PR/PR is a full-service boutique publicity agency specializing in professional speakers, consultants, and non-fiction authors. We place our clients in front of their target audience through print media and online sources.

Archive for Publicity – Page 3

Read This, You’ll Learn Something…

My mother would often come into my room while I was doing homework and turn the radio down.  She’d say, “How can you learn anything with all that noise?!”  My response was always that I learn better with music, that it helps me recall what I’ve read, I play the tune in my head and the information comes back to me.  She always left the room muttering, “I wish I could set your math homework to music; you’d be a rocket scientist!”

As it turns out, mom wasn’t wrong.  No, I’m obviously not a rocket scientist, but it is known that some people are visual learners (they need to see it), some people are audio learners (they need to hear it) and some people need to learn by writing it down for themselves.  All of these methods may have worked well way back when I was in school, but with today’s bombardment of material, new ways of helping people retain and recall information are necessary.

A recent column on Forbes.com put it best:  We need to provide the learner with a GPS instead of an atlas to navigate the learning process with constant feedback. The article goes on to confirm that if the student reaches their goal of remembering and recalling information it will give them the confidence to continue learning.  In essence, the student will learn to love learning!

With the current debate raging about when, how, or if to open our public schools, maybe it’s time we looked longer and harder at how a student learns rather than where they learn it. 

Now, if only someone could explain to me how to “look it up” (as my mother always told me when I asked her how to spell a word) when you don’t know how to spell it! 

I’ll Be Seeing You…really, I mean it!

Billie Holiday, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra – these are all very big names in the music industry.  If you were a songwriter/record producer in the last century and you could have had even one of them record your song, you would’ve had a hit on your hands.  These are just three of the dozens of artists who recorded Sammy Fain’s and Irving Kahal’s popular song:  I’ll Be Seeing You

Most people think of this song as a World War II nostalgia piece, (even though it was first published in 1938).  It evokes scenes of soldiers saying good-bye to their gals in train stations and on ship docks.  Not knowing when, or if, they’ll be coming home to them.  It’s not a great stretch to think we’re in a similar situation now.  We may not be going overseas to fight fascism, but with COVID quarantine we don’t know when, or if, we’ll be able to see in-person and hug our loved ones again. 

This is where the silver lining comes in.  We are lucky (it may not seem like it, but we are) because we have technology that obviously didn’t exist during WWII and we can see each other.  If not in-person, at least on a screen.  We can hear each other, and pick up on the tone in our voices without having to interpret the meaning of a phrase used in a letter.  Inflection is highly under-rated.

So, whether it’s a Zoom call, a Facebook group chat, or WhatsApp, or Google Play, when we say I’ll Be Seeing You we can actually mean “seeing” you. Which is something I’ll bet our grandparents would have been very thankful for.  We are very fortunate to be able to count our blessings, virtually!

Oh, and by the way, Billie Holiday’s 1944 recording of the song was the final transmission sent by NASA to the Opportunity rover on Mars when its mission ended in February 2019. 

 

No Bad Dogs, Only Sad Looks

In the many great debates in society, fortunately, there is still one that isn’t polarizing.  You can’t talk religion or politics, but you can still talk dogs vs cats!  Both are wonderful!

Personally, I’m a dog person.  Cats are great, don’t get me wrong, and the cat my parents had when they retired was very special to us all.  However, I just prefer dogs.  We had two twin cock-a-poos while I was in school and as an adult, I’ve had golden retrievers and yellow labs.  I’m the kind of guy that doesn’t know his neighbors’ names, but I know the name of every dog when they get walked past my house. 

That’s why I love stories about dogs.  Recently, a news item caught my attention.  In the world we live in today, it’s nice to have some distractions to remind us of what our priorities will be again once this is all over.

The story was on the facial expressions of dogs.  There’s no debating puppies and dogs are cute and can look at you just so to melt your heart, but the theory now is that they do it on purpose.  I read an article years ago that puppies are like babies, in that since they can’t speak you have to watch their body language to make sure they’re being treated well at day care/the veterinarian.  Now that we know facial expressions are on purpose, we can watch those too for fear or excitement as we drop them off for a puppy play group.

What struck me the most about the articles is how much we value our dogs.  If we didn’t, they wouldn’t be spending time or money to study them.  So, find a dog to pet (it will lower your blood pressure, among other things), and stay safe, and wear your mask! 

 

Forego Permission, Forget Forgiveness

I don’t know why it didn’t sink in as a kid, I remember learning about it at school.  And, as an adult I’ve traveled to and toured Boston, Philadelphia (several times), Washington DC (several times), and other Colonial hotspots on the Eastern Seaboard.  So then, why was I about this many days old when it finally sunk into me that the Revolutionary War was started more than two years before the Declaration of Independence was written and signed?! 

This was the ultimate Forego Permission!  Gee, said our forefathers, let’s go start a war and then tell them why later!  I love it! 

Wikipedia lists the start of the War for Independence as April 19, 1775 at the Battles of Lexington and Concord, but the Boston Tea Party was on December 16, 1773 and that’s when the real trouble began.   Just after the Tea Party is when the Massachusetts Bay Colony formed it’s own government, separate from the crown.   The Second Continental Congress didn’t vote on Independence until July 2, 1776, and then, of course, declared independence with public readings on the 4th of July, 1776. 

If you want to watch a good movie about the drafting of the declaration, find a copy of 1776.  If you don’t recognize most of the cast, it’s OK, because the movie’s producers hired most of the original Broadway cast for the movie.  Those of a certain generation will recognize the actor portraying John Adams as William Daniels, the same actor who portrayed Mr. Feeny on Boy Meets World.  Trivia Time:  Mr. Feeny was Principal at the fictitious John Adams High School!  I digress. 

Don’t worry about getting permission before starting something, just make sure it’s a really good cause!

Everyone have a Happy, and Safe, Independence Day!

   

You’ve Got To Be Carefully Taught…

Besides the premiere of Hamilton on Disney+ in a couple of weeks, Tony Award™ winner Leslie Odom Jr. has made the news recently for something he said, not something he did.  While recording a bedtime story for his daughter he flubbed a line and dropped the f-bomb.  And, of course, his toddler daughter heard it and repeated it.   He and his wife got a good laugh over it, and then proceeded to have a long talk with their daughter. 

This leads to the eloquent lines of Stephen Sondheim’s lyrics from Into The Woods:

Careful the things you say

Children will listen

Careful the things you do

Children will see and learn

Children may not obey, but children will listen

Children will look to you for which way to turn

In my own family, the only time I heard my mother (who was a great believer in respecting your elders) speak up to her mother-in-law was when Granny used the n-word in front of me when I was about 8 or 9 years old.  I can still hear mom raising her voice to say: “Rachel, we do not use that word in front of the boy!”  My mother heard something, said something, and I listened.

This is how a movement from more than 150 years ago, that even though it lasted only 4 or 5 years, can still be a needless part of our society today.  You may think everyone who believed that way should be dead and gone, but their children, and grandchildren, and great-grandchildren listened and obey. 

As the 1947 Oscar Award ™ winning movie, Gentleman’s Agreement portrayed it’s not enough to be “not” something, you’ve got to be “Anti-something.”  This is why we’re dealing with these issues 73 years later.  Don’t let the snide joke go unchecked, don’t let the off-handed comment go unchallenged.

After 9/11 there were posters everywhere reminding people to “SEE SOMETHING/SAY SOMETHING” as a way to curb terrorism.  The same applies to racism and maybe your children will listen to that.