Monday, August 27, 2012

Lance Armstrong's reputation will survive

Lance Armstrong and Cancer
Even though the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency has decided to strip Lance Armstrong of his seven Tour de France wins after he decided to stop fighting charges that he used performance-enhancing drugs, Armstrong's reputation still is intact.

Why? There are several factors. First, Armstrong always has maintained his innocence. He points to the hundreds of drug tests that he passed as proof.

Second, everyone loves an underdog. In 1996, Armstrong was diagnosed with advanced testicular cancer. Three years later, he inspired people around the world by winning the Tour de France.

Finally, his Livestrong foundation has raised hundreds of millions of dollars to fight cancer. His fundraising efforts have transformed his image from only a cyclist to a humanitarian as well.

Nike, Anheuser-Busch InBev and Oakley all have said that they will continue to sponsor Armstrong. In the court of public opinion, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency loses.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Flinch by Julien Smith: a book review

The Flinch Book
"The Flinch" by Julien Smith is a book that pushes the edges. Smith offers it as a free e-book on Amazon, because he feels that the book can change people's lives so much that there shouldn't be a purchase price.

What's the flinch, you ask? According to Smith, "The flinch is why the lazy actor never gets discovered -- because she never really sweats to make it happen. It's why the monolithic company gets wiped out by a lean startup -- because the big company culture avoids the hard questions. It's the reason you make the wrong decision, even though you may know what the right one is."

We flinch to avoid pain. While the flinch can save our lives, Smith contends that facing the flinch can sometimes be the best way to get what we want.

To get readers to face the flinch, Smith has some unique homework:  take a cold shower, drop a mug, speak to a total stranger. Sounds easy -- until you put it into practice. Then it actually can be hard to face the flinch. By starting out with these exercises, we are able to start to retrain our brain to take on the challenges in our lives.

Smith's book is approximately 131 pages, but has the potential to change your life. So, what are you waiting for? Download it now and change your life for free.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Making the most of Alphabet Bash

Networking at Alphabet Bash
This Thursday night is one of the best networking opportunities in Minneapolis/St. Paul for marketing, communications and creative professionals:  Alphabet Bash. Considering that more than 600 advertising, communications, direct marketing, marketing, design and public relations professionals are expected to attend, how does one make the most of the evening?

Here are some ideas:
  1. Know what you want to do. If you just want to mingle, that's cool -- there will be plenty of opportunities for that. However, if you want to talk about a more specific topic such as skills for new PR professionals, check out the table talks ahead of time and decide which one(s) you want to attend.
  2. Explore the entire venue. The table talks typically have been held upstairs at Epic Event Center. If you go upstairs, check out the patio to mingle more and get a breath of fresh air.
  3. Get to know the partners. You're going to meet many people from several organizations with acronyms (hence the name Alphabet Bash). It helps to know at least a little bit about the organizations beforehand.
  4. Pace yourself for the after-party. Even though Alphabet Bash wraps up at 10 p.m., that doesn't mean that the networking has to end. Several smaller groups typically have gone to bars after Alphabet Bash. It's a great opportunity to connect on a smaller scale.
As you're gearing up for Alphabet Bash, check out the Alphabet Bash content on social media. Good luck on possibly winning one of the door prizes at Thursday's event!
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