Digital Names Seeks to Unlock the Multi-Trillion Dollar P2P Blockchain and Crypto Boom

CommPRO Editorial Staff

Predicting financial trends and technological advancement in a given market requires an intimate knowledge of the problems and legacy solutions currently involved with said market.

We all too often hear the talking-heads of financial media giving inflated, blockbuster predictions with the intent to get people watching. It is one thing to predict, it is something entirely different to predict accurately, and to bet on it.

Thomas Carter publicly foresaw the quadrupling of the total crypto market cap in the beginning 2020 at a time when it was hovering around 250 Billion. This type of prediction wasn’t a flippant attempt to get more people tuned in so the sponsors pay up. Instead it was the result of a chess-like thought process that saw the problems facing traditional markets and how crypto was going to be the solution people turned to at the time.

This is the same predictive approach Carter has taken to the investment world. Seeing the traditional methods as inefficient and technologically stagnant, Thomas founded DealBox and put himself at the forefront of the smart securities revolution creating an innovative digital securities issuance and investment platform using a compliant token technology built on the Tezos (XTZ) blockchain protocol.

DealBox gives issuers and investors a savvy best in class approach to being first-in-line. To invest in innovative new companies using smart securities or security token issuance technologies creating potential secondary liquidity for investors. With combined digital assets touching over $2 trillion in 2021 Carter sees this year as a transition toward a regulated market of tokenized assets. Security tokens being at the core of the rebound.

Thomas Carter now places his bets on something he sees as having more potential than anything he’s been a part of in his last 30 years in FinTech: Digital Names.

Digital Names does for cryptocurrency and digital wallets what domain names did for the internet back in the 90s. Rather than remember a numerical IP address for a website you can simply type in www.website-name.com and arrive at the desired destination.

Simply by using $yourname, which sells for $19.95 a year, you can bypass the problem of lengthy crypto keys that are impossible to remember and scary to use during high value transactions.

We had a chance to chat with Thomas Carter, the only person to accurately predict the trillion dollar crypto market cap. He had this to say about Digital Names:

“DNS was a game-changer for the early internet and helped drive widespread adoption. DigitalNames.io is in a leading position to do the same thing for the blockchain internet and digital wallets. This is one of the most exciting investment opportunities we’ve ever seen,” says Carter. “It’s a pick and shovel business model and the gold is blockchain and crypto. So much so, we went all in and I’m the current CEO. We recently closed the Series A round and we are now preparing for the Series B later this month. We’re eating our own cooking, so to speak, using DealBox for its security token offerings.”

Carter predicts this industry will be larger than the Domain Name Service industry, which currently grosses about $6 billion a year. GoDaddy, one of the major DNS providers, has a market cap today around $13.3 billion. How can it be bigger than DNS? Carter remarks, “Well, in the future everyone won’t need a website url. Everyone will need a digital wallet address.” This new industry and market opportunity will mint the next round of companies like this, of which Total Network Services Corp is in position to take advantage of.

The recent success of Digital Names is due in large part to its applications above and beyond cryptocurrency alone. It solves a real problem for not only everyday cryptocurrency users, but anyone using a digital wallet and is simple to integrate into any blockchain-powered app or exchange.

Source: Blockchain Wire




PRophet Announces Exclusive Partnership with Podchaser, Using AI to Pitch Podcast Creators

Podchaser, the leading podcast database, expands PRophet’s global reach to include thousands of podcast placement opportunities as affiliate relationship expands customer access to both platforms.

CommPRO Editorial Staff

MDC Partners’ (NASDAQ: MDCAPRophet, the first-ever AI-driven SaaS platform to help predict earned media interest, sentiment, and spread, announced today an exclusive partnership with Podchaser, the world’s most comprehensive podcast database. The companies also agreed to a referral relationship whereby users will have an opportunity to have access to each other’s platforms at favorable terms.

The integration of Podchaser’s robust data — including audience reach, creator and guest credits, detailed metadata, and more — into the PRophet platform will enable PRophet to apply its proprietary AI-driven analysis against thousands of high authority and highly ranked global podcasts, predicting for PRophet users which podcasts would most likely be interested in covering a pitch or interviewing a guest.

This addition to PRophet’s smart database of active, validated journalists from high authority media outlets further expands the ground-breaking platform’s predictive capabilities, deployed through a proprietary combination of natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML) AI techniques to help users better assess prospective targets and improve placement rates. Before PRophet, assessing the likelihood of a reporter writing a story rested on professional experience, instinct and some guesswork with no data-driven insights or analysis to guide and backstop pitch strategies.

“With the creation of PRophet, we sought to provide the PR industry with a real-time, advanced technology solution specifically designed to assess the likelihood of story pickup, sentiment and spread,” said Aaron Kwittken, founder and CEO of PRophet. “I see both sides of the supply and demand equation, as both a PR professional and a podcast creator myself. I receive dozens of pitches daily, with most of them being relegated to my trash because they are not relevant to my show or listeners. The combination of PRophet and Podchaser will bring new levels of targeting and certainty to PRophet users interested in generating interest from high-value podcasters.”

“As the podcast market grows at a breakneck pace and continues to shift the media landscape, our goal is to keep powering the industry through insights and discovery,” said Cole Raven, co-founder of Podchaser. “PRophet is at the forefront of transforming the relationship between PR professionals and journalists and we are excited to join forces and be part of their revolutionary platform.”

Since its launch at the end of 2020, PRophet’s customer base continues to grow and expand, including major brands and agencies large and small. In March, the platform became available to agencies and their clients through PRophet’s Agency Partnership Program, allowing account teams and their clients unlimited access and use of the platform together.

Agencies and brands can contact PRophet at sales@prprophet.ai for a demonstration of the platform’s capabilities and request a complimentary trial.

For more information on PRophet, visit www.prprophet.ai. 




How to Help Improve Remote Presentations for Your Team

 

Samantha Higgins

Remote presentations, which are conducted online instead of in person, are becoming more commonplace in the modern era. If you manage a team for your company, you can take measures to ensure that all your employees’ virtual presentations are of the highest quality so that viewers will remain engaged and absorb the information that’s presented to them better. By helping your team make these improvements, you’re sure to notice a difference in how each remote presentation is showcased and received.

Use Pictures and Videos Instead of Just Text

Featuring only text in slideshows can make a remote presentation boring, and viewers may stop paying attention if your employees don’t have anything else to show them. You can ensure better presentations by including photos and video clips in all presentations. Seeing these images can also help break up the monotony of hearing the speaker and will keep people more interested if they don’t know what to expect next during the virtual meeting. If you can include animation and music in the presentations, you may yield even better results.

Be Interactive

Viewers may also get bored if they have to sit and listen to a long presentation without getting the chance to interact. To keep the audience more engaged, you can include quizzes in each presentation so that viewers can test their knowledge of the subject matter that’s covered. Giving the viewers the opportunity to take part in polls so that they can give their opinions will also help make your company’s presentations more interesting. Hosting Q&A sessions that allow viewers to ask questions at the end of the presentations can offer additional advantages.

Use a Reliable Video Conferencing Program

A video conferencing program that isn’t up to standard will create difficulties for people who try to follow the virtual presentations as well as challenges for staff members who want to make their lectures run smoothly. Some systems that provide professional webcast solutions offer personalized experiences that can make each presentation feel more special. It’s also a good idea to choose a system that lets you record and archive your remote presentations so that they can be accessed again to retrieve any information that may be needed.

Be Prepared for Mishaps

Even with the best video conferencing software, technical difficulties or other mishaps are bound to happen at some point. This will be especially true during live presentations, but things could also go wrong when you’re trying to air prerecorded videos for your company’s remote meetings. Your staff members should have backup plans in place in case they need to make modifications to a presentation because of problems that arise. It’s also important to make sure that each employee knows how to use the equipment that’s needed for the presentation correctly. Rehearsing presentations in advance can also help prepare your team members better.

Keep Information Succinct

Interest in your employees’ presentations may start to wane if the information is being relayed in a way that’s long and monotonous. If the same presenter is relaying a lot of information without much variety, most people who are watching will start to tune out after about 10 minutes. To avoid this problem, your employees should present information in a crisp and concise format without using excessive words or long sentences to convey their points. Having more than one employee speak during the presentation can also help keep the information from becoming too drawn out and monotonous.

Be Mindful of the Time

Everything from when a meeting starts to how long it’s expected to last should be timed accordingly so that your staff members and viewers are on the same page. Each presentation should be started on time, and your employees should also keep in mind the time differences if people will be tuning in from different parts of the country or regions of the world. Establishing time standards is also a good way to show courtesy to your viewers who might be busy and are taking time out of their schedules to watch your business’s presentations.

Your staff members can be more successful with their remote presentations if you work closely with them to make the most positive changes. With the right planning and resources, your company’s virtual meetings are sure to receive excellent reviews from anyone who watches them.


About the Author: Samantha Higgins is a professional writer with a passion for research, observation, and innovation. She is nurturing a growing family of twin boys in Portland, Oregon with her husband. She loves kayaking and reading creative non-fiction.       




Applying For A Job? Don’t Use Linkedin

How to Use LinkedIn for Business and Personal GrowthMarie Raperto, The Hiring Hub

I recently came across an article on Ivyexec.com that I found very interesting. The article points out why you shouldn’t use the Easy Apply option on LinkedIn when you answer a job posting. Since searching for the appropriate job and then customizing your resume to fit the description takes time, you want to make sure your resume gets the attention it deserves. Here are the reasons why you shouldn’t use Easy Apply.

  1. When an ‘Easy Apply” is received by a hiring manager/recruiter, they only see a snapshot of your LinkedIn profile. Most profiles are not complete so you are probably wasting your time.
  2. The posting may ask for a cover letter or you may want to include one, but Easy Apply doesn’t sent it.
  3. Easy Apply supplies the hiring manager with a list of candidates that have responded.  It includes: Your picture, Name, Location and Headline. So that’s what someone sees and they have to decide from this if they want to look at your resume.
  4. LinkedIn may not be able to read your resume correctly. Since LinkedIn wants people to use their platform, your PDF my not work well.

If you do decide to use Easy Apply, make sure your profile is complete and full of relevant key words. Your headline should be the job title you want to use (not necessarily the one you have) and your photo should be professional looking.

 




How to Manage an Expanding Team of Remote Employees

Photo by Vlada Karpovich from Pexels

Victoria Smith

The current working environment has transformed into a unique system where most employees work outside the office. Remote employees, such as those working from home due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, enjoy a flexible working environment, which is known to increase the satisfaction, happiness, and productivity of employees.

Granted, managing an ever-expanding remote workforce can be daunting and challenging; however, you can do it.

With these simple tips, you’ll learn how to manage remote employees painlessly and successfully.

Proper training and preparation

The virtual workspace requires more specialized training compared to what is offered in a traditional work environment. For example, the current global pandemic caught most businesses unawares. To keep their businesses from collapsing, companies initiated work-from-home policies. The biggest challenge was that most of these companies had not prepared their employees. Imagine trying to hold a business meeting, but your employees don’t know how to turn on the microphone in zoom meetings!

The best way to ensure that the productivity of your remote employees is high is by offering them the necessary training, such as how to prepare online work reports, handle communication equipment, and manage time.

Provide all necessary resources

A virtual work environment calls for unique working resources that you may deem unnecessary in the traditional office. These resources include things like computers with preinstalled VPN protocols and home Wi-Fi routers. While some of these resources may be accessible to your employees as personal gadgets, encourage them to keep in mind your business’ work and productivity standards while acquiring them.

You also need to note that this might require you to provide your employees with official computers and even simple end-user gadgets, such as webcams and earphones, and ensure that their Wi-Fi’s are secure and fast enough to get the work done. Furthermore, your employees will require remote access to company servers and services when necessary for their work. Properly equipped remote employees will be more productive, thus making your work-from-home investment practical.

Keep track of how your employees use resources

Given that you have provided your employees with company resources to work with, it is important to ensure that they use them appropriately. An excellent way to track the use of company resources by employees is to install License Management Software (LMS) on your computers.

LMS provides tools that control how installed enterprise software is used and where they are accessed from. Such software can assist you to ensure that your company complies with all license and End-user License Agreements (EULA). You can also configure access control rules on your servers and company computers to limit your employees’ access.

Provide a virtual social workspace

Even though your employees are working apart, it is important to acknowledge that they still are social beings. While traditional working environments provide constant bonding and learning from each other, virtual employees interact less. In addition to that, studies show that a social working environment increases productivity. So, what can you do to create a socially active virtual work environment?

First, you should provide communication tools. You can do this by organizing online social meetings through video calls like Zoom and Microsoft Teams. Allowing your employees to bond and chat freely results in a less-tensed working environment. Secondly, you should ensure that the working environment is collaborative, in the sense that no employee feels isolated. The best way to achieve this is by having a central workspace by establishing a central cloud data system and sharing platform.

Furthermore, it would help if you kept acknowledging the work your employees do through awards and appraisals. You can achieve this by creating virtual awarding ceremonies to make it lively. Just remember that promoting hardworking employees is not only done in traditional work settings.

Be understanding

Finally, the biggest challenge businesses face when it comes to the remote working environment is telecommunication problems. In many cases, these hitches are usually not the fault of employees. For example, natural occurrences, such as storms, widespread low internet connectivity, and power issues can prevent an employee from submitting their report on time. As long as your employees are honest and hardworking, it would be helpful if you understand and help them.

If you’ve been looking for ways to manage your team of remote employers, you should consider implementing these tips. Simply:

  • Provide a virtual social workspace
  • Keep track of how your employees use resources
  • Provide all necessary resources
  • Proper training and preparation and
  • Be more understanding

About the Author: Victoria Smith is a freelance writer who specialized in business and finance, with a passion for cooking and wellness. She lives in Austin, TX where she is currently working towards her MBA.




“I Loved That Man”

History … is, indeed, little more than the register of
the crimes, follies, and misfortune of mankind.”

–Edward Gibbon, Author, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

I probably should have known as soon as she said it, but it took a few weeks to register. It was 30 years ago and I had met a lovely woman, and each of the first few dates were wonderful, with endless conversations. What she said – and we were in our 30s by then – is that “I have never suffered emotional heartbreak in my life.” There are, I suppose, those people who are endlessly and permanently enchanted with their first love, but for most of us, romance is like Thomas Edison toiling away in his laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey – trial and error, with an emphasis on the latter.

Love, particularly young love, is followed by heartbreak as surely as night is followed by day. To avoid, as Hamlet says, “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” is to not only run away from the potential pain of heartbreak, but the lessons and empathy it builds in our unformed souls.

It is, after all, the heartbreak which teaches us that beauty is not in the unattainable mystique but in the merely mortal. As M. Scott Peck wrote, “We are all broken.” Not in the negative, Charlie Brown “Woe is me” sort of way, but instead celebrates us for our differences, for our failures and recoveries, for the beauty of our own imperfections.

After John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, a twenty-one year-old Californian named Tony Coelho decided to become a priest, but at the medical exam required for entering seminary, he was informed he had epilepsy. Cannon law – written in 400 A.D. – prohibited men with epilepsy from becoming priests, because it had been believed that they were possessed by the devil. Significantly depressed and forlorn, he was lost, but after a time, began to find his way when family friend Bob Hope suggested that he might try politics.

Last week on In House Warrior, the daily podcast I host for the Corporate Counsel Business Journal, I spoke with the former Congressman, who discussed what Washington was like then and now.

For me, growing up in Washington, where all politics were truly local, Tony Coelho was an institution. Visionary, thoughtful and someone who could cross the aisle. In 1978, after serving as a Hill staff member for years, he was elected to his first of six terms in Congress and by 1980 was named the Chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the first sophomore Congressman to be named since Lyndon Johnson in 1940. As Spike Lee would say, “He got game.”

What Tony Coelho will be most remembered for though is helping to draft and shepherding through the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which President George H.W. Bush signed into law in 1990. Of the late President Bush, Tony would say, “I loved that man.” When the two would see each other years later at the wedding of “Papa” Bush’s granddaughter, the two shared a lengthy embrace. The former President, now confined to a wheelchair, looked up at Tony and said, “You wrote it and I’m using it!”

That ability to cross the aisle, to love and to compromise (but I repeat myself) are the things I aspire to most. Not perfection but seeing past superficial differences and embracing our commonality.

Also on In House Warrior this past week, I interviewed Stefan Passantino, the former Deputy White House Counsel to President Donald Trump. Stefan is the chair of Michael Best’s Government Regulations & Public Policy practice, a bipartisan practice which just brought on Senior Counselor Steve Israel, a former U.S. Congressman who served eight terms in Congress and, like Tony Coelho before him, served as Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Both interviews are delightful and insightful. Stefan has been on before and will be again. Tony will become a periodic guest. They give a view of Washington, past and present, and give hope for the future.

I was reading this morning the significant decline in all forms of news media in the months since former President Trump left office, with audiences plunging, particularly for the most partisan media. According to Axios, “Outlets that depend on controversy to stir up resentments have struggled to find a foothold in the Biden era.”

I think that’s a good thing. Politics have become far too much like NASCAR – if it weren’t for the accidents, we’d call it traffic. I’m much more interested in people who get things done.

And the heartbreak along the way? Nothing heals better than a scar.

Enjoy the listens.

Richard S. Levick, Esq., Chairman & CEO, LEVICK

Listen to A Word With Former Congressman and ADA Co-Author Tony Coelho

Listen to A Word With Former Deputy White House Counsel Stefan Passantino, Now With Michael Best




Crisis Communications: In Modern Reputation Management, Brand Journalism is an Essential Tool

How to help establish your story and brand position in today’s media landscape—a crucial preventative measure for brands to avoid crises and fight misinformation.

Ted Kitterman

As a crisis communications advisor, Mindy Hamlin is often called in once the fire has started. Someone has taken to social media, or is threatening public action that could jeopardize how an organization is perceived in the community.

Real money is on the line, and many organizations say they now place reputation and trust at the center of major business decisions—even before considerations of profit and revenue. In a report from Signal AI, over 85% of business leaders and decision makers say that reputation is a higher priority than margin when making decisions.

Yet, if preventative measures aren’t taken, crisis mitigation efforts can be too little, too late.

Hamlin, principal with Hamlin Communications, shared an example of one client on a recent call for Ragan’s Crisis Leadership Network, who had visibility in small communities they served where leaders were faced with a reputational threat when a disgruntled former employee accused them of failing to support women and people of color in the organization. When Hamlin talked to leaders, however, “they start telling me all these fantastic stories.”

Hamlin was floored by the ways that the organization had helped employees and there were diverse leaders and women who held meaningful positions—but the company hadn’t told their story sufficiently, and they were vulnerable.

Continue reading here…




Museum of Public Relations Launches Campaign To Preserve Industry’s Response to COVID-19 

Initiative Asks Agency and Corporate PR Organizations to Donate Materials Related to the Health Crisis

United Airlines and Edelman are Founding Contributors to Effort

CommPRO Editorial Staff

The Museum of Public Relations today announced a major effort to document the PR industry’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic in partnership with the Arthur W. Page Center for Integrity in Public Communications, the Page Society, the Institute for Public Relations, the PR Council, and the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Georgia. The initiative is modeled on a longstanding New York Historical Society program to preserve history as it happens.

Under the banner “History Responds: Communications in the Time of COVID,” the PR Museum and its partners are putting out a call for objects and paper/digital materials that document the PR industry’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, both within their own organizations and in the counsel they gave clients.

 

 

“The Museum of Public Relations was founded on the belief that PR practitioners can learn from the past, both from its mistakes and from its successes,” said the PR Museum’s co-founder Shelley Spector. “In keeping with that belief, we plan to compile and curate the first in a series of collections documenting how public relations practitioners at agencies, businesses, and other institutions respond to the major societal crises of our time.” 

The museum’s initial collection will deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. “While we all hope it will be generations before the world faces a pandemic of similar scale,” Spector said, “we believe lessons learned in recent months will have application in other crises, such as cyber-attacks on critical infrastructure, runs on financial institutions, and other widespread disruptions to daily life.”

An advisory council of senior public relations practitioners and academics will curate the donations received. The most telling and insightful material will be preserved in a multi-media repository future scholars, students, and practitioners can consult. The museum also expects its COVID-19 collection to be the basis for future conferences, papers, and exhibits on best practices in serving employees, clients, and consumers during widespread crises. 

“We’re asking for items—no matter how modest or mundane—that tell how PR organizations responded to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Spector said. Among the items the museum is looking for are:

    • Research that helped shape COVID planning
    • PR counsel offered to internal or external clients
    • Employee communications addressed to team members 
    • Marketing communications directly related to the pandemic, e.g., about product shortages, new offers, or advising customers on alternatives to in-person service. 
    • Artifacts such as branded masks and social-distancing signage created to address the pandemic’s impact on key publics, promote safe behavior, and facilitate vaccination.

      Global communications firm Edelman and United Airlines have already joined as Founding Contributors. “The communications industry was best suited to help business navigate the challenges brought on by the pandemic of Covid-19, economic insecurity, financial and health inequities and systemic racism,” said Richard Edelman, CEO of the eponymous communications firm. “The work done over the past year was some of the most important and innovative work the industry has ever produced. We helped business take the lead and lead with purpose.” Indeed, the Edelman Trust Barometer indicates that businesses emerged from the pandemic as the world’s most trusted institutions as well as the most ethical and competent.

      “The impact of COVID-19 created the most disruptive crisis in the history of commercial aviation,” said Josh Earnest, United’s senior vice president and chief communications officer. “At United, we moved quickly to confront the reality about the depth of this crisis and leveled with our customers and employees about what was required to keep the airline flying and the traveling public safe. We also sought opportunities to help fight the pandemic by flying tons of medical supplies to COVID-19 hotspots, transporting the first doses of COVID-19 vaccine to the U.S. from Europe and repatriating tens of thousands of Americans stranded overseas.”

      “Companies are used to dealing with crises, but seldom one that affects all of our stakeholders so profoundly in similar ways at the same time,” said Roger Bolton, president of the Page Society, which counts nearly 800 global strategic communication leaders in its membership. “Chief communication officers were at the center of helping their companies and institutions respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in a way that saved lives and addressed mental health and wellness issues. They also helped lead a strengthened commitment to stakeholder capitalism and societal value creation.” In fact, recent research shows that more than two-thirds of the public expects businesses to address societal issues hyper-partisan politicians can’t resolve. 

      To learn more about History Responds: Communications in a Time of COVID and how to donate material, visit https://www.prmuseum.org/historyresponds


      The Museum of Public Relations is a non-profit, permanent institution, open to the public, which acquires, conserves, researches, communicates, and exhibits the tangible and intangible heritage of public relations practice for education and research that will help shape its future and inform the public of the practice’s social value.

      The Institute for Public Relations, founded in 1965, is an independent, nonprofit foundation dedicated to the science beneath the art of public relations.™ IPR creates, curates, and promotes research and initiatives that empower professionals with actionable insights and intelligence they can put to immediate use.

      The Arthur W. Page Center for Integrity in Public Communication is a research center at the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications at Penn State. It’s dedicated to the study and advancement of ethics and responsibility in all forms of public communication. 

      The Page society is the world’s leading professional association for senior public relations and corporate communications executives and educators. 

      The PR Council is the only association dedicated to supporting agencies with public relations offerings. PR Council Member agencies—more than 120 of the country’s premier global, mid-size, regional and specialty firms—operate in the most sophisticated public relations market in the world, set the standard for excellence, and share a common desire to build the world’s most successful agencies

      The New-York Historical Society is one of America’s preeminent cultural institutions dedicated to fostering research and public programs that reveal the dynamism of history and its influence on the world of today. 

       




      A Conversation with Daniel James Brown, Author, ‘Facing the Mountain: A True Story of Japanese American Heroes in World War II’

       

      Join Michael Zeldin for this timely conversation of anti-Asian racism with Daniel James Brown as they discuss his book, Facing the Mountain: A True Story of Japanese American Heroes in World War II: a compelling saga of patriotism, highlighting the contributions and sacrifices that Japanese Americans and their families made for the sake of the country and the world. 

      Guest

      Daniel James Brown

      I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and attended Diablo Valley College, the University of California at Berkeley, and UCLA. I taught writing at San Jose State University and Stanford before becoming a technical writer and editor. I now write narrative nonfiction books full time. My primary interest as a writer is in bringing compelling historical events to life as vividly and accurately as I can.

      I live in the country outside of Seattle, Washington with my wife, two daughters, and an assortment of cats, dogs, chickens, and honeybees. When I am not writing, I am likely to be birding, gardening, fly fishing, reading American history, or chasing bears away from the bee hives.

      Follow Dan on Twitter: @DJamesBrown

       

       

      Host

      Michael Zeldin

      Michael Zeldin is a well-known and highly-regarded TV and radio analyst/commentator.

      He has covered many high-profile matters, including the Clinton impeachment proceedings, the Gore v. Bush court challenges, Special Counsel Robert Muller’s investigation of interference in the 2016 presidential election, and the Trump impeachment proceedings.

      In 2019, Michael was a Resident Fellow at the Institute of Politics at the Harvard Kennedy School, where he taught a study group on Independent Investigations of Presidents.

      Previously, Michael was a federal prosecutor with the U.S. Department of Justice. He also served as Deputy Independent/ Independent Counsel, investigating allegations of tampering with presidential candidate Bill Clinton’s passport files, and as Deputy Chief Counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives, Foreign Affairs Committee, October Surprise Task Force, investigating the handling of the American hostage situation in Iran.

      Michael is a prolific writer and has published Op-ed pieces for CNN.com, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Hill, The Washington Times, and The Washington Post.

      Follow Michael on Twitter: @michaelzeldin




      The Stevens Group PR Masters Podcast Acquispectives – Bob Pearson

      Bob PearsonBob Pearson, Chair, The Next Practices Group

      “I’ve learned that one of the things that communications teaches is that you’re really trying to figure out how to reach humans. And you’re often thinking about psychological models of why people do anything or why they don’t do something. What I realized a while ago is that if we understand human behavior, then we can understand their patterns. [Why?] Because people always follow patterns. And if you understand their patterns, you can then build all of these algorithms that allow you to see what they’re doing.”

       

      Listen to the Podcast




      After Decoding My Value, I Moved Out of New York City

       

      Wendy Glavin, Founder & CEO, Wendy Glavin Agency

      In March 2020, after my ex-husband bought a second home in Westhampton, my oldest son who lived in NC, decided to visit him in November. Since he only had a four-day weekend, we rented a place in Southampton to spend more time together.

      Once home in our cramped apartment, surrounded by skyscrapers, I decided to move. Having lived in a condo for years, I contacted a broker whom I knew to find condos to look at online. After making three offers, with backup cash offers, I decided to look at houses. I had to move out by April 30 because I was using my last two months’ security deposit as rent due to the COVID Law.

      Within two months, I found my dream home which appeared to be move-in. My family, friends, and colleagues were excited for me. In April, we moved in. Unbeknownst to me the house was “staged,” which means renting furniture to make a house look perfect.

      With the furniture gone, the wallpaper was torn, there were large holes in the walls, unusable closet space, non-working appliances, turf in the back yard that was coming up and more.

      Fast forward to today, I’ve had workmen do daily repair work. The stove and dishwasher were finally fixed last week. Large holes were patched, the inside of the house is painted, and I was excited to relax. Then, there was another major issue: the septic system.

      Since we don’t use much water, I didn’t understand why it was a problem. After knocking on my neighbor’s doors, I learned about the wetlands behind our homes and that waste cannot seep into the groundwater, like in the movie, Erin Brockovich.

      How My Story Can Help You

      First, honesty and trust are my core values, the foundation of any successful relationship. Perhaps you’ve been in situations, like what I’ve described in your personal or business life. I learned (the hard way) that a person’s title, status, income, or age, doesn’t necessarily mean they’re truthful.

      Had I heeded my close friend’s warnings, I would have questioned the inspector’s report not relied on the broker and my attorney who I would have asked about the outstanding items the inspector highlighted. 

      Since I was in the city and they were “Out East,” I assumed they’d tell me about any problems. I learned from people who knew the seller that she knew about the issues but didn’t disclosed them. The life lesson is, pay attention to what people do, not what they say; like my attorney, who said at the closing, sorry, but it’s not in the contract.

      In business, read articles before you share content on social media. If a person’s messaging is consistent, educational, newsworthy, or inspirational, follow them. On LinkedIn, if you get messages from people who haven’t taken the time to learn about you and what I do, why connect? The amount of followers you have is less important than the quality of the people with whom you surround yourself.

      As Simon Sinek says, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe.” Another lesson is to go to the places where the people you want to meet would be. If you want to learn about an industry sector, find people on social media, look for events, webinars and Meetups and get involved. That’s how I learned about blockchain, crypto, DeFi, NFTs and more. 

      Whatever sparks your interest, read, do research, and speak to people to help you move forward. One example is when I worked at General Electric’s Aerospace Division after graduating college. I was a communications specialist and worked with mechanical engineers, aircraft designers, data processing managers, compliance officers and others. I gave presentations to them and to new hires.

      To do so, I had to decipher complex industry and technology terms; a skill I continue to use. Despite whether you liked you first job or other positions you had, you developed certain capabilities. Think about how you can use them in different ways.

      My New Life

      I’m happy I moved out of the city. I love being surrounded by nature, the water and having a home with space. After having the turf removed, there’s grass, flowers and a beautiful view of the boats and water. Friends ask if I like gardening. My property was done by landscapers, and I know nothing about floral design or plants. 

      After deciding to put flowering plants on the table outside, my son and I went to a nearby nursery and were overwhelmed. After speaking to the experts there, I learned what grows best in my area, like lavender.

      Some 20-years ago, our family had the unforgettable experience of living in the South of France for several summers. I wanted to create the same ambience. So, I looked up, cottages in Le Midi on Google and saw images. Now, I have lavender plants and other colors in and outside my home that remind me of our times there.

      To rediscover your passions, do research, watch YouTube videos and study. If you want to change your surroundings, look at Instagram or Pinterest. You’ll find places all over the world and get ideas. Beyond your environment, if you have a growth mindset, you believe your qualities can be developed. Since we’re all unique, our talents and interests are different. But you can use your experience and knowledge in new ways.

      Incorporate What You’ve Always Loved into Your Life

      After moving many times and downsizing, I still own furniture and home accessories that I bought with my Parisian friend that fit in my new home. While the layout is different, my aesthetic is the same. Since learning about houses out here, and looking at magazines, I decided not to have hydrangeas, blue and white décor and other commonly used furnishings like shells and fish because I don’t purchase things based on where I live. 

      Instead, I buy things that I love. If you’re true to yourself, you bring you bring your past with you into your home, décor, clothing, and in business. Being comfortable with yourself enables you to attract the type of people you want to meet. 

      In my recent, Decode Your Value article, colleagues shared how the DYV process helped them learn about themselves and the people with whom they work. If you’ve followed my series of articles, it starts by looking back. To help you, we created my Life Skills tree and a PDF for you to download and create your digital tree. But there are no rules. 

      It’s up to you to decide what’s important to you and how the ideas intersect. For example, I feel lucky to have two of my sons living with me now. My oldest son (who’ll be with me in August) is 29-years old; the age I met my husband. The others are 22 and 27. Imagine what you were like when you were in your 20’s (or if you are, you’ll know what I mean). 

      Whenever I ask them to help me around the house, they’re not thrilled, to say the least. I remember what my mother used to ask me to do, at their age; like clean the grout in the bathroom with a toothbrush. Yes, my mother is depicted in many ways like in the movie, Mommie Dearest

      If you place yourself in another person’s shoes think about how you would feel if you were them. Doing so, helps you manage your emotions and resolve conflicts. Again, it’s about looking back.

      Focus On What’s Around You

      The two guys who come to do repairs in my home are lifesavers. Often, they listen to music while painting. I’ve added some of the songs they listen to like, Levitating by Du Lipa to my iTunes library. In June 2021, it was one of the top songs in the world. Next, my renewed interest in sports…

      When I was young, I went to the Eagles, Phillies, and Sixers games with my dad. My sons and their dad are football, basketball, baseball, and golf fans. Since we’re spending more time together, I’ve learned more about sports. When the Sixers were in the playoffs, they were favored to win but Ben Simmons shot poorly, and they lost. Watching sports with my sons is a great bonding experience.

      Also, I used to be somewhat of an athlete. I was a lifeguard, loved biking, skiing, ice-skating, running in 5K races and more. After having two knee replacements, I was fine. In 2016, just months after founding my agency, I was in a taxi that crashed with a Mack truck; my life will never be the same. 

      When I was completing physical therapy in Manhattan, my therapist said, if you don’t keep building upon your strength, you’ll be in a wheelchair. Since moving, the steps in my house have helped and my sons bought me a kayak for my birthday in May. 

      Several weeks ago, my son and I went kayaking but I couldn’t get out of the boat; my legs and arms aren’t strong enough. My son got out, lifted me up from under my arms (which hurt), sat me down on the dock and pulled me up. Fortunately, the guys who repaired my dock were here, saw the issues, and built steps in the water and a handrail for me to use. I’m looking forward to another kayaking trip with my sons.

      Why You Need to Decode Your Value

      I understand that you may feel the DYV is too abstract. But it’s easy. All you need to do is reflect on your past; including your values, your background, significant life experiences, your interests, and relationships. Since we’re all different, no one’s life trajectory is the same. Learning about yourself and acknowledging who you are is a competitive advantage. 

      It reminds of us who we were before life got in the way; like marriage, children, working, making money, having responsibilities and more. It helps you remember what you loved as a child. Perhaps you’ve forgotten some of your passions. 

      Here’s my first published article about the Decode Your Value process which includes my Life Skills tree. If you go to my website, there are several articles about DYV (and others on technology) and a short video we created last June. I moved after 30-years. Maybe you will too. Or create a new adventure based on what you remember about yourself. 

      If nothing else, the pandemic taught us that life is short. So, live the life you always dreamed of and remember, in any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or step back into safety. — Abraham Maslow. 


      About the Author: Wendy Glavin is a 30-year marketing communications veteran, a full-service agency owner, a published writer, a technology columnist and a global speaker. Her website is: https://wendyglavin.com/. Contact her at: wendy@wendyglavin.com


       

       

        




      How to Teach Managers to Consider the What, How, Who, and Why of Each Communication

       

      Michelle Kempskie, Principal, Michelle Kempskie Consulting

      How often have you left a meeting with your manager and thought, “What just happened? What does she want me to do? Why am I doing this?”

      Managers are the glue that keep organizations together, and they can be the demise of any organization as well. Managers sit in the middle between leadership making decisions for the business and the employees who must carry out these decisions. The key to bringing the two ends together is communication.

      Communication is the exchange of information through speech, writing, visualization, and/or behavior. Communication involves a sender, message and recipient. Sounds like a simple formula for success, right? Not so much.

      Communication comes in all shapes and sizes and poses an opportunity to make a connection, inspire motivation and solidify commitment. Communication can also drive a wedge, elicit negativity, or even spark an argument. On one end of the communication spectrum there are the one-off conversations in the hallway, or more likely while waiting for others to join a Zoom meeting or at its tail end. On the other there are communications that require months of planning behind closed doors. Although these two scenarios are very different, they can both be successful or a disaster.

      Continue reading here…




      Looking at How Heifer International’s Digital Workplace Keeps Employees Engaged, Connected and Inspired

       

      Robby Brumberg

      Ending poverty and hunger around the world might seem like an impossible task.

      But it starts with uniting like-minded heroes around the world through seamless, strategic communication.

      Chelsey Louzeiro, internal communications officer and digital workplace manager for Heifer International, recently shared how her organization is overcoming substantial logistical hurdles to engage its 800 employees in 21 different countries in a session for Ragan Training.

      Here are some of her key takeaways for building a digital workplace that establishes a thriving environment where employees feel connected and valued.

      ‘Corralling’ a global workforce

      Geography presents significant communication challenges—not least of which is creating a genuine sense of belonging and teamwork when your workforce is widely dispersed, with employees steeped in different cultures. How can you create a culture that truly engages far-flung employees?

      Continue reading here…




      Why A Buyer’s Vision Must Align With A Seller’s Vision

      Art Stevens, Managing Partner, The Stevens Group

      In a number of articles I’ve written for PRSA over the years, one of the recurring themes is the importance of chemistry when reviewing the merits of combining two agencies.

      I don’t mean to sound naïve. On the contrary, it’s more than a decade of real-life experience in the PR agency mergers and acquisitions world that has taught me to place chemistry a couple of notches above purchase price, which conventional wisdom mistakenly considers to be the Holy Grail for a successful merger.

      In fact, I don’t even put purchase price in the “place” position, given all of the changes occurring in the PR agency mergers and acquisitions marketplace these days.

      In my opinion, vision and the buyer’s strategic direction ranks right alongside a good rapport as a vital criterion for joining forces with a buyer.

      Here’s why:

      Strategic collaboration

      There are more buyers out there than ever before. And their agencies’ substance and shape change as often as an amoeba’s does.

      There are still the major holding companies, of course — Publicis, IPG, WPP, Omnicom and Havas, and there are also overseas buyers. Mid-sized ad agencies are adding PR services as another strategic arrow in their quiver, and smaller PR agencies are acquiring even smaller shops. More private equity firms are turning to public relations and digital/interactive sectors as promising growth categories. And a series of “rollup” firms have now come onto the scene as well.

      To be sure, there’s nothing new about rollups. Peter Gummer pioneered the initiative when he founded Shandwick in the ‘70s and made about 20 independent agency acquisitions. All kept their own names for a period of time, until Gummer proclaimed that all Shandwick-acquired firms would lose their existing monikers and simply be called “Shandwick.” Gummer then sold Shandwick to Interpublic, where it subsequently merged with Weber to become Weber Shandwick. Today, all of the rollup companies I’m aware of allow their acquisitions to retain their names, following the Shandwick model.

      Why A Buyer's Vision Must Align With A Seller's VisionRenewed energy

      In almost every situation where The Stevens Group is involved — plus every scenario that I’m aware of where we’re not involved — the rollup company’s game plan is to reach a certain size and then have a liquidity event, where it sells to a larger company or goes public.

      The seller usually gets the opportunity to double-dip by reaping the benefits of an initial purchase price, while also in line to capitalize on the liquidity event down the road.

      This takes us to the current mergers and acquisitions marketplace. Most current sellers don’t want to sell and walk away; they want to stay. They want to jumpstart their careers and play an integral role in the new parent company by bringing all of their experience as agency founders and owners to the big stage. Successful entrepreneurs can continue their careers with renewed energy when a buyer of their choice acquires them.

      Earnest discussions

      My team and I always advise sellers to have earnest discussions with the buyer about the goals, direction and aspirations of his or her organization. If a seller is looking for a plain-and-simple exit strategy, and his or her deal is based on an earnout, then it’s important for the seller to be certain that the buyer’s organization has the financial resources to stick to the terms of the agreement.

      But if the seller still loves the business and has the fire in him or her to continue working indefinitely (as most sellers are now doing), then the two sides need to agree on strategic direction for future growth, which can be the most important consideration for both.

      A seller who is ambitious and wants to become part of senior management in an acquiring company is better off joining an organization that has demonstrated an ability to grow and manage its development through strategic hires, other acquisitions and expertise in the niches that it serves.

      A buyer who is expanding his or her bandwidth by acquiring your firm for its special niche and capabilities could be in a position to help a seller grow more rapidly. Remember that the seller’s future must be tied to the buyer’s future. That principle will help determine which route a seller should take when considering a buyer.

      This is the future of PR agency mergers and acquisitions. The seller’s continuing role has become just as important as purchase price, chemistry and culture.

      As originally published on PRSA Public Relations Tactics.




      Investing in Africa (INFOGRAPHIC)

      Brian Wallace, Founder & President, NowSourcing

      Whether you are the “average Joe”, interested in finance, or more heavily involved in finance and investing, the state of the African economy may not be something that’s likely to come to mind for you on any given day, but it’s possible that it should be.  Africa isn’t just the images we’ve seen projected on commercials and billboards for African missions and charities.  It’s far more than that, and it may surprise you to know that it’s actually the fastest growing economy in the world.  

      In fact, in 2019, the top five fastest growing economies in the world were in Africa and the continental economy is growing at a rate of 2x the global average.  Not only that, but it won’t be long before 65% of the African population will be in the middle class economic bracket.  Currently, Africa holds 16% of the population and only 3% of the global GDP, but with a working-age population that will soon overtake China and India, the African GDP is expected to reach nearly $4.5 trillion by 2025.  The African economy is the only one set to grow by double digits within the next five years.  

      It’s time for Western investors and entrepreneurs to take note of the opportunities in Africa.  In general, Africans are more geared toward entrepreneurialism and partnership. The economy may be growing rapidly, but one of the major causes for this is that the needs of the population are still overwhelming in many areas.  The upside is that these needs create numerous opportunities for entrepreneurs to create thriving businesses that will help to meet those needs.  In fact, Africa has more entrepreneurs than any other region in the world.  In 2018, startup funding in Africa grew by 4x, and funding deals doubled.  Twenty-eighteen also brought a record high as startups raised a total of $725.6 million with 458 deals, with the top 30 startups receiving rounds of over $5 million.  

      What makes this relevant to Westerners is that Africans are not the only ones who can benefit from this fertile ground for business growth.  In fact, even big tech companies like Google, Facebook, and Microsoft, are expanding their businesses to this new “land of opportunity.” Bringing your business to Africa means gaining exposure and presenting products and services to a business sector that isn’t already saturated.  The African economic environment makes it easier to find partners, operate, implement, and expand your business.  

      Africa is a rising star in the global economy.  It’s time for Western investors to grab on and rise with it. Learn more about investing in Africa in the visual deep dive below:

       

       Investing In Africa Infographic
      Via: EmpowerAfrica.com


      Brian WallaceAbout the Author: Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH which works with companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500s. Brian runs #LinkedInLocal events, hosts the Next Action Podcast, and has been named a Google Small Business Adviser for 2016-present. Follow Brian Wallace on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.




      How Wikipedia Can Help or Hurt You   

      Thursday, July 8 from Noon to 1 PM — ET

      This is a free event for NPC members and $15 for non-members — of which 100% of the proceeds will go to supporting the NPC’s “Help The Heroes.”  The program provides freshly made to-go meals to workers at Howard University Hospital, which serves communities of color that are often the most impacted by COVID-19.

      WHEN:  Thursday, July 8 from Noon to 1 PM — ET

      REGISTRATION https://www.press.org/events/npc-communicators-lunch-and-learn-how-wikipedia-can-help-or-hurt-you</a

      Here’s more on the program:  https://www.press.org/events/npc-communicators-lunch-and-learn-how-wikipedia-can-help-or-hurt-you

      Wikipedia, the free multi-lingual online encyclopedia written and maintained by a community of some 200,000 editors and contributors, is accessed by 1.4 billion unique devices every single day and is one of the 15 most popular websites (as ranked by Alexa so far this year).

      While Wikipedia has received praise for its enablement of the democratization of knowledge, the extent of coverage, unique structure, culture, and reduced amount of commercial influence, it has been criticized for its perceived unreliability and for exhibiting systemic bias.

      This Lunch and Learn program, which is hosted by the NPC Communicators Team, will provide attendees with an understanding of the issues (both good and bad) surrounding Wikipedia and what communicators can do to manage articles and topics that involve them, their clients, and/or their products, services, and issues.

      Josh Greene, CEO of The Mather Group, an agency that helps companies manage how they are found online through Wikipedia and search engine optimization (SEO), will discuss the ins and outs of this online encyclopedia, including:

      • Why your Wikipedia page looks the way it does and what you can do about it
      • How pages get edited
      • How to see who else is making changes to your page
      • What you can and cannot do as a communicator
      • Tactics for communicators to internally manage a Wikipedia presence and messaging
      • Things to consider as you are writing for Wikipedia
      • Review “live” Wikipedia pages and strategize solutions

      About Josh Greene

      Josh Greene is the CEO of The Mather Group, a 12-person digital agency that helps companies manage how they are found online through Wikipedia and SEO. Before The Mather Group, Josh was the VP of Marketing for both 1-800-PACK-RAT and Zippy Shell where he was responsible for all the marketing online, offline, and the launch of national television campaigns. Josh was also the Vice President of Member Service for Shop.org and supervised membership initiatives, including collaborations with the National Retail Federation’s government relations staff to execute policy strategies; and the Director of Online Marketing at Discovery Communications, where he oversaw online marketing for DiscoveryStore.com.



      Alexei Orlov – Importance Of Retaining Customers

      According to entrepreneur Alexei Orlov of MTM, “once a company has identified a consumer base that is loyal to the company‘s products or services, it needs to make sure that those customers stick around and keep coming back. To find its  loyal, or repeat buyers, a company should look at the current best buyers, which are those who are repeatedly making purchases and are speaking highly of the business.  

      These are a group of buyers who have some common traits for every company, and getting their feedback is one of the best ways in finding out what they value, offering those things to other buyers, and retaining more customers.” 

      Reviews

      Companies can conduct interviews on a regular basis with the relevant repeat customers, and see how well they’re performing. It’s especially important to do this during times of change, or whenever a company is growing, as during these periods  businesses need the most insights into what is working . 

      If there is any method that’s extremely effective, it can then be leveraged even further, while any strategies that aren’t working, can be avoided in the future. To get the best possible information out of each interview, which then gets to be reviewed by the company, communication should be open and transparent. Additionally, the company should be using KPIs wherever possible, in order to see the exact points when things start improving. 

      Rewards

      Businesses should also have CRM software because they tend to come with a very helpful tool that helps in identifying which consumers have generated the most revenue for the company, and have been the most profitable for the business. Additionally, when a company identifies these types of buyers, it’s best to reward them for their loyalty, as that works in retaining them further. This means that the buyers won’t be looking to other places for products or services that the company already provides. 

      Reaching out to these consumers and letting them know about rewards or positive incentives will be appreciated, and they will be sure to continue making repeat purchases from the company. Furthermore, with these types of tools, whenever a company is changing or growing, using them is a great way of getting any skeptical buyers interested in the change, or the new direction, instead of potentially putting them off of the business with big changes. 

      Cross-Selling

      For companies to be able to capture the relationship that a company has with the most loyal buyers, they should implement cross-selling strategies. That means positioning any related products, services, or items together, and showing the buyers that what the company is offering can be linked to other products in a logical manner. This is a very efficient technique for getting repeat buyers, and for showing them that the solutions that the company provides are very useful. 

      Whichever way a company decides to incorporate cross-selling strategies, they should also be implemented along with metrics and insights to know what things are and aren’t working.


      About the Author: Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5WPR, a leading PR agency.




      If Buildings Collapse When Rebar Rusts, Why Not Build with Rust-Proof Rebar?

       

      Tom Madden,  Founder & CEO, TransMedia Group

      Am I oversimplifying, or what?  After so many reports of cracking sounds and spalling in the condo that tragically collapsed in Surfside, FL, it’s probably no surprise to structural engineers that there was concrete deterioration. And this can be due to rusting rebar.

      I’m sure Basanite Industries (OTCQB:BASA), a Florida company that ironically manufactures a rust-proof rebar called BasaFlex™ only a few miles north in the next county from where the disaster occurred must be thinking that.

      Could a more durable, eco-friendly, sustainable, 100-year life building material that’s stronger and significantly lighter than steel have prevented this nightmarish tragedy?

      BasaFlex is an enhanced Basalt Fiber Reinforced Polymer Rebar engineered as a non-corrosive alternative to conventional steel reinforcement for concrete structures.  So, could a rust-resistant rebar have saved all those lives?

      It’s such a shame this had to happen to so many in Florida where I live in a high- rise condo on the ocean not that far north from the disaster.  I just hope the determination to find out exactly what caused this tragedy won’t corrode over time, but stay strong, dogged and resilient.

      Meanwhile, news media are citing a 2018 inspection report finding “abundant” cracking and spalling of the columns, beams and walls in the garage under the tower that fell to the ground last week, killing four people and maybe 159 others unaccounted for.  Was it rust that did it?

      Spalling refers to the deterioration of concrete, sometime causing flaking and the exposure of reinforcing steel bars known as rebar.

      According to a structural field survey report, there apparently was abundant cracking and spalling of varying degrees observed in the concrete columns, beams and walls of the ground floor parking garage.  The report included photos of parking garage columns in which the concrete had cracked off and rebar could be seen in a condition described as a form of cancer.

      CONCRETE CANCER

      Professional engineers who specialize in concrete repair projects believe after watching the Surfside condo tower collapsing to rubble, one potential structural flaw jumped out at them called concrete spalling.

      One engineer was quoted in news reports saying when saltwater seeps into porous concrete, it causes the reinforced steel rods known as rebar in the support beams to rust and expand. In turn, the expansion breaks up the concrete, weakening the beams.

      So why not build with a rust-proof rebar, the type Basanite makes, to avoid a condition akin to a “concrete cancer” spreading and killing people?

      When the cancer spreads, it’s like a domino effect whereby concrete breaks up and becomes weaker as time goes by, so if one column is subjected to spalling, it could fail and that one beam could bring down the whole building.

      ‘Concrete deterioration’ at Champlain Towers South

      A 2018, inspection report noted that approximately 8% of the concrete slabs in the garage and building plaza had experienced “concrete deterioration.” In addition, about 5% of the balcony structural floor slabs showed hairline cracking.

      The report also found additional spalling or cracking in a small percentage of concrete columns and exterior walls. One column contained a wide crack, defined as more than 2 millimeters, and that the waterproofing membranes were “beyond their useful life” and needed to be replaced. It further noted that the pool and Jacuzzi were leaking and needed to be removed and all cracking or spalling concrete repaired.

      Also, it appeared the concrete framed slab that had supported the plaza/pool above the garage had undergone previous patching and crack repair. Hmmmmmm!

      I feel so sorry for the victims, whose families and loved ones deserve answers as to what actually caused this collapse in the middle of the night when all were no doubt asleep.


      Thomas MaddenAbout the Author: Besides an inveterate blogger, Tom Madden is an author of countless published articles and five books, including his latest, WORDSHINE MAN, available this summer on Amazon.   He is the founder and CEO of TransMedia Group, an award-winning public relations firm serving clients worldwide since 1981 and has conducted remarkably successful media campaigns and crisis management for America’s largest companies and organizations.

       




      Not So Prime Day

       

       

      Richard S. Levick, Esq., Chairman & CEO, LEVICK

      I’ve been a fan of Amazon since it only sold books. I’ve purchased so many dry goods and household products from the ubiquitous online site over the past two decades that I have often joked that I am the singularity – the reason Amazon was able to eventually go from languishing in the red to luxuriating in the black.

      It took over seven years, from its founding the day after Independence Day in 1994 until the fourth quarter of 2001, for it to finally turn a profit. At the time, I found it remarkable and shortsighted that so many financial analysts criticized the company for not turning a profit sooner when it should have been obvious that founder Jeff Bezos understood the race that was the World Wide Web. Profits invested in attracting eyeballs – as the old phrase went – and increasing offerings would eventually pay dividends beyond King Midas’ wildest imagination. Just ask Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Ellison, Sergey Brin or 25 other internet billionaires. Amazon changed the world, just like they promised.

      For over half a century, I’ve been fortunate enough to call The Washington Post my hometown newspaper and cut my political teeth on its brilliant Watergate coverage starting in 1972, the halcyon days of this great paper. And yet it became staid and was losing its grip on being one of America’s three essential daily reads, along with The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, until Bezos pumped new blood, money and leadership into the paper as its new owner in 2013. The halcyon days are back.

      For many consumers, I am sure, surviving the pandemic would have been a far riskier proposition without this retail giant. We wanted for nothing.

      Like Icarus before them, the leaders of Silicon Valley – who all seemed at one point to march under Google’s original banner of “Don’t be evil” – have gone from sitting at the side of Zeus’ throne on Mt. Olympus to targets – targets of animus, of legislation and litigation. To build bipartisan consensus in this day and age is really something, and that they have done. For all that I admire about Jeff Bezos and Amazon, I can’t get oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller out of my head. Amazon controls between 50 and 70% of online sales. Compare that to Walmart and eBay which control just 5% each. If you are a retailer and you are not on Amazon, you might as well only be selling your goods in Rhode Island.

      Which brings us to Washington, D.C., Attorney General Karl Racine who has brought the first government antitrust suit against Amazon in the United States, alleging that Amazon has stopped merchants that use its platform from charging lower prices for the same products elsewhere online. The New York Times refers to the suit as “both novel and railroad-baron-style old school.”

      Kathleen Konopka, Deputy Attorney General for the District of Columbia Office of the Attorney General, joins me on In House Warrior, the daily podcast I host for the Corporate Counsel Business Journal, to discuss the OAG’s lawsuit. It’s a fascinating inside view of what the Attorney General’s office is thinking and doing, brilliantly focusing on allegations of strongarming competition and raising prices at will.

      It’s an extraordinary moment in legislating Big Tech and well worth the listen.

      Enjoy the program and feel free to listen in on your Alexa. I am sure she will be listening in, too.

      Richard Levick

      Listen to the episode




      The Counterintuitive But Proven Way to Increase Reach on LinkedIn

      Jill Kurtz, Owner, Kurtz Digital Strategy

      Building your personal brand on LinkedIn takes a lot of time and patience. It is not enough to have a profile. You need to get the attention of the people you want to influence.

      To be effective on LinkedIn, you need to provide content of value, engage with your network, and reach the right people through your posts.

      Get More Post Views

      As with all social platforms, LinkedIn wants its members to stay on the platform and engage there. Its algorithms favor certain content types over the others. Understanding what is favored is important to your success.

      If you want to maximize your LinkedIn post reach, post text-based content without links. Crazy, but true. You don’t want to link your posts to anything.

      While you don’t want to have links, you do want to cover these favored elements:

      • Use a LinkedIn hashtag
      • Provide information that is targeted at your intended audience
      • Share stories on topics that your network cares about

      How to Use LinkedIn for Business and Personal GrowthPair Articles with Status Posts

      LinkedIn articles give you a chance to create content that your connections value. Articles that fall into your area of expertise and that do not have links have the greatest chance of success.

      But you can’t simply publish articles. You need to do more to make sure that content gets seen.

      To help boost the reach of your LinkedIn article, create an all-text, shortened version and post it as a status update on your profile.

      Next, make a comment on your post (yes, your own post) and include the link to the article in that comment. LinkedIn’s algorithm demotes posts with links, so put the link into the comments.

      Your reach numbers are just the first step. You also need to engage with readers, particularly those who provide feedback through likes, comments or shares. Be sure to engage with everyone who acts on your content in any way.