Keep resume clutter free – Part 2

Kaitlin Madden is a writer and blogger for and its job blog, The Work Buzz. This piece ran on Sunday Feb. 13. [To comment:] Last week: what NOT to put on your resume.

Appropriate resumé length is a pretty consistent subject of debate among human resources professionals. Some will tell you that your resumé should be one page, max; others will say no longer than two pages — or that it doesn’t matter either way. But there’s one thing that most resumé experts can agree on. No matter the length, resumé real estate is valuable, and only the most important and relevant information should be privy to this prime locale.

While only you can decide what is important enough for your resumé, there are a few things that definitely don’t belong there.

1. Your interests: Your resumé is a professional document, bottom line. “While I always find it amusing that you like rollerblading and good red wine, please don’t tell me this (on your resumé),” says Elizabeth Lions, author of “Recession Proof Yourself.” “I want work-related experience only.” In addition to being off-topic, a long list of outside interests and hobbies may cause a potential employer to worry that you’re over-committed — a definite red flag.

2. An objective statement: Objective statements that outline what you’re looking for in a job or employer are a waste of space. “As a career coach I’m constantly counseling clients to remove this paragraph because it takes up critical real estate on your resumé and (this information is) better discussed in your cover letter,” says Lisa quays, president of Seattle-based career coaching firm Career Woman Inc. “Don’t waste valuable space on your resumé with what I call a ‘fluff’ paragraph.”

3. Salary history: Including a salary history on your resumé will turn any employer off, since you’ll give off the impression that money is your main concern. Plus, if the employer sees that you’re “too expensive” they may disqualify you, and if your salary is on the low side, you may end up with a lowball offer should you get the job.

“(It’s best to) discuss your salary history and expectations during your interview process,” says Sharon Abboud, author of “All Moms Work — Short-Term Career Strategies for Long-Range Success.”

4. Dates of anything you did more than 15 years ago: “You may be giving your resumé to someone who wasn’t even born when you had your first job. If you date yourself so far back, you may set yourself up for age discrimination,” says Kristen Fischer, a certified professional resumé writer from New Jersey.

Agrees abound, “Don’t include the dates of your college graduation if you graduated more than 15 years ago. Just list the name of the college and the degree that you received.”

5. A GPA below 3.25: Anything under that is considered to be average, so why waste space by including something that classifies you as such? Focus on the things that give you a leg up on the competition instead. Have you been out of college for more than 10 years? Take the GPA off altogether. “GPA after a certain level of experience and years in the work force is so unnecessary,” says Tiffani Murray, owner of career consulting firm “If you have been working for 10-plus years and are now in middle management it is safe to assume that you either had a good GPA or have made up for it through hands-on work.”

6. An unprofessional e-mail address: “Don’t include an overly personalized e-mail address such as ‘‘ or ‘,’ ” Murray advises. “This can make recruiters take your resumé less seriously.”

7. Marital or family status: Besides being irrelevant, including this information on your resumé can actually make an employer uncomfortable, because it is illegal for them to take such information into account. “It is none of the employer’s business and it is illegal for an interviewer to ask you about your marital status or the number of or ages of your children during your interview (so why include it on your resumé?)” Abboud says.

8. Your references: “These are personal to you and you should control when an employer calls them,” Lions says. “Don’t give me your power.” There is also no need to specify that “references are available upon request.”

9. Activities with religious or political affiliations: These topics are polarizing, and while recruiters shouldn’t take them into account, it’s better to be on the safe side.

10. Your picture: This isn’t the Miss America pageant. Employers aren’t going to be more inclined to hire you because you included a glamour shot. In fact, they may even be more prone to not contact you. “Please don’t include a picture,” Lions says. “If I want to see what you look like, I can find it on LinkedIn.”

Kaitlin Madden is a writer and blogger for and its job blog, The Work Buzz.

Keep resume clutter free – Part 1

Kaitlin Madden is a writer and blogger for and its job blog, The Work Buzz. This piece runs on Sunday Feb. 13. [To comment:] Next week: what NOT to put on your resume.

Appropriate resumé length is a pretty consistent subject of debate among human resources professionals. Some will tell you that your resumé should be one page, max; others will say no longer than two pages — or that it doesn’t matter either way. But there’s one thing that most resumé experts can agree on. No matter the length, resumé real estate is valuable, and only the most important and relevant information should be privy to this prime locale.

Don’t put these items on resumé

• Your interests
• Objective statement
• Salary history
• Anything older than 15 years
• GPA below 3.25
• Unprofessional e-mail address
• Marital or family status
• Your references
• Religious or political activities
• Your picture

Next week: In detail — What NOT to put on your resume. [To comment:]

Kaitlin Madden is a writer and blogger for and its job blog, The Work Buzz.

Arthur Page’s Seven Principles of Public Relations Management

From time to time, I include excerpts from “The Public Relations Practitioner’s Playbook.” To comment: Check out

This week, Larry’s Blog remembers Arthur Page – known as the first corporate public relations practitioner @ AT&T:

1. Tell the truth

2. Prove with action

3. Listen to the customer

4. Manage for tomorrow

5. Conduct public relations as if the whole company depends on it

6. Realize a company’s true character is expressed by its people

7. Remain calm, patient and good humored

To comment:

The Power of Mouse to Mouse

The following article appears in the January-February issue of “School Leader,” New Jersey School Boards Association’s official magazine.

Cutting Through the Clutter Using “Word of Mouse” – The Future is NOW

By M. Larry Litwin, APR, Fellow PRSA [To comment: larry@larrylitwin]

M. Larry Litwin, APR, Fellow PRSA,  is an associate professor of public relations at Rowan University in Glassboro and a former school public information director in Washington Township, Gloucester County. He is the 2006 recipient of the National School Public Relations Association’s Lifetime Professional Achievement Award for “excellence, leadership, contributions to the profession, and advocacy for students and our nation’s public schools.” His two books, The Public Relations Practitioner’s Playbook and The ABCs of Strategic Communications, both published in 2009, have won national acclaim.


         In your wildest dreams, as a school district communicator in New Jersey, could you imagine asking voters to approve $60 million in bonds – not for a school – but for a new high school football stadium?

         A Texas school district did and won voter approval (May 2009) with a 63 percent yes vote. To set the record straight, voters in the Allen Independent School District, a Dallas suburb, approved a $120 million bond initiative, which included new performing arts and transportation service centers.

         Allen and other school districts have adopted strategies and tactics used by the nation’s most successful enterprises – proving that when it comes to communicating with our many audiences, the future is now.

         After paving the way with an effective 1:1 (one to one) electronic marketing/communication approach, Allen tested the so-called Aladdin Factor: ask, and the worst thing that can happen is – the wish isn’t granted.

         To have its wish granted – or in intellectual terms – its objectives and goal achieved, Allen and its public information director Tim Carroll, a New Jersey product, relied on its well-established 1:1 program, which includes sending its messages to voters and encouraging feedback. That interactive approach helped shape the campaign and many other facets of the district’s on-going two-way communication.


         1:1 complements – and in some districts, greatly reduces – the

multi-step communication information flow in which news releases are sent to the media for broadcast or publication. It adds meaning to the term “direct communication” and eliminates a district’s reliance on others to communicate important strategic messages.

         “1:1 promises accuracy, speed and dividends on the ‘investment,’“ says Carroll. “It’s an investment because those thousands of dollars once spent on printed publications are now redirected to such online communications as targeted e-mails, newsletters, ‘fliers’ and other strategic messages vital to parents, businesses and other residents.”

         Carroll points out that his district “actually spends less now than it did with hard copy publications.” School districts ready to take the plunge must do as major corporations do – develop effective tactics that rely on a

long-term planning strategy, an initial relationship management effort and a

well-maintained (current and error free) mailing list.

“It’s important to remember that brilliant tactics do not overcome a

flawed (business) strategy,” says Ed Ziegler, Wilmington University lecturer and former Rowan University marketing director. “School districts, like businesses, should communicate the value of what they are offering to those who can benefit the most.”

         1:1 marketing has been around for years – used primarily by magazines and brand manufacturers who send fliers through regular (U.S.) mail. Once called inkjet printing, such mailers personalize each piece with the recipient’s name. In fact, 1:1 has become so precise that some magazines offer personalized ads within the publication.


         Others use “customization,” which includes the recipient’s name (accomplished through a mail merge) – plus other personal information such as, “Your wife, Nancy and teenage children, Julie and Adam, would love a free week at the Marriott here in Hilton Head.”

         That is quintessential targeting (with the help of outsourcing), which has made it possible for businesses and school districts to accomplish the same bottom line via e-mail, social media and other technology. Some refer to such programs as 360-degree communication – using as many online and interactive channels as time and knowledge permit.

         The 1:1 strategy relies on services provided by ListServ and other mail merge vendors. Many districts already contract vendors to help blast phone messages, texts and e-mails to parents and students particularly on urgent matters (snow closings) or emergencies. Many of these same vendors – for a fee – are willing and able to turn nonpersonal electronic mailings into a product that is almost certain to get the receiver’s attention.

         A recent Rowan University study reveals ”the majority of American consumers want organizations to interact with them electronically.” Rosie Braude, who conducted the study, says, “It shows the majority of consumers consider organizations using social (and other online) media as innovative and that the use of social media can improve an organization’s reputation.” Braude, a Rowan program assistant, is past president of the university’s student public relations chapter.


         As Carroll and his staff have proven, “It is a cost-effective practice that may not guarantee results, but most certainly will cut through the clutter and get your target audiences’ attention.”

         Braude’s study reinforces the premise that audience lists for 1:1 must be current, as evidenced by comments from Southwest Airlines.     “Organizations need to define the purpose behind their electronic involvement and establish goals of what they’d like to accomplish,” Braude says. “They will also have to invest a significant amount of time and energy (initially) formatting, editing and updating each social media tool – whether it is direct mail, newsletters, blogs, Twitter or any other tools they use.”

         Says Philadelphia advertising executive Barry Magarick: “For a message to be effective, you first must get someone’s attention.” If you don’t, you are wasting your time and money.

         As school district employees, responsible for keeping parents and all other taxpayers informed, we should be communicating 365 days a year (sound familiar?) – not just prior to budget and bond issue votes. That’s where 1:1 could help.

     “Today, more and more effective marketing communications programs rely on an integration of various media including personalized direct mail that can be offered with e-mail and other integrated products,” says Dean Pugh, account manager with the global firm, CRW Graphic in Pennsauken (Camden County). “Consumers rely on a mix of print and non-print media (to get their information) as evidenced by the fact that 51 percent of consumers indicate that traditional mail is still their preferred method of contact.”


         “That,” according to Ziegler, “is why schools, like businesses, should link all their communication (marketing) activities together to achieve a single goal. Their communication efforts should tie together a consistent look, feel, tone, and message that support their mission.”

         Many districts blast a weekly communication to school families and other subscribers (called RSS feeds – Real Simple Syndication). Some include a newsletter in the e-mail while others offer a link.

         With proper planning and minimal effort, that e-mail could open with: Hello Mr. and Mrs. Litwin, this week’s District e-News includes a summary of elementary school awards, this week’s school board meeting and the district’s search for a new superientendent. The Litwin family might be interested in reading about proposals to refirbish the auditorium at High School North. That introductory paragraph is referred to as an infosnack. A recipient simply clicks on the infosnack and up comes the entire story, video, “poster,” etc.

         As Allen’s Tim Carroll notes: “Electronic communication has become an expectation from our parents and is a part of almost all parent interactions.  What began as electronic newsletters has become a comprehensive and interactive communications effort aimed at parents – 360 degree. 


          “In our suburban school district of 19,000 students,” says Carroll, “we produce e-announcements at the district level monthly and at the campus (local) level weekly.  All of our back to school registration materials and handbook acknowledgements are now done online. All payments for school lunches, textbook fees, student organization fees, etc., are all done online.” 

          His parents and others were early adopters because, according to Carroll, “Emergency communications from the district can reach parents at home, at work and on their cell phones within seconds if necessary.”

          Many New Jersey districts are finding out what Allen discovered several years ago – parents like checking their child’s attendance and viewing real-time grading books online. As they become more comfortable with the process, parents and those they talk to, come to rely on and trust school district messages. It was that credibility (trust) and believability (truth) that helped persuade voters to take the $120 million plunge.

          Carroll, Pugh and others agree, a key to electronic 1:1 communication is brevity. “Parents are more attuned to e-communications and therefore are less tolerant of lengthy or time consuming emails from school districts.” (Keep in mind, some elementary school parents are products of the MTV generation – accustom to short, pithy messages. They are texters and Facebookers.)

          It is interesting to note that while parents and others like those short, to the point, communications, tweeting has not yet caught on. However, one thing is certain, says Carroll, “Turning print materials into pdf files and posting them no longer gets attention.”


          Here are some suggestions as your district explores 1:1:

  • Create a well-maintained electronic data base with as many key fields as you believe are necessary to help you effectively communicate targeted messages with parents and others in your district – especially key communicators and municipal and state officials.
  • Research vendors (talk with other districts) to find out how they can partner with your district in an on-going 1:1 money-saving communication plan. Two vendors who come to mind are eChalk, School Messenger,
  • The importance of a well-maintained list cannot be stressed enough. Last Father’s Day an inline attachment from a large local car dealership wished Nancy a Happy Father’s Day, rather than Larry. Credibility was immediately damaged.
  • A good start would be establishing a weekly school blog (if you don’t have one) as a conditioning tool. Distribute it via an RSS feed and audiences will come to rely on it. Creating a school (district) blog as the centerpiece of a 1:1 social media strategy is a strategic investment in stakeholder longevity.

             School blogs help build those online communities around issues of interest to parents, students, employees, taxpayers and other stakeholders.


          In today’s “word of mouse” world, schools (districts) are discussed online, whether or not the schools participate in the conversation. To maintain credibility and support their “brand,” schools must interact with their audiences – online. Blogs and 1:1 are vivid examples of 21st century credibility using a 21st century tactic:

  • Blogging allows a school to benefit from stakeholders’ praise to the


  • Schools can win over readers’ testimonials that satisfy their need to

                    demonstrate they are making a difference.

  • As people share their experiences with others, it builds a sense of

                    community that links value with your blog and brand.

  • School communicators would be party to the positives and, more importantly, the negatives and become “rapid responders>’

          Like Allen, Texas, New Jersey school districts that plan and execute effective 1:1 programs using “word of mouse” to cut through the clutter, will soon view themselves as brand champions.



Lee — Always in the cards — thanks to wife’s PR knowledge

Cliff Lee flashes the No. 1 finger as he poses with his No. 33 Phillies jersey after his news conference Tuesday. (Associated Press)

Below is an excerpt of David Hale’s story in the Dec. 16, 2010 “Courier-Post.”

In it, Cliff Lee’s wife, Kristin, made use of a popular strategic communication tactic depended on by many strategic communicators: The “Force Field (Conflict) Analysis” – (see it in Chapter 15 of “The Public Relations Practitioner’s Playbook). If it weren’t for that “Force Field,” there is a good chance Lee would be a Ranger – or worse – a dreaded Yankee.

Here is the excerpt [Scroll down below picture].

For Hale’s full story, go to the “Courier-Post” website. It carries the full story of Lee’s return to Philadelphia. [Scroll down below picture]

[To comment:]

PHILADELPHIA — There’s a scrap of paper sitting on the kitchen counter in Cliff and Kristin Lee’s house in Arkansas, a scrap that Kristin nearly threw away before leaving for Philadelphia, where her husband was officially announced as the newest member of the Phillies’ starting rotation Wednesday.

Before the paper reached the trash, however, Kristin realized just how important the words on it were. She knew that piece of paper might have been the turning point that led her husband to come back to Philadelphia, to come back to a place they both longed to call home once again.

Of course, that scrap of paper is just part of the story — and the twisted tale of Cliff Lee’s return to the Phillies was filled with more than its share of twists and turns.

Still, it took that scrap of paper to provide the final push.

The night before, when the negotiations still looked bleak, Kristin Lee had trouble sleeping. She knew she wanted Cliff to sign with the Phillies, but she also knew the money wasn’t close to what the Yankees or Rangers had offered.

So when she woke up, she grabbed a piece of paper and began to write. She drew out three columns — one each for reasons to sign with the Phillies, the Yankees and the Rangers. By the time she was done writing, the Phillies’ column dwarfed the other two.

“That morning I was thinking of all those things that were so great about this place, so when we’re trying to figure out what to do I wanted to be able to say, “Hey Cliff, we can’t forget these things,’ ” she said.

Once the deal was done, it didn’t take long before the Lees were reminded all over again of how much they loved Philadelphia.

Flying into the airport, the city was lit up and Kristin Lee was thrilled to be home. At the airport and at dinner, fans came and congratulated the couple on returning to Philadelphia.

It was a most unlikely outcome, but it was the perfect ending for Lee.

“It’s been a whirlwind couple of years for me, and it’s been a fun ride,” Lee said.

“This offseason has been full of unknowns, but it feels great to land back here in Philadelphia.”

Again, full story:

[To comment:]

Procter & Gamble ends soap opera sponsorship – a must read for Rowan U. and other advertising majors

As Professor Litwin has said in class, so many times:

The way it was. From Procter & Gamble, AP. Cast of "Guiding Light" in 1937, a radio (and later TV) show sponsored by Procter & Gamble, which helped coin the term "soap operas." Ratings for daytime dramas have been sinking for years. Now, P&G and other big firms recognize social media as the efficient way to connect with customers. (Associated Press)

“The future is now and will (probably) change before this class ends.” To comment:

By DAN SEWELL • Associated Press •

December 10, 2010

“As the World Tweets”

CINCINNATI — Goodbye, “Guiding Light.” Hello, YouTube.

Procter & Gamble Co., whose sponsorship and production of daytime TV dramas helped coin the

term “soap operas,” has pulled the plug after 77 years. Instead, the maker of Tide detergent, Ivory
soap and Olay skincare is following its customers online with a big push on YouTube, Twitter and

“The digital media has pretty much exploded,”
marketing chief Marc Pritchard said in an interview.
“It’s become very integrated with how we operate, it’s

become part of the way we do marketing.”

The last P&G-produced soap opera, “As The World
Turns,” went off the air in September. The show was
the leading daytime soap for decades, but had lost
some two-thirds of its audience at the end.

Over the years, P&G produced 20 soap operas for
radio and TV. But ratings for daytime dramas have
been sinking for years, as women, their target
audience, increasingly moved into the workplace,
switched to talk and reality shows, and spent more
time using online media and social networking

P&G, the world’s biggest advertiser, still buys
individual commercials on daytime dramas. But the
dollar amount has shrunk. P&G won’t say by how

Dori Molitor, whose WomanWise LLC agency
specializes in marketing brands to women, says big
companies are realizing that social media is an
efficient way to connect with customers.

“Social media has become mass media, and for
women especially,” she said. “I think for all
marketers, these one-way, 30-second (TV) spots are
very expensive, and are less effective for the way
that women make decisions.”

Marketing experts say the biggest companies were
generally slow to adapt to the rapid rise of social
networks, but that beverage rivals Coca-Cola Co.

and Pepsico Inc., and P&G and fellow consumer
products makers Unilever PLC and Johnson &
Johnson are among those quickly making up for
lost time.

In recent months, P&G began selling Pampers
diapers on Facebook, offering an iPhone application
for Always feminine products that allows women to
track menstrual cycles and ask experts questions,
and using social media to turn a campaign for the
venerable Old Spice brand into a pop-culture icon.

The “Smell like a Man, Man” commercials starring
hunky former football player Isaiah Mustafa became
a YouTube sensation, drawing tens of millions of
views and spawning parodies such as one with
Sesame Street’s Grover, and generated another
round of attention with Twitter questions that
Mustafa answered in videos — such as on ABC’s
Good Morning America when he suggested that
President Barack Obama could improve standing
with female voters by wearing only a towel and
beginning speeches with “Hello, Ladies!”

The echo effect gives P&G a bigger bang for its
nearly 9 billion bucks a year spent on advertising.

“It is such an effective advertising campaign that we
are getting impressions that we did not pay for,”
CEO Bob McDonald told investors recently,
recounting that he saw an editorial cartoon showing
Obama on horseback, a takeoff on Mustafa’s “I’m on
a horse” Old Spice catch-phrase.

For a company known for measuring just about
everything, P&G touts big numbers from Old Spice


Number of impressions (people who saw, read, or
heard about commercials): 1.8 billion.

Number of YouTube views for Old Spice and related
videos: 140 million and counting.

Increase in Twitter followers for Old Spice: 2,700

P&G also said Old Spice sales are growing at double
digits, taking more of the market for body washes
and deodorant.

Just 20 months ago, P&G hosted “digital night” at its
Cincinnati headquarters by inviting Google,
Facebook, Twitter and other online experts to help
test ways online and digital media could be used in
marketing. By the Vancouver Winter Olympics last
February, P&G was coordinating TV commercials
with Facebook messages and tracking instant
reactions to new commercials on Twitter.

P&G, which sponsored Team USA, unveiled
sentimental “Thank you, Mom!” commercials at the
Olympics that it estimates added $100 million in
sales. The campaign has included Facebook essay
contests and e-Cards for mothers.

P&G says it’s still exploring new uses for social

“It’s kind of the oldest form of marketing — word of
mouth — with the newest form of technology,”
Pritchard said.

PR Seminar for educators and news media

Delsea Regional High School in Gloucester County, New Jersey hosted a public relations seminar for Gloucester County schools and news media outlets.

Here are the notes provided following the successful session. Anyone wanting more information may contact Much of what was discussed is availble in Litwin’s two books available on, digitally from Amazon for the Kindle, iPad and iPhone and at better book stores everywhere.

Public Relations Seminar Notes – December 6, 2010

Speakers  – M. Larry Litwin, APR, Fellow PRSA, Rowan University Associate Professor, Public Relations/Advertising

John Barna, Editor, Gloucester County Times


Website –

Student Resources Heading – handouts pertaining to audience engagement

Workshops/PowerPoints Heading -numerous detailed PowerPoints that contain information relevant to what we do every day.

Books – The ABCs of Strategic Communication by M. Larry Litwin

The Public Relations Practioner’s Playbook by M. Larry Litwin

Questions – How to Best Share Story and Get Media Attention?

How to Market Press Releases

How Do Schools Know Appropriate Person?

What is Hierarchy of Each News Media?

65-85% of news is PR generated

Keep media list up-to-date

#1 – Relationship – Develop relationships

#2-Knowing News

#3 Knowing Deadlines

Accuracy, Timeliness


Communicate from inside-out (AOL initiative – community journalism) – opportunity for schools to celebrate community – West Deptford will be soon included.

Make videos available to news – Jim Six – handles video content from GCT

School Budget Questions

How can schools sell budgets with 2 % cap?

News release approach

Electronic release (multi-platform approach – blogs, twitter, Facebook)

Need strong, strategic message – short message

Sit down with reporter before school board meeting where budget is released.  Give them the information and then follow-up

Remember information on website – 30% do not scroll to bottom of page – important message needs to be at beginning

Public education #1 commodity

United front from teachers and administrators

Turn around negatives and make them positives

Strategic message for seniors – Support education for your grandchildren

How can schools inform public without information seeming like a threat?

1.  Share reality of what will happen if budget does not pass.

Identify Yes Voters

Labor Intensive – but relatively new (for school communicators) One-to-One (1-1) Marketing is effective

2. Gaining, maintaining and enhancing public support as we move forward is just one of our challenges. Our taxpayers must be reminded, “We are in this together.”

No voters will come out to vote, so it is important to get as many people as possible to vote.

Day of Election – Get volunteer organization to bring voters to polls

Vote By Mail – Identify college students especially those away at school

Suggestions/ Considerations

Story ideas to consider – What is unique about the event?



Channel for communication – where does audience get their information


And don’t lose sight of the purpose (why you are communicating the message)

Be persistent,  but pleasant

Monday – 3 PM – good time to contact media – looking for stories for week

Anniversary Dates are important to media – schedule an activity on an anniversary date

Reporters use Facebook for ideas and stories.

Know where information is going.

Strategic tweets – direct to website or Facebook

Plan your event for the fifth (5th) Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday of month – you stand better chance for coverage

No municipal or board meetings are planned for 5th day of month

To comment:

“Grow Your Business Through Networking”

On Friday, Nov. 19, Larry Litwin, APR, Fellow PRSA,  participated in the Chamber of Commerce of South Jersey networking workship. The full PowerPoint is available on under Workshops and PowerPoints. It is No. 15 (scroll down).

Here are accompanying notes. To comment:

1.  How communication has evolved over the last few decades, including the importance of the human connection, face-to-face meetings, non-verbal communication and body language.

After slide with books…Open with PR is…read from “ PR Playbook.”

2.  Proper handshake – summarize…


The protocol for handshaking is simple: Walk up to the person you want to meet. Look into their eyes, smile and extend your hand. Offer a warm, firm, palm-to-palm handshake.

When you offer your hand to a stranger or a distant acquaintance, say, “My name is……( use both first and last names ).This way you eliminate the awkward moment of the forgotten name. The person being greeted is often relieved at being reminded, and will usually respond with their full name, which will in turn relieve you.

Delivering a proper handshake can make or break that first impression on a person. It certainly shouldn’t be limp and it should not be a crusher.

I recommend to my students and others to try shaking hands with a few friends.

3.  Eye Contact…[Technique 190…in “The ABCs of Strategic Communication.]

•  Eye contact. Once your hands have met, you should make eye contact and maintain it throughout the handshake.

4.  PR is slide…leading into Elevator Speech…

All of us should have 30 seconds [an elevator speech] about ourselvse to share with THAT important person.

Here’s an example using Rowan University as the  example…PR is

5.  Body language hints (Slide 8)

Also, for my students, when walking across campus or at a networking event, look up and smile — even say “hi.”

If at a networking event, work the room. Meeting prospectives is more important than eating.

6.  Back to eye contact for a moment…Upper third. It assures your are credible and believable. NO rolling the eyes.

So, grip – look – business card, being ready with an elevator speech and “I look forward to talking to you.”

8.  Show a favorite business card…Leave behind/Take away

9.  Etiqutte slide (make it quick) –

  • Defined –  conduct as established in a society or community.

10.  The Evolution of our profession

11.  Show Social Media video…then roll through slides…

12.  Slide 18 – MAC Triad which has added P and T…

13.  Slide 20 – Relationship management

14.  Shannon Weaver – Two way model

15.  Yes, as much as things change, they REMAIN the same.

[To comment: Visit:

South Jersey Face: M. Larry Litwin

As requested. This appeared on former blog site. Here we go again. It does contain some effective strategic communication techniques:

October 4, 2009

  • You could say M. Larry Litwin wrote the book on public relations. Actually, two really thick books. An associate professor of communication at Rowan University and a former broadcast journalist, Litwin has written two textbooks compiling just about everything he knows about the art of communicating with the public.

The third edition of “The Public Relations Practitioner’s Playbook: A Synergized Approach to Effective Two-Way Communication,” and “The ABCs of Strategic Communication” are used in college classrooms, kept on the desks of professionals and used as a reference by publicity volunteers for nonprofits.

Litwin lives with his wife, Nancy, in Berlin.

For information about Litwin, visit

Q: What does the term “public relations” mean?

A: There are many. Most are probably too academic. I define it as a management and counseling function that builds and maintains relationships with audiences through an understanding determined by asking them what they like, don’t like, want and don’t want. PR must be two-way (listen twice as much as we talk) and must be open, honest, thorough and valid. We are a company or organization’s chief integrity officer — the conscience of the organization.

Q: Your “Public Relations Practitioner’s Playbook” is 555 pages long. How long did it take to write and how did you learn all that stuff?

A: Not long ago, some Rowan graduates who assisted me on the book were asked that question. The response, “He’s been writing that book his entire life.” Not quite. But I have been taking notes ever since my very first job in radio in Iowa while I was in college. Those same students, plus a few others, encouraged me to compile my notes and publish a book that professionals, students and volunteer groups could use. That’s what we did.

Throughout the years I’ve had great teachers and mentors. They encouraged me to be a sponge, taught me to listen and strongly suggested that I never be without a pen and paper to take notes. When I co-lecture a class with a colleague, I usually take more notes than the students.

Q: How is the recession affecting the public relations industry?

A: As with other professions, public relations has taken its hits with the recession. Many times, PR is the first to go. However, the smarter organizations realize that even during difficult times, it is important and even critical to an organization’s success that it have a public relations strategic counselor at the corporate table to help with research, planning and communication to internal and external audiences. The best CEOs make sure that their Number One, Number Two person is a seasoned PR counselor.

Q: What is the worst mistake a public relations person can make?

A: Lie. Never, ever. Credibility and trust are almost impossible to regain. In our profession, there is no substitute for ethics and integrity. Ivy Ledbetter Lee, one of PR’s founding fathers, said it best: “Tell the truth and provide (only) accurate facts.”

— Kim Mulford

To comment:

Public Relations playbook: some thoughts – Philly AdNews

TOOLBOX TOPICS – Reprinted from AdNews – Philly Ad Club – November -December 2010

Public Relations playbook: some thoughts

 Every now and then seasoned communication professionals need to review the basics. Here are some thoughts from Larry Litwin’s The Public Relations Practitioner’s Playbook (AuthorHouse – 2009)


By M. Larry Litwin, APR, Fellow PRSA

 By M. Larry Litwin, APR, Fellow PRSA

Whether the profession is public relations, public communication or strategic advising, it all begins with the ABCs of strategic communication: anticipate, be prepared and communicate clearly, concisely, consistently, calculatingly (measured tones – weighing each word), and completely (specifically and simply).

Anticipate the reaction to a strategic message before communicating it. As Sir Isaac Newton said, “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” The reactions to a CEO or spokesperson’s comments may not be equal and opposite, but they could take a strong opposing viewpoint that could damage a client’s image or reputation. Messages could be misinterpreted. “Test” them to be sure the “C” is achieved.

As columnist George Will points out, “Clarity is achieved only if our message is received and interpreted as we intend it.” That’s where the “B’ comes in. Through proper planning, effective strategic communicators are more likely to achieve their objectives and goal, which means synergy is achieved.

So, what is public relations?

Back in 1971, colleague Ralph Burgio and I brainstormed a definition of public relations. Here is what Ralph scribbled on a napkin at Mom’s Peppermill Inn just off exit 7A of the New Jersey Turnpike. It remains relevant nearly 40 years later:


Public relations is as simple as a thank-you note and as complicated as a

four-color brochure.

It’s as specific as writing a news release and as general as sensing community


It’s as inexpensive as a phone call to an editor or as costly as a full-page


It’s as direct as a conversation between two people and as broad as a radio or

television program reaching thousands of listeners or millions of viewers.

It’s as visual as a poster and as literal as a speech.

HERE, MY FRIENDS, IS THE BIG QUESTION: What IS public relations?

It’s a term often used – seldom defined!

In its broadest sense, public relations is “good work, publicly recognized.”

Believe me, there are no secret formulas. Public relations is simply:  the group itself saying —

• “This is who we are;

• What we think about ourselves;

• What we want to do; and

• Why we deserve your support.”

The Public Relations Practitioner’s Playbook (AuthorHouse – 2009) contains hundreds of proven tips and techniques. Here are a few:

“Tell the truth, provide accurate facts and give the public relations director access to top management so that he/she can influence decisions,” said Ivy Ledbetter Lee, recognized as an early media relations professional.

Warren Buffet said, “If you lose money for the company, I will be understanding. If you lose one shred of the company’s reputation, I will be ruthless.” Buffet, one of America’s wealthiest individuals, is chair and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway.

Jack Welch, former General Electric chair and CEO, said, “I want strategic advisors who tell me what I need to hear, not what I want to hear. Honesty and integrity are the only way.”

There is a common thread to the ethical practice of public relations. Arthur Page, recognized as the “father of corporate public relations,” developed these seven principles: tell the truth, prove it with action, listen to the customer, manage for tomorrow, conduct public relations as if the whole company depends on it, realize a company’s true character is expressed by its people, and remain calm, patient and good humored.

Strategic counselor James Lukaszewski, in his book Why Should the Boss Listen to You? stresses that public relations counselors should strive to be the “number one, number two” person in an organization – the go to advisor, associate or assistant to the CEO. Lukaszewski pushes company and organization leaders “to look over the horizon and see what’s there – have a clear vision.” He points out that the best leaders “have in place the people and skills necessary to achieve the goals and objectives the boss promised to accomplish. He also encourages CEO’s “to promise less and achieve more.”

A favorite public relations tip is credited to Patrick Jackson – the “Double Bottom Line Theory,” which has evolved into the “Triple Bottom Line”:

First Bottom Line: Create relationships. If the organization has already achieved that important first line, work on enhancing the relationships and, at the very least, maintain the relationships you have. It costs far less to retain a customer or client than it does to attract new ones.

Second Bottom Line: Revenue. It generates from sales developed from the relationships created and built in the first bottom line.

Third Bottom Line: Profit. After all, that is what it is all about – making  money. To make money, though, revenue must be generated and costs controlled. Like the other tips, the “Triple Bottom Line” is more than theory, it has been proven time and time again – just look at Southwest Airlines, Staples and Wal-Mart.

Even before the Phillies became perennial winners, president David Montgomery recognized the value of relationship building. He turned an evening at the ballpark into an experience – a family experience – from the moment you pull into the parking lot and scan your own ticket until the final out.  Those relationships turned into revenue, the revenue into profits and, with Pat Gillick, Ruben Amaro and Charlie Manual’s strategies and tactics, the Phillies have won their fourth straight division title.

Former Rowan University marketing director Ed Ziegler says, “Reaching the desired outcome – is a process.” He says, “By educating your publics, you give them the knowledge needed to develop the proper attitude that leads to the behavioral outcome you want. When the organization’s output equals the outcome, synergy is achieved.”

However, none of these tips and advice mean a thing if the following principle isn’t followed. It comes from Melissa Matthews, Rowan class of ’01 and Woman’s Day beauty editor. She said it in the October 2011 issue in response to “What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?”

Said Melissa: “Make sure everything you do is open, honest, thorough and valid. I follow this advice from my college mentor, Professor Larry Litwin. It helps me make decisions, especially when evaluating beauty products.”

M. Larry Litwin, APR, Fellow PRSA, is an established strategic advisor, teacher, mentor, role model and ethicist, and an award-winning public relations counselor and broadcast journalist.