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By on Dec 1, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Bill De Blasio’s attempt to ban the horse-carriage industry in New York surprises no one. During his 2013 campaign, De Blasio loudly voiced his opinion of the industry by promising to ban horses on the street within his first week in office. For this promise, he gained the support of animal rights advocates, while angering the owners of 270 horses in the industry. No Support from New Yorkers New Yorkers do not approve of the move, either. According to George Miranda, “New Yorkers… made it clear that they stand behind the carriage drivers and want this iconic institution to stay.” Miranda holds the position of President of Teamsters, which is the union representing the workers of the horse carriage industry. Strong Opposition from the Council De Blasio also faces disapproval from fellow colleagues, which stirred up a good deal of bad press. The most notable opposition comes from Brooklyn Councilman Rafael Espinal who stated that, “My top priority is making sure the industry stays strong… I wouldn’t support a deal that the people who operate the industry do not support.” Councilman Eric Ulrich also opposes De Blasio’s ban. In an interview with POLITICO New York, the Republican from Queens stressed the importance of a deal which represents a fair compromise between De Blasio and the union. Ulrich stated that, “This is a collective bargaining issue… The administration needs to work with the union to make sure that all of the issues that the drivers have raised are addressed.” A Bid for a Second Term? In fact, many now speculate that De Blasio’s push for the ban represents a last ditch PR effort to gain the support of voters for another term.  According to the NY Post, “Sixty percent of New Yorkers say they see more homeless people around. And 48 percent of New Yorkers don’t want De Blasio to have a second term. So what does the mayor do? He races back into the arms of the special interests who helped get him elected… re-embracing the nuts who want to ban the Central Park carriage horses.” Is Mercury PR the Game Changer De Blasio Needs? NYCLASS is the primary “nut” the NY post refers to. The group backed De Blasio during his 2013 campaign, and recently hired PR firm, Mercury Public Affairs, to assist with lobbying the City Council...

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Weird Reading Skills That Will Make You a Better Writer

Weird Reading Skills That Will Make You a Better Writer

By on Sep 22, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Being a good writer goes hand in hand with being a good reader. In fact, one of the easiest ways to improve your writing skills is to work to improve your reading skills. Great writers read every day from a variety of sources, but there are some specific reading skills that go a long ways towards making you a better writer. Check out some of these weird reading skills that will make you a better writer and try some of them out for yourself.   Read things you had never considered reading. Try a new genre or a topic that you have never explored before. Look up a new website or blog with. However you go about it, find something that you wouldn’t normally read and give it a try. Reading in this way expands your horizons and opens your mind to different ways of writing. You will learn new vocabulary and styles of writing that will instantly make you a better writer. Skim and skip sections while you read. This is extremely hard for some people because they want to make sure that they are getting every little scrap of information. Studies have shown, however, that skimming can be good for the brain since it helps you to weed out the information that is not relevant. This allows you to retain and remember more. The Internet has made skimming and skipping around a more common form of reading since people have to wade through so much information. This method of reading helps you to pick out the important pieces, and this can help your writing to become more clear and concise. If you are reading something and it just isn’t interesting, then quit. Quitting gets a bad rap, but knowing when to throw in the towel is actually a very important lesson for reading and for life. When something just isn’t grabbing your attention as a reader, then do not waste your precious time on it. As a writer, think about what you have quit reading. What was it that made you quit? Make a list of these factors and make sure to avoid them in your own writing. Take notes as you read, or make notations within the...

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Become a More Versatile Writer by Changing Your Voice

Become a More Versatile Writer by Changing Your Voice

By on Sep 20, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Every writer has a distinct voice, a style that is uniquely their own. Very successful writers are able to change this voice in response to different writing situations. This means that they are able to write more and gain more followers. Changing your writing voice is by no means simple, but it makes it possible for you to write in different genres or about different content that will make you a much more versatile writer. Try some of these strategies for changing your writing voice. First of all, you cannot change your writing voice or style if you do not know what it is. Take some time to discover the distinct style of your writing. Do you prefer long or short sentences? Do you use a lot of conjunctions? Do you like to use lots of adjectives to describe different things, or do you like to make comparisons with metaphors and similes? These are all questions that you can ask to determine your personal style of writing.     Read a lot in the style that you are trying to adopt or mimic. One of the best ways to become familiar with a new voice is to completely immerse yourself into that style. For example, if you are trying to write a news piece, then it is a good idea to read many articles in that style before beginning. If you are trying to write something comedic or satirical, then find some examples to read first. Pay attention to your language. Although the Internet makes it possible to share articles across the globe, there is still a distinct difference in language between different regions that speak the same language. British English is very different from American English. Knowing which parts of your language are regional can help you to make simple changes that will change your voice and make you seem like a whole new writer. Understand the current slang. Although most formal writing prohibits using slang, it is useful if you are planning a more casual piece. In addition, this is another aspect of language that is very easy to change for different situations. Throwing in a few slang terms can completely change your voice as well as the style...

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How to Get More Readers

How to Get More Readers

By on Sep 18, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

No writer can be successful without readers, but it seems like getting people to read your work is nearly impossible. The hardest part is getting started and establishing yourself as a writer. Once you have a few readers, the word will begin to spread, but getting those first few readers hooked can be quite the challenge. Knowing how to get more readers is essential for any writer looking for success.  Give your readers a reason to pay attention. The human brain has to focus on specific information in order to absorb and understand that information, so it is important that you get right to the point and tell readers why they should sit up and pay attention to your writing. Not only will this entice readers to continue reading to the very end, but it also increases the chance that any readers will recommend your writing to someone else. In this way, your readership will grow. Make your writing personal. Readers want to be able to connect to what they are reading. When you make your writing personal, you make it important. Readers know that it means something to you and that it should mean something to them also. In addition, writing that is personal has more emotion, and this helps to grab attention. More attention means more readers. Speak the language of your audience. Don’t try to write in a way that no one can understand. Communicate your ideas simply and clearly so that your audience knows exactly what you are trying to say. Do some research and use terms that resonate with your chosen audience. Remember that if your audience feels your writing on a personal level, they will continue to read and share with others. Use social media to your advantage. Never before have writers been able to reach out to so many different people. Social media makes this possible, so make sure that you are using it. Social media can give you an idea of the types of topics people are interested in reading about so that you can tailor your writing. It also makes it easier for your writing to be shared. Because sharing is so easy, you will gain wider readership very quickly....

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Worst Writing Mistakes Ever

Worst Writing Mistakes Ever

By on Sep 17, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Losing readers is devastating, and one of the fastest ways to turn readers away is to make a writing mistake. Writing mistakes often make your words and ideas difficult to understand. Readers don’t want to have to puzzle through a bunch of errors in order to get to the point. Avoid the worst writing mistakes ever in order to keep your readers coming back for more.  One of the most common writing mistakes is being too wordy. Readers do not want to wade through a wall of text. They want to get to the point quickly and clearly. Speak plainly and avoid long, complex sentences if you want to hold on to your readership. Some writers have very weak beginnings to their articles, and this can instantly cause readers to look somewhere else. A great hook is an absolute necessity for capturing someone’s attention and keeping them engaged enough to read the entire thing. If you are able to manage a strong beginning that will intrigue your readers, then chances are the remainder of your writing will continue to be engaging. Never rely on Spell check. With the advent of the digital age, many writers have come to depend on this handy little computer perk to make sure that their writing is free of embarrassing basic spelling and grammatical errors. Unfortunately, Spell check is not totally reliable. Many words in the English language sound the same but are spelled differently. It is very easy, for example, to write “their” when you mean “there.” Spell check cannot catch these types of errors because the words are technically still spelled correctly. In the end, nothing can replace good old proofreading. Also avoid relying on the online Thesaurus. While it is a good idea to vary your language, using a Thesaurus can often produce words that your readers do not understand. If your readers can’t understand what you are trying to say, then they will go elsewhere for information. In addition, sometimes words that the Thesaurus says are synonyms don’t necessarily mean exactly the same thing. You can very easily end up using a word that changes your meaning or makes your sentence awkward and confusing. When you were first learning punctuation,...

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The DiGiorno Disaster: Why Companies Are Careless on Twitter

The DiGiorno Disaster: Why Companies Are Careless on Twitter

By on Sep 16, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

By Elena Novak Hashtag activism has been a rising phenomenon, thanks to campaigns like #YesAllWomen in response to the Isla Vista killings and #IfTheyGunnedMeDown following Ferguson. The most recent campaign involves the stories of domestic violence victims using the hashtags #WhyIStayed or #WhyILeft and surfaced after Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice knocked his wife unconscious in an elevator.  But DiGiorno Pizza clearly missed the memo and jumped on the trend stating, “WhyIStayed You had pizza.” Apologies immediately went out as the account user explained they “did not read what the hashtag was about before posting.” Gaffes like this are not uncommon. Sometimes a careless employee mistakes the company account for their personal account. Sometimes a user makes a poor judgment call. In most cases, someone’s just not paying enough attention. But companies can’t afford to not pay attention when it comes to Twitter and its over 200 million users. You can delete a reckless tweet seconds after it’s posted, but it’s likely that someone, somewhere took a screenshot. It’s a PR disaster. There’s really no surefire way to prevent such incidents from happening except to stress the nearly irreparable damage that can be done to a company’s brand. But as with any PR disaster, the focus should not on the incident itself, but on the aftermath. The true test of a company is how it handles a misstep. A swift and sincere apology goes a long way, but it is often not enough. DiGiorno sent out several apology tweets to diffuse the angry barrage coming in from the public. However, humor and charity are two of the best ways to recover from a PR faux pas. In 2011, two companies worked together to accomplish both. A Red Cross staffer accidentally tweeted, “Ryan found two more 4 bottle packs of Dogfish Head’s Midas Touch beer… when we drink we do it right #gettngslizzerd.” The inappropriate tweet prompted an apology from the staffer, and the company responded with a brilliantly humorous follow-up: “We’ve deleted the rogue tweet but rest assured the Red Cross is sober and we’ve confiscated the keys.” The company’s brand was further restored when Dogfish Head started a social media fundraising campaign using the hashtag #gettngslizzerd. The...

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