents its own imperatives and its own culture, and you must adapt your posting style to each.

You can devote one hour each day to social media because otherwise this process can consume a major part of your day.

Because of the uniqueness of each social media platform, and Google’s dislike of duplicate content, you must first know it’s a bad idea to automate your posts so they appear on more than one social medium. Your Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn posts should be unique and found on only one of these platforms.

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