Tuesday, May 03, 2005

may news & info

"Nothing is as easy to make as a promise this winter to do something next summer; this is how commencement speakers are caught."
— Sydney J. Harris

While judging student commencement speeches for Boston University some years ago, my contribution was preventing a crowd disaster. One speech began with lists of the world's ills, prefaced at key intervals by "Breathe deep the gathering gloom!" Faculty members on the panel rejected it because it was depressing, but I had a more practical issue: Thousands of giddy graduates would be yelling "Watch lights fade in every room!" -- the next line in the Moody Blues song Nights in White Satin -- every time that line came forth. If someone at your organization is delivering a commencement speech, we hope it's completed by now, and missing any dangerous lyrics. Next time, when your speaker is selected -- a process that typically happens in September or October -- call us about writing the speech ahead of time, so you won't get caught in May. And for a laugh, click here to read Jon Stewart's recent commencement speech at the College of William & Mary. His great start: "Thank you Mr. President, I had forgotten how crushingly dull these ceremonies are. Thank you."

May 10 is a day of great starts in history: Hoover became FBI head in 1924, Churchill became British prime minister in 1940, 'Rock Around the Clock' was released in 1954, and Nelson Mandela became South Africa's first black president in 1994...and last year, don't get caught was launched to somewhat less fanfare. In this first year, we've achieved something every independent business dreams about: all our business comes from colleagues and their referrals. We'll keep the celebration low key this year, but want our clients and friends to know how very much we value their support and referrals. To find out what happened on your birthday or anniversary, go to www.historychannel.com and use the search engine under "This Day in History."

Our favorite online news source has long been the Associated Press, where you can see tomorrow's news today. Updated every hour or so, it features some of the very best journalism. Choose a local link into the system at the AP main page, and don't forget to look to the menu at left, where you can see indepth links to national, international, health/science, sports and entertainment feeds on the wire. Communicators and writers should check out the lesser-known but essential AP media news page, for updates on personnel changes at key media outlets, winners of the latest journalism awards, and industry issues.

A science writing job opportunity is available at the Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit. Check it and other openings out here, urges Bill Blaul, vice president for institutional relations at the center. We heard about this while speaking at the NACCDO-PAN Conference in Chicago last month, convened for public affairs and development officers at cancer centers nationwide. Click on "conference highlights" in the list of links at right to see my slides and handouts from that conference.

For all those who've remarked on our corporate image, the first anniversary of don't get caught lets us honor the people who made it possible. Our corporate image is the product of MSK Partners (www.mskpartners.com), which designed our stationery and business card. Sara Delgado of Gado Graphics (www.gadographics.com) expanded that to Web-size, designing our site and blog from front to back. Be sure to check out Sara's fine art, as well as her graphic skills, on her website. A contest for you: Where did the name don't get caught come from? Email us at info@dontgetcaught.biz and we'll publish the best guesses -- and the real answer -- next time.

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