Blog

Check out my weekly posts (160 and counting) about communications, information, motivation, writing, branding, creativity, media, marketing, persuasion, messages, learning, etc. 

The Curious Case of Dr. Doctor, Dean Dean and Judge Judge

The Curious Case of Dr. Doctor, Dean Dean and Judge Judge

Sprinter Usain Bolt just announced the name of his baby girl: Olympia Lightning Bolt. If Bolt is an appropriate last name for the world’s fastest man, then Lightning (not to mention the Olympics connotation of Olympia) ups the stakes. “The thing I worry about with my...

Don’t Get Stuck on Band-Aids

Don’t Get Stuck on Band-Aids

Bearing witness. That’s what happens at protests. It’s the original meaning of the word. Protest comes via the Latin protestari, from pro (forth, publicly) and testari (assert). Think of the root testis (witness), which also gives us testify and testament. People on...

Buried Under a Pile of Numbers

Buried Under a Pile of Numbers

Andrew Lang, a Scottish poet and novelist, once said that politicians use statistics in the same way that a drunk uses lamp posts – for support rather than illumination. No disrespect intended to politicians. Or drinkers for that matter. Politicians aren’t the only...

We’re Not All in the Same Boat

We’re Not All in the Same Boat

In late March, the entertainment mogul David Geffen took to Instagram to share how he was coping with COVID-19 lockdown. His pictures showed his yacht cruising in the Caribbean. One caption: “Sunset last night…isolated in the Grenadines avoiding the virus. I’m hoping...

Putting Pandemics in Perspective

Putting Pandemics in Perspective

Are you keeping perspective? That’s one of the best ways to deal with any crisis. Sometimes, that means thinking about the overall state of affairs, and what ultimately matters most. Yes, COVID-19 is overwhelming when you consider the rapid spread of the illness, and...

Talking to the Dead

Talking to the Dead

In the midst of this COVID-19 pandemic, I started to do research into my family tree. Why now? Could be because there’s more time to do it. But it’s probably more than that. I've never had the urge before. Maybe with so much distress outside, it’s useful to look...

Do You Speak Fluent Coronavirus?

Do You Speak Fluent Coronavirus?

Lately, do you find yourself talking as if you have a degree in epidemiology or public health? In spring 2020, it can seem like we all just received a crash course. I’ve been looking at some online dictionaries to see which words and terms are rising in popularity. I...

Don’t Be a Marketing Fool

Don’t Be a Marketing Fool

There’s a time for pranks, and this isn’t it. Many brands and media outlets pull April Fools’ Day stunts. Google is usually at the head of the pack. Not this year. Their head of marketing sent this email to the company’s managers: “Under normal circumstances April...

Viruses Don’t Have Passports

Viruses Don’t Have Passports

On a March morning, an American soldier named Albert Gitchell woke up with a sore throat, fever and headache. Within hours, many of the people on his army base were symptomatic. The year was 1918. By some accounts, Gitchell was the first victim of the Spanish flu,...

Keep Your Distance, But Don’t be Distant

Keep Your Distance, But Don’t be Distant

As a longtime freelancer, working out of a home office, I know a thing or two about social distancing. What we’re really talking about in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak is physical distancing, not social. It’s a whole lot easier to do so these days with the...