Wednesday, July 31

Digital Advertising Will Become An Added-Value Function

If you want to succeed in advertising and marketing, the first best practice to learn is how to stop following leaders and learn to leap frog over them. Right. Innovation is the fundamental ingredient to market disruption, especially for marketers who track industry trends. Their play books look different.

Right now, what some of these marketers and advertisers are telling me is that added-value content will always have a place but developing added-value functions can turn a customer's head. Why? These marketers know that it pays to be so good they can't ignore you (Steve Martin) instead of paying to win someone else over (SAP) to get some attention. Don't talk about something. Do it.

Advertisers and marketers can look at three critical trends to make it happen — technological advancement, physical-virtual convergence, and marketing functionality (innovations in operations and customer ease using technology, especially what we call mobile advertising today) for inspiration. All three point to marketing and advertising models that engage people beyond a click and start to consider every aspect of the customer experience.

• One device will eclipse the "any device" concept. When Google first announced Google Glass, I was surprised by the design (and perhaps a little disappointed). What surprised me was that despite Google knowing that 90 percent of device owners switch screens to complete tasks (Google | Think Insights), it opted to make Google Glass a standalone device (although it can run on an Android) and not merely a screen extension, which would prolong the battery life, potentially increase user storage, and reduce the number of components needed.

After all, almost every design and development trend suggests that we are moving toward an era where every smart phone has the power of a personal computer, making every screen and keyboard a potential extension of that device. The only reason you might want two devices would relate to privacy.

Otherwise, one smart phone with a hard or wireless connection will seamlessly transition from the phone screen (or some other device) to a tablet, to a desktop, to a television display, to a presentation projector with the speed and efficiency of all those tools as they exist today. One of the most interesting things is the very real concept of turning an entire room into a halo suite gaming experience. Outside of gaming, this is one step away from halo suite classrooms where students and teachers are projected into physical spaces in real time, with how they appear dependent on the perspective of the person in the space.

• The dual environment concept will cease to exist. For the better part of a decade, I've been helping communication-related professionals to stop thinking about "social media" as a medium unto itself with online friends as opposed to offline friends and more like another environment, where different mediums and duplicate media can be discovered (everything from newspapers to broadcast networks to seminars and classrooms). And yet, I know that the days of this effective analogy are numbered.

When you consider that 84 percent of shoppers are using their phones in a physical store (Google | Think Insights) or that up to 85 percent of the population use devices while watching television (The Guardian), it becomes readily apparent that what used to be viewed as two environments is converging into an augmented environment. Ergo, online and offline are becoming increasingly dependent on each other, with no distinction between brick and mortar or online stores.

You can see it at work everywhere. The breakthrough of Airbnb isn't a collaborative economy as much as it organizes the physical world in order to create new opportunities. The same can be said for Uber, which organizes personal transportation in select cities around the world. And, in the near future, proximity tools will help you find the shirt you see online inside the store you're in (or vice versa), right down to the shelf. And perhaps, with membership, make visiting the cash register optional by either automatically checking you out or allowing you to check yourself out.

• Digital advertising is poised to become a functional utility. Within the next year, more marketers will begin to retool how they view mobile and digital marketing by looking beyond promotional pushes and toward a deeper understanding of digital-to-physical engagement. McDonald's is already taking the first step.

While some elements of its new Monopoly iAds campaign are clunky, others are well ahead of other marketers in that McDonald's is trying to get people in the store whereas most marketers are trying to get them to like a Facebook page. Expect McDonald's to move the ball further down the field by making an optional digital game board next year (as opposed to a downloaded game board) and offering real time mobile rewards during in-store visits.

The underlying push here is not all about promotion, but rather developing digital advertising that becomes part of an organization's operation by offering a functional benefit to the consumer. The concept will manifest in different ways. Stores could migrate inventory lists into an interactive proximity app or chains could include citywide searches; a mobile app that can tell you what needs to be serviced on your car; games, tools, and utilities that deliver value-added mobile functions as opposed to value-added content alone; and physical events that include live social coverage, enticing people to attend right now.

Another thought about the future of marketing. Everyone always likes to talk about eyeballs, but sometimes the best marketing advice for any business is much more hands on and increasingly simple.

Even the woman who cuts my hair knows it. She doesn't market herself using Twitter, but she does take advantage of technology. At the end of every session, she schedules my next appointment. The application she uses automatically sends me a reminder the day before. If I have an unexpected conflict, I can change it.

Some people might consider this good customer service. Others might consider it good marketing. And therein lies the sweet spot. When your customer service and marketing efforts become so seamless that they are virtually indistinguishable from each other, then it becomes difficult for anyone to ignore.

Wednesday, July 24

Networks Drive Discussions. People Drive Networks.

Everything you think you know about social media today will be obsolete in the next five years. This assumes you are lucky. It's equally likely that everything you know will be upended in the next six months.

This concept of temporal acceptance, perhaps more than any other, is a critical component of any discussion I lead or give about social media. There is a risk in introducing the idea, even if it is the most honest observation someone can make about social media. Most people don't like change.

Instead, most people want to hear about new technologies because the tools tend to drive most discussions. They want to know what these new tools are, how to use them, and if there are any emerging techniques that will give their organization an edge. Those kinds of discussions are useful, sure.

And yet, change has always been the driver of all communication-related fields. We all know it. Marketing, advertising, public relations, and corporate communication have always been in a constant state of change. What social media has done is move them forward at a faster pace, primarily because social media has attached itself to the rapidly accelerating pace of technological advancement as opposed to a singular technology like a radio or television set. This is a space that changes in a blink.

I don't even lump technologies together anymore. I tend to define them as tools (hardware), applications (software), and networks (platforms) with each of these overlaying sectors capable of disrupting the other. In fact, there are so many that no one person can possibly keep track of them all. There are thousands upon thousands of them; ideas that could be the next disruption force in communication.

How do you reconcile this as a communicator today? You don't necessarily have to think about tools.

When people talk about social media, they mostly get it backwards.

When I spoke with the Council Of School Board Association Communicators a few days ago, I anticipated one of the first questions asked in relation to my presentation. How do you, as a communicator, prioritize which technologies to use to reach your audience? They could answer the question themselves. It was easy.

I handed out sticky notes and asked the attendees to write down two of their favorite social media networks, the ones where they spent the most time. Then, while I shared my background, one of the attendees volunteered to sort and stick their responses to the wall in clusters.

There wasn't any surprise, Facebook and Twitter were the most popular. Pinterest was a distant third, but still a noticeably pronounced cluster compared to the rest. There were several dozen others selected by one or two people, ranging from Tumblr and Goodreads to intranets and association forums.

"There is the answer," I said, pointing to the wall. "If I wanted to communicate to this group, then I would prioritize my communication presence much in the same way. Social media is driven by people, not technologies."

Assuming I already had a space to introduce new content and make announcements (blog, website, etc.), my social network assessment priorities would begin with Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest (but not necessarily exclusively). As long as I had a plan and the right assets for each priority network, these are the ones I would tap first (e.g., if I did not have enough visual content, Pinterest would not work).

After establishing planned communication on these networks, I would learn more about the other networks on the radar, even if only one or two people selected them. Each one would be considered based upon their ability to help me effectively communicate about common objectives that the organization and specific audiences share.

Tumblr might make an excellent place for a school board association to reach students. Goodreads might be an excellent network to develop a list of books reviewed by teachers and administrators. A network like Meetup could effectively be used by administrators or unions. There are many more examples in the presentation, specific to school board associations.

Even if only a few members of an audience are already members of these niche networks, the organization may be able attract more people over time. People will mostly be willing to join any network where an organization they know or trust has developed particularly strong assets.

For example, many grandparents joined Facebook not because they liked it but because they wanted to see pictures of their grandchildren. Most people join Kickstarter and other niche networks for the same reason. They are not attracted to the platform as much as the content someone has place there (like a crowd-funding campaign).

The same holds true for all new networks and platforms that are introduced over time. Communication professionals have to assess each potential network on how effectively it can communicate common objectives. Popularity can also be assessed, but mostly as it only relates to sustainability. Networks have to reach some critical mass to survive. Not all of them do.

Building social media into communication plans and measurement. 

Once communicators appreciate that social media does not exist in a vacuum, it becomes significantly more manageable. Rather than break out the entirety of social media into a separate section within a communication plan, each social media asset becomes a contact point along with any traditional communication.

In other words, if a school board association wanted to work with school administrators to establish a stronger academic foundation, social media tools like LinkedIn or Meetup would be included alongside any newsletters or grassroots outreach. Doing so also makes measurement much more effective. Using the principles behind Return On Communication, the measure of success would be based on successfully changing the academic foundation (with a secondary objective that it improves student performance).

Wednesday, July 17

How A Little Love For Learning Can Jumpstart A Reader

Summer can be a mixed blessing for most children. While it gives them a little more freedom to play, explore extracurricular activities, and enjoy more free time, it also separates them from their natural love of learning.

The break leaves many of them at a loss after the summer, which is why most teachers set their startup lessons to be either refreshers or benchmarks. They want to know what these children retain over the summer.

Theoretically it works, unless these the children were already slipping in proficiency. Many children are. My daughter is among them.

Despite private school, she ended first grade with an F reading letter level on an A-Z scale, which represents an early reader at the start of first grade (not the end). She landed somewhere in the middle of her peers, which was better than my son did at that age in public school (and he had outperformed most other students there). But it really wasn't good enough.

If we assume that most children drop two reading letters over the summer — because they gravitate to books below their levels, if at at all — then we might also assume students like my daughter would automatically face challenges in second grade. Ergo, even if her new teacher started teaching the class at an H reading level, my daughter would have been critically behind as a student reading at a D level.

You can see the potential problem here, especially because many parents are unfamiliar with the various reading level benchmarks. They simply see their children reading and smile, thinking it's good enough. It's not. My daughter would have been lost after the first few weeks of school.

How parents can develop an accelerated reading program for young students.

Awareness is always the first step. Take some time to become aware of reading level benchmarks and find out where your child finished at the end of the school year. It doesn't matter which benchmarks the school uses — letter, numeric, or Lexille (a.k.a. Lexi). All benchmarks correspond to a grade level.

Some parents just don't know. While I knew my daughter's level this year, we never knew my son's reading level when he was that age. If you don't know, don't panic. Look up the books he or she has read or looked at since the end of the school year. A search with the book title and words "reading level" will usually produce a landing page that corresponds to one or all benchmarks.

Discover books to move them forward. Assume that the books are at their reading level (or a little less) because children (like adults) tend to gravitate toward what they can read easily and not what will improve their reading. Have them read whatever is on hand (or that they have been reading) out loud to demonstrate their strength at that level. You'll immediately get a sense of their proficiency.

Depending on how well the student reads, choose books that are at their level (if they are struggling) and slightly higher. Make sure you double check the approximate level too as all book publishers use different measurements. For example, Penguin Level 2 books are generally first grade books; some "I Can Read" Level 2 books are second grade books; and some Scholastic Level 3 books are second grade books.

Encourage kids to read the books out loud. It doesn't take much time. Between 15 minutes and one half hour of reading time every day is enough to propel them forward. Just remember that from their perspective, natural story breaks make more sense than random page counts or hard time quotas. They'll enjoy reading to a preset goal.

It's also best for parents to pick the books. Sure, children can provide input, but parents need to be aware that young readers pick books based on topics and characters they know. From experience, these better known characters tend to have clunkier writing and thinner story lines. Too many weak stories will cause young readers to become discouraged. So try to pick books with strong stories while paying attention to the language lessons.

Learning words by sight is a tiered process. Any time a student comes across a word that he or she doesn't know, block out everything except the first syllable (or block out everything except the root word) with your fingers. Most of the time, doing so will give them just enough confidence to get it right. And if they struggle, explain any rules that might help: e.g., sometimes "gh" sounds like "f" and sometimes it's silent.

The point is that you always want to help them solve a problem as opposed to reading the words for them (and letting them parrot you). Only when all else fails do you read the word and tell how why they missed it. Then ask them to reread the sentence and pay attention to whether they've mastered the word on the next occurrence. If they haven't, add it to an index card.

Flash card drills help create intangible rewards. Every morning after breakfast and/or after lunch or dinner, my daughter and I now work through flash cards that are mostly made up of missed words. There are only about eight or ten cards to go through one time. (It's important to only go through the pile one time per session to ensure long-term retention.) The only other words I include are instructional words; words that may appear in second grade instructions like "complete," "correct," "length," etc.

If my daughter gets it right with no assistance, we put a mark on the card. When she gets five marks on the card, she keeps the card and rips it up. As she rips these cards up, new ones are added so there are always plenty of cards at various stages of completion.

She thinks of it as an achievement reward and each ripped up card is celebrated. And if she misses a flashcard word in a story, I give her a one-time prompt that she already ripped the word up and we don't want to add it back. She immediately remembers. As an aside, never offer candy or monetary awards because you'll risk teaching them to love the reward and not a love for learning — which I believe is the ultimate goal of any teacher.

When my daughter returns to school this year, she will be well beyond her peers. 

If you read through these accelerated reading steps, then you'll likely be left with one question. Does it work? Within four weeks, my daughter moved from F to K on an A-Z scale. At this pace, she might reach Q by the end of the summer. To put that into perspective, Q is the letter for a fourth grade reader.

A few days ago, I spoke to a group of educators about communication (and I'll be sharing the deck next week). It was during my presentation that I shared one of my observations about education: I have never met a kindergartener who wasn't enthusiastic about school. So if we want to solve the problems with education, then we have to look at what happens between kindergarten and the fourth grade.

I believe reading proficiency is one of the biggest things that happens or, perhaps, doesn't happen. Too many children have not met the reading level required for their grade level. Their parents don't know it.

At yet, reading is the core requirement for every other subject (including math, with its abundant word problems). It seems to me the problem is apparent. Unless the material is easy to read and the problem easily understood, how can they ever hope to understand it or solve it, let alone enjoy it? Exactly.

Literacy is the key to every other subject, along with a love of learning. It needs a little more attention. It needs a little more awareness. It needs more advocates. So how are you spending your summer?

Wednesday, July 10

Five Monkey Wrenches For The Future Of Public Relations

Public relations is in crisis and it is too drunk on marginal successes to see it. This isn't a criticism. It's a fact, part of an objective analysis conducted every few months to determine what students need to glean from my class, Writing For Public Relations, at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

More than any other year, this year has marked the most profound transformation and most of it isn't necessarily for the better. The entire industry seems distracted, attempting to decipher the same challenges that almost everyone in communication has to reconcile — with social media damaging a good chunk of marketing and advertising, stock photography damaging photographers, templates damaging graphic designers, and crowd-sourced content damaging commercial writers. It's the same all over.

The creative and commercial arts are continually being crushed under the weight of becoming cut rate commodities. Maybe Keen was partly right. The argument that social media belongs to the young is the same argument that makes social media a non-profession. And knowing that alone makes it all the more perplexing why public relations professionals continue to fight for ownership of everything.

The five hot topics for public relations that are monkey wrenches in disguise. 

Social Media. Public relations professionals keep making the case they deserve to own social media and maybe they already do in some circles. There aren't many firms left that shy away from listing it as a viable service. Some firms even secretly loathe it, but list it and assign the task to interns at cut rates.

The reason some practitioners said they deserve social is based on claims that they knew more about a peculiar combination of writing content, pop culture, and crisis management (which really means the most benign five-step crisis communication process). But what many of them deliver is paramount to publicity, with the measurement being publicity. That's not public relations. It's marketing.

And where that creates a quandary for public relations professionals in the future is that their field is being demoted from strategic thinking into commoditized task work that pays a lower rate. Ergo, public relations might "win" social media, but the cost won't be worth the expense as practitioners become online customer service representatives over the long term.

Content Management. Although not much different from social media, content marketing is the new buzz moniker for social media. It places more weight on writing and/or producing content (while avoiding old-school terminology like "blogs"), e.g., distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined target audience with the objective of driving (ideally profitable action) customer action.

Public relations wants to own content marketing for the same reasons they want to own social media. They believe that content marketing plays to the strengths of public relations because brand content produced by public relations firms understands "the news agenda as opposed to a direct sales hook."

But all too often, what is happening in the hands of public relations is that exposure becomes the only measurement and it causes companies to burn up money "marketing content" as opposed to the products they make or the services they offer. Expect it to get worse as everyone demands eyeballs.

Journalism Devolution. One of the primary drivers of public relations to become more like corporate-sponsored media outlets is the influx of journalists into public relations. Many of them make the move for two reasons: they want to make more money than they can as journalists or they were laid off by newspapers. 

At the same time, the remaining news outlets continue to struggle too. In order to capture eyeballs, they are increasingly interested in reporting what's short and popular as opposed to the old school objective "news agenda." The value of a reporter isn't reporting relevance anymore; it's more about online eyeballs too.

Fewer reporters means that public relations' previous ownership of "media relations" has taken a hit as more and more companies would rather have a viral video on YouTube than a story in the New York Times. And now the challenge public relations is trying to take on is that the same people who gave us the dry-as-toast or marketing-fluff-and-puff press releases want us to believe they write better.

Search Engine Optimization. When Forbes broke the article that called public relations the new search engine optimization, the same story appeared in an alternative universe but with a different headline all together. It declared that public relations had committed online suicide.

Instead of forging relationships with various publics to meet mutual goals and establish an unparalleled level of trust, the new public relations professional tool box contains an arsenal of tidbits like "how to come up with better link bait" and "how to crowdsource for content when all your ideas suck."

While there is nothing wrong with knowing the tactics, it's still hard to believe that a profession so fearful of being marginalized would jump on the bandwagon and marginalize themselves. Ergo, the last person invited to sit at the executive table is the one who will drone on and on about "keywords."

Measurement Forever. Public relations is closing on a 100-year history since adopting a new name for a professional that grew out of propaganda and public relations measurement is still all over the map. Years ago, I made the case that measurement was simply a matter of measuring the outcome to the intent but too many returned to the ever popular (and easily gamed) measurement of exposure.

Some will put a price tag on it. Some will count on klout. And some will make up their own formula, with various degrees of including outcomes as a viable measurement. In more cases, public relations is now adopting the cheapest direct marketing measurements as there own while claiming they are light years ahead of marketing.

Look, most of us know that measurement will never be an exact science unless everybody agrees to assign values to intangible measures. Nobody readily agrees on the monetary value of things like positive public sentiment, brand loyalty, or varied degrees of trust and reputation, etc. And they never will because those valuations are dependent on the individual organization. It's about that simple.

What is public relations anymore, anyway?

When you take a long, hard look at what are top-of-mind issues for pubic relations today, most of it doesn't resemble public relations at all. Instead, a good amount of it smacks of the worst elements of digital marketing, direct response, and social media.

To punctuate the point, consider the definition of public relations as adopted during the First World Assembly of Public Relations Associations and the First World Forum of Public Relations in 1978.

Public relations is the art and science of analyzing trends, predicting their consequences, counseling organization leaders, and implementing planned programs of action which will serve both the organization’s and the public interest.

Compare it to a new unwritten definition that seems to be permeating the field today. When attempting to infuse those five monkey wrenches into the industry, we're left with something that feels lacking.

Public relations is the art and science of tracking pop culture and capitalizing on that data by writing marginalized link bait that will be seen by as many eyes as possible to boost site traffic where organizations can capture email addresses in order to spam the shit of those people while nurturing an individual reputation as a professional in order to boost klout scores and get perks until the day you write a business card book bought by colleagues who owe you for buying their business card books.

While there is nothing wrong with this, I suppose, one might wonder if the current changes sweeping the field are more akin to regression as opposed to evolution. How about you? Do you feel comfortable with the direction of public relations? Or maybe someone can come up with a more exact definition.

Wednesday, July 3

They Can Have Deen, Snowden, And Obama. I Prefer Freedom.

Retro Quarter
Independence Day in the United States commemorates the adoption of the Declaration Of Independence on July 4, 1776, when a handful of men and women announced their sovereignty as a nation. My favorite celebration to date was 1976. It's hard to beat the United States Bicentennial.

In the city of my youth (Milwaukee), celebrations were planned at every local park. Suspenders and Dixieland hats with a red, white and blue sash were optional. Ice cream came in plastic cups to be eaten with wooden spoons, sold by men on big three-wheel bicycles. The smell of grilled sausages and bratwursts lingered in the air. And it would remain that way until nightfall, when the sky would erupt with fireworks.

But there was something more than all that, the big bands, long parades, and holding tightly to quarters emblazoned with patriots. It might have felt like more because the price of freedom was still fresh in our minds as people were fighting for peace at home or for the nation halfway around the world. It all took a toll.

The country had some challenges ahead, but also felt young and unweathered. 

Two hundred years didn't seem like such a long time. As a country, we had barely finished crawling. If you asked anyone back then whether they would fight the American Revolution all over again, no had to wonder where a majority might fall. The spirit of the Declaration Of Independence was intact.

Our country still counted freedom and liberty among our greatest virtues. We all saw it as the lifeblood of everything — the probability that with education or opportunity or persistence, we could either land a job after graduation or start a computer company out of a garage, which someone incidentally did in 1976. Sometimes it was hard work to make it happen, but mostly the only people in our way was us.

Less than four decades later, it isn't so clear cut anymore. For all the virtues of a majority rule that has encroached on our fragile representative government, we adopted a notion that freedom is as simple as a choice. But freedom isn't a choice. It's about having choices. We haven't been making great ones.

Scale Weights by Tomasz Sienicki, adapted
The reason some of them aren't so great is simple enough. We're continually trading away freedom for security without appreciating the economics of it. Unlike supply and demand, the scales of freedom are stacked. It's the only thing in the world that is cheap to sell and expensive to buy. We've sold away too much of it, often times for promises that will never be delivered (and sometimes for something worse).

More than that, it seems the United States has grown too accustomed to the notion that we are somehow rotten as a people. And as a result, we must somehow feel forever in debt to this national guilt. The terms of payment are clear. Every year, we're asked to give a little more of our freedom and pay a little more for the dwindling amount of freedom that remains. The irony is that government administers the demand and collection of debt, even though it and not the people are responsible.

The quality of the choices we make today will dictate the quantity of choices we make tomorrow. 

A few people who have read this space for as long as I've been writing it recently asked me why I haven't covered the usual communication suspects that have surfaced in the news. Some of them figured it was related to my recovery, but that's not it. It's about my heart.

While my head still sees communication challenges and how this or that needs to be handled, my heart isn't into taking on the ugliness that holds our country hostage to guilt. There are better topics than this:

Deen. Her ignorance is more deserving of our pity than punishment. Worse, by continually reinforcing that various segments of our country have ties to racism is counterproductive as it casts all Americans with European heritage as racists and all Americans with an African heritage as victims. While it's convenient to think so in this fog of political guilt, 5 percent of the men who gave their lives at Bunker Hill were African-Americans. They were heroes not victims.

It seems to me if there is any debt to be paid on July 4, it ought to paid by honoring the thousands of African Americans who fought not alongside patriots but as patriots during the American Revolution. We might even start with Crispus Attucks, a hero of the Boston Massacre. Americans didn't care that Attucks was African American when he was shot. They only cared he was a colonist like them.

Burn
Snowden. His celebrity is the least important part of the story. Although it amazes me to some degree that political factions on the right and left can find common ground on what is being cast as a national security issue, the real story is the extent of arbitrary searches, seizures and the collection of data by the government. Both sides whittled away at the Fourth Amendment for more than 10 years.

While some Americans feel additional security is warranted, the cost is too high in terms of freedom and fiscal expense. It might be argued that short-term measures were reasonable during a state of war, but it also seems infinitely suspicious that any regime would call for a perpetual state of war readiness to justify a permanent invasion of privacy. The greater threat to public safety is that for every dollar the federal government collects to snoop, we have one less dollar for local public safety like firefighters.

Obama. Democracy voted to sequester national health care based on a "free" soundbite. George Washington once said that if freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we would be led like sheep to the slaughter. There is a similar fate for those who vote without making comprehension compulsory. As a nation of news snackers who prefer affirmation and popularity over objectivity and complexity, we don't always understand the depth of the issues we form opinions about.

People pick their sides. So writing about Obamacare spin on both sides seems futile to me, especially when more important topics are missed: what can we do to stop killing bees, why are genetically modified foods becoming more prevalent (avoid them), and how to fix the primary care physician shortage. Right. It's much easier to discuss guilt over soda size than topics that affect us.

Have fun in the name of freedom. And please change the subject. 

In 1976, the country wasn't perfect but what we wanted seemed pretty simple. We wanted a little elbow room to enjoy our definition of happiness and one day a year to appreciate the 2.5 million people (less 10-20 percent loyalists) who put their lives on the line for freedom (and everyone else afterward).

Many of our children may want something like that someday too. With the cost of education eclipsing the cost of a starting a small business, it's anybody's guess if they will. As for me, I'd rather think about heroes and how to help them — patriots (of every race), firefighters, doctors, and honey bees — than the topics served up by social and traditional media. Maybe you would like to help me change the subject too. The press can have Deen, Snowden and Obama. Good night and good luck. Have fun and be safe.
 

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