Mark Grimm


Cutting Edge Twitter Insights for PR & Politics

“Twitter is the new AP news wire.” — Andrew Mangini

That conclusion from a savvy communications director for a NY State Senator speaks volumes on how important Twitter has become for reaching and interacting with media.

Mangini (second from left) took part in a PRSA panel on social media and politics moderated by a TV reporter, YNN’s Nick Reisman (far left).







Zack Hutchins
(second from right), a New Media Director runs a Senate Majority Twitter account on what’s happening in the state legislature. He said it picked up 4,000 Twitter followers in one day at the height of the same sex marriage debate in the legislature. We literally were getting “hundreds of tweets per second,” Hutchins said. He advised the way to get Twitter followers was “to provide a service you can’t get anywhere else.”

All emphasized mistakes made on Twitter are hard to retract because simply deleting a post doesn’t remove it from where it has been re-tweeted to.  Andrew Gregory, responsible for the Unshackle NY Twitter account, highlighted the importance of good proofreading, “You should measure twice and cut once,” and play close attention to message discipline.

Repetition is needed, too, given the volume involved in the Twitter universe. “Don’t be afraid to tweet the same thing over the course of the day,” said Hutchins.

Reisman said he gets between 400-500 emails a day and relies on Twitter to keep up to date. “You have to grab my attention.”

As for managing the volume of social media, Mangini says “take advantage of Twitter lists.” Hutchins recommends using to narrow in on the subjects and people that interests you most.

The writer is a communications and political consultant and former TV anchor.





Newsweek Going All Digital: Adapt or Perish.

After nearly 80 years of print operations, Newsweek will print its last magazine on December 31. It will provide all its content digitally after that.

Adapt or perish.

Many print operations have not moved quickly enough to embrace the new reality. Distribution costs (huge rolls of newsprint, delivery trucks, print operators and printing presses) are a heavy drag on the bottom line forcing layoffs even among those who hold the keys to the industry’s future — the good storytellers.

Shedding distribution costs is an opportunity. Yes, it will sadly mean lost jobs and pain for those in distribution. But candle makers endured the same fate when light bulbs arrived. Too many print publishers insist that people want their papers in their hands and there will always be a need for that. Well, people loved riding their horses but when automobiles arrived, they got over it.

A Pew Research Center study indicates just 23% of adult Americans will read a print newspaper today, down from 47% in 2000. For magazines, it’s 18%, compared to 26% in 2000. Meanwhile, Newsweek states its online sister publication, The Daily Beast, attracts more than 15 million unique visitors a month, a 70 percent jump in the past year alone.

The handwriting is not only on the wall, it’s in BOLD CAPS. In a statement, Newsweek said, “we have reached a tipping point at which we can most efficiently and effectively reach our readers in all-digital format.”

The good news is the consumption of information has exploded due to the Internet and social media. Those who produce good content — concise, compelling stories that interests people — will own the 21st century. Since anyone on Facebook is in the publishing business, the competition is fierce. Attention is a commodity and the print industry’s focus should be on always improving content, not on clinging to dinosaurs.

Adapt or perish.

The writer, a small business owner, is a former TV news journalist and current adjunct media professor at the College of St. Rose.

Biden-Ryan: Bar Brawler vs. Math Professor

Emotion and intellect tangled in the VP debate and partisans from both sides are convinced their guy won.

On the “Who won?” question, a CNN poll of debate watchers gave Congressman Paul Ryan a slight 48-44 edge over Vice President Joe Biden.

Democrats, frustrated their presidential nominee didn’t take the fight to Mitt Romney in last week’s debate, got plenty of red meat from the pugnacious Biden. He played mostly offense in this one, putting Ryan on the defensive.

Biden was plain spoken and had some effective emotional appeals to voters, particularly on the 47% issue, insisting his “mom and dad” were the 47%. Biden’s major flaw: there is a fine line between feisty and obnoxious and he crossed it. It seemed like he was in an argument at the corner bar. His frequent odd smiles when Ryan was talking were dismissive and his constant interruptions were more rude than being tough.

Ryan showed a strong intellect and had an impressive command of the issues, not an easy task for a challenger against a sitting vice president. But too often he talked over people’s heads with endless math or obscure Mid-East geography. Voters don’t believe a string of numbers is the answer to every problem. He needed to connect more emotionally, especially in light of Biden’s “Joe Six Pack” persona.

Biden energized the ticket’s base voters who were demoralized a bit after the presidential debate. But his over-the-top behavior cost him what may otherwise have been a victory. Ryan proved he really knows his stuff but needs to be less of a policy robot.

The effect on the presidential race — very little. The A Team returns next week.

The writer is a speaking coach, message strategist, and former elected official. More at

What Would You Put On Your Gravestone? That’s Your Brand.

What people think of you is your brand. Do you know what yours is? Are you sure?

Your “brand,” your reputation, needs to be carefully cultivated, especially considering your livelihood may depend on it. Prominent career counselor Dr. Tom Denham asks individuals to write down what they think should go on their own tombstone. This clever idea forces the introspection needed to confront fundamental questions that require clear answers: What are the things you value most and how does your life and work reflect those values?

Achieving such clarity is not a simple task. Simplicity is not simple. We must come to grips with what truly motivates us and also be aware of what others think. Brands are developed one statement or act at a time over hundreds of such statements and actions.

Time for each of us to produce the bottom line. I’ll go first. Here’s what I’d put on my gravestone:

He put family first
Helped others create a better life
Fought for justice
Had zest for life
(learn more at

OK, maybe the last line was a joke. But the rest is no laughing matter. What would you put on your gravestone? Try it today and ask others what they would write about you on your gravestone.

Mark Grimm is a clarity expert. If you need help in formulating any business message, be sure to contact him.