Grace Lavigne

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    • Member Type(s): Content Publisher
      Communications Professional
      Media - Print Journalist
      Media - Web-only/Blogger
      Media - Other
    • Title:Associate Web Editor
    • Organization:The Journal of Commerce
    • Area of Expertise:Writing, Editing, Social Media
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    Grammar Hammer: The Muppets Explain Who vs. That vs. Which

    Thursday, October 27, 2011, 1:18 PM [Grammar Hammer]
    4.1 (2 Ratings)

    Via this column, we'll explore one grammar rule each week. If you have a grammar question you'd like me to address, please drop me a line at grace.lavigne@prnewswire.com and I'll do my best to answer it.

     

    The Muppets' entertaining and hilarious skits have helped children (and adults) for over 30 years learn about culture, science, art, history, music, life and many other things -- but today the Muppets are going to teach us grammar! (Because who doesn't love the Muppets?!)

    In particular, Kermit and crew will be used in examples to explain when to use who, that or which.

    Here are the three main rules to determine when you should use who, that or which:

     

    Rule 1: Who always refers to people (or Muppet characters), while that and which refer to groups or things.

    • Kermit is the cautious frog who loves Miss Piggy. (No, wait -- Miss Piggy is the sassy swine who loves Kermit.)
    • Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem is the band that plays rock music on the show.
    • Jim Henson created "The Muppet Show," which premiered in 1976.

     

    Rule 2: Use that in essential clauses and which in nonessential clauses.

    • I love Muppet movies that include Fozzie Bear (wocka wocka wocka!)
    • "The Muppets Take Manhattan," which included Fozzie Bear, was the best.
    • Fozzie Bear wears a hat, which is brown.

    Essential clauses are never surrounded by commas, but non-essential clauses are usually surrounded by commas or preceded by a comma.

    Another way to tell if a clause is essential or non-essential is to remove it and see if the meaning of the sentence has changed significantly. Here are the same examples with the clause removed:

    • I love Muppet movies. (different, essential)
    • "The Muppets Take Manhattan" was the best. (same, non-essential)
    • Fozzie Bear wears a hat. (same, non-essential)

     

    Rule 3: If this, that, these or those is already introducing an essential clause, start the next clause with which, regardless of whether it is essential or not

    • That is an experiment which only Dr. Bunsen Honeydew can handle.
    • Those daredevil performances, which always made me afraid for Gonzo, were still very artistic.

    Or you can just drop the which entirely to make it sound more concise:

    • That is a drumline which only Animal knows.
    • That is a drumline only Animal knows.

    Dear Gracie: Ending Client Relationships

    Wednesday, October 26, 2011, 9:58 AM [Dear Gracie]
    3.7 (1 Ratings)

    Each week, Dear Gracie answers questions from ProfNet Connect readers with advice from our network of more than 44,000 ProfNet experts. Has there been a question burning in your mind lately, something you've been wondering that none of your friends can answer? Please send it to grace.lavigne@prnewswire.com

     

    Dear Gracie,

    I'm a PR agent, and I have a client who is very rude and demanding. I'm not sure what to do about this. Should I confront the client and tell him what they're doing wrong, in the hope that they'll change? Should I just cut my losses and terminate our contract? Should I actually tell them that they're rude and demanding, or should I just end it without saying why?

    Fatigued Flack

    *******

    Dear Fatigued Flack,

    Five PR experts from the ProfNet community offer some advice:

    "Client relationships are sort of like dating," explains Tracy Bagatelle-Black, account manager at RLM Public Relations. Sometimes they can be great, but sometimes they can be messy, and ending them can be difficult.

    Over the years, Bagatelle-Black has seen relationships with clients end in many different ways, but she's always stuck to one rule: "No matter what happens, interactions should remain unemotional and on a professional level only."

    Because unlike dating, client relationships include legal implications and rules that need to be followed in order to maintain an intact professional reputation, she says.

    Why to End Relationships

    Thomas Madden, chairman and CEO of TransMedia Group, recently ended a relationship with a client because the client was "just plain nasty," to the point that Madden and his staff no longer wanted to work with them. "The client was paying a good fee, but came along with waves of abuse, in between whining and complaining about the great media exposure we were getting him, which was not, in his judgment, 'perfect.'"

    When Madden decided to call it quits with the client, he exercised a clause in his contract that allowed for a 30-day cancellation notice with pay -- but because of the abusive nature of the client, Madden's lawyer advised him to terminate even earlier than that. The client berated Madden afterwards and disputed the charges with the credit card company.

    In retrospect, Madden suggests writing into contracts that if a client pays by credit card, all such payments are final, and will not be charged back or disputed with the credit card company.

    Bretton Holmes, president of Holmes World Media, will fire a client if they don't follow protocols, like trying to contact the press themselves. "This is a big 'no no' and grounds for us to cease all activity and require them to remit the remainder of their balance due," he says. "The truth is, clients are usually upset because they think they deserve to be featured somewhere, when really they have no business being featured there. That has less to do with us and the job we're doing, than it does with their personality, product or service."

    Holmes has also fired clients for requesting unethical practices or badmouthing his agency. "Frankly, if a client badmouths me, it only makes them look bad," he says.

    Relationships can end on positive terms too. Madden recently resigned an account with a building developer in Florida when they wanted Madden's agency to publicize a development that happened to be right next to another client's development.

    "It was a different story when they were building in different parts of the state and not competing head to head," says Madden. But once the clients were working on developments in the same town, one had to go. "We decided to stay with the longer tenured client," says Madden. "When we explained our reasoning, the departing developer was very understanding and fine with it. We ended our relationship with him in a very friendly way."

    How to End Relationships

    "People who work in public relations are some of the most extroverted people in the world," says Alan Cohen, president of Acts of Balance Executive Coaching and Traning and author of the upcoming book, "Tough Talks for PR Pros." "Ironically, they are also some of the non-confrontational people on Earth."

    The higher the position you have within an organization, the more important it is to address situations involving difficult clients, says Cohen. "When managers avoid the situations, the problems tend to fester and create even more negative energy. The avoidance sends a message to the staff that bad behavior is tolerated."

    Cohen says PR agents use excuses like, "I lack the training to handle these types of conversations," "It's out of my comfort zone," or "It's too political," to avoid confrontation with a client.

    But when these reasons are overcome, the benefits are enormous, says Cohen. You and your staff will feel empowered, and you'll end up developing closer and more collaborative relationships with your other clients. People will respect that you have the courage to address a tough situation.

    When you decide to terminate a relationship with a client, you need to prepare for the confrontation, says Cohen. These conversations can be slippery slopes, so winging it is not a good idea.

    You also need to consider you and your clients' state of mind before you talk about your issues, he continues. Your client won't be receptive to your talk if they are confused, depressed or exhausted, and likewise, you can easily say something you didn't mean to if you're stressed.

    But definitely don't wait until the situation explodes. "The great hope is that the problem will work itself out. This is the great false hope. Choose the right time, but don't keep putting it off," stresses Cohen.

    Once you decide to have the conversation, frame your decision in terms of the client's best interests, says Vicki Rackner, executive director at The Pain Stompers Foundation, founder of The Caregiver Club and owner of Medical Bridges. Say something like, "Our focus is helping you get the best outcomes." Don't make it personal -- just comment on the results you and your client get together.

    When pointing out what went wrong, don't bombard your client with too many examples, says Cohen. One or two examples of what they've done wrong will suffice.

    And be careful not to have the talk in front of other people, says Cohen. "PR life can be hectic, but that is not an excuse for pointing out flaws in front of others."

    Remember to listen to your client too, says Cohen. "A tough talk isn't a monologue where you get to tell another person, 'You know what your problem is?' This should be a two-way street."

    Don't be too attached to being "right" either, he says. "New facts and viewpoints often arise during a tough talk. Proving that 'I'm right and you're wrong' is counterproductive."

    After the conversation, you could even suggest who the client might fit better with, says Rackner. Say something like: "I think you would do best with someone with a special interest in XYZ."

    Be sure to formally end your relationship in writing too, so that it is clear to both parties that the contract is over, reminds Bagatelle-Black. Clients could try to claim you didn't get enough stories to justify payment, perhaps to get out of paying or just to make you look bad, so make sure you keep notes on what you are working on for your client, as that comes in handy during court cases, she says.

    "You can have a disagreement and even fire someone without rancor or recrimination," says Madden. "It's bad enough when situations become adversarial, so you don't need to light up the anger fuse, which will only make it worse." Remain reasonable and resolute.

    Bagatelle-Black has taken two clients to collections agencies before, both of which resulted in legal action. In those cases, she was careful to leave the drama to the collections agency and the lawyers, and never got involved in any mud-slinging. "Stick to the high ground and you will always win," she says.

    Bagatelle-Black stresses how important it is to remain civil. She once filed a suit against a mentor from a previous job. "We kept it on a professional level, and many years later, he called me up to do work for him again." She's also had clients go on hiatus, but then return when they had more money. "If I had taken it badly when they left, they never would have come back."

    Bagatelle-Black also says that she's known clients who can be a hassle when they work for one company, but at a new job, can be much more laid back. You never know when you might work with a client again, so don't burn bridges.

    Gracie

    Expert Alert: Flooding / Free Trade / Web Marketing

    Monday, October 24, 2011, 1:12 PM [Expert Alerts]
    0 (0 Ratings)

    EXPERT ALERTS

    1. Building: Avoid the Dangers of Flooding

    2. Business: Three Ways to Make Your Business Sing On-Key Despite the Flat Economy

    3. Finance: A Year-End Health Care Strategy That Can Actually Help You Save Money

    4. Finance: Earnings Season

    5. Finance: Free-Trade Pacts With Colombia, Panama and South Korea

    6. Marketing: Your Web Marketing Campaign Needs Only One Thing to Succeed Today

     

    OTHER NEWS & RESOURCES

    1. 'Morning Joe' Co-Host Mika Brzezinski: Women in the Workplace

    2. Interesting Expert of the Week, Fraud Edition

    3. Banning Reporters From PR Events

    4. Grammar Hammer: Avoiding Apostrophe Abominations

    5. Creative Uses of Surveys & Polls Can Perk Up PR Campaigns

     

    ***************************

    EXPERT ALERTS:

    Via Expert Alerts, ProfNet members can alert reporters to experts who are available to discuss timely news topics. If you are interested in interviewing any of the experts, please see the contact info at the end of the alert. You can also find Expert Alerts online on ProfNet Connect at bit.ly/pncalerts

    **1. BUILDING: AVOID THE DANGERS OF FLOODING. Brian Kearney, CEO of Neponset Valley Construction: “Natural disasters can wreak havoc on your siding, gutters, dry wall and carpets. There are less obvious dangers in your home after a flood that you might not be aware of. If you use a gas fireplace, the logs most likely need to be replaced. Water and debris can clog the valves, and rust can form within the metal parts causing harmful gas leaks. Replace fireplace wiring and fans. Electrical components and water infiltration do not mix. By using your fireplace before replacing electrical parts, you are putting your home at further risk to fire damage. Hire an inspector. Any appliances, including heaters that were exposed to floodwaters, should be inspected by a certified professional. Hire a furnace professional to check your heating system, cooling system and water heater for damage.” News Contact: Lucia Scott, Lucia@exposeyourselfpr.com

    **2. BUSINESS: THREE WAYS TO MAKE YOUR BUSINESS SING ON-KEY DESPITE THE FLAT ECONOMY. Dr. Joey Faucette, best-selling author of "Work Positive in a Negative World": "At times, we allow the negative noise of the flat economy to drown out any positive, on-key music in our businesses. Soon, the negative noise has an effect on you. What’s a business owner to do to get business singing on-key despite the flat economy? Here are three best practices: 1) Identify the source of negative noises. 2) Cut them down or off. 3) Focus on the positive results in your business." News Contact: Jillian McTigue, jmctigue@entrepreneur.com Phone: +1-949-622-5274

    **3. FINANCE: A YEAR-END HEALTH CARE STRATEGY THAT CAN ACTUALLY HELP YOU SAVE MONEY. Mark J. Kohler, author of "What Your CPA Isn’t Telling You" and "Lawyers Are Liars": "Millions of Americans are catching on to fact that Health Savings Accounts, a 'keep it if you don’t use it plan,' can go with them anywhere, give them tax-free distributions for health care costs and provide a big tax deduction on the front page of their tax return. The trick is, you must have a high-deductible qualifying policy in place before Dec. 1, and then you can make contributions deductible from this year until April 15, 2012. This strategy also saves you with lower insurance premiums." Kohler can discuss details on how to take advantage of a Health Savings Account. News Contact: Jillian McTigue, jmctigue@entrepreneur.com Phone: +1-949-622-5274

    **4. FINANCE: EARNINGS SEASON. Nick Raich is a Chartered Financial Analyst and director of research at Key Private Bank in Cleveland: "The worry is not really third-quarter earnings, but 2012, where estimate ranges are starting to widen. The uncertainty in the eurozone puts the range of S&P 500 earnings between $65 and $110 per share next year -- the widest my estimates have ranged since the financial crisis of 2008." Raich is an expert in corporate earnings and can provide earnings-season updates, recaps, short-term economic commentary based on earnings, and high-level previews and reactions to a specific company’s earnings announcement. News Contact: Colleen McKenna, colleen@blisspr.com Phone: +1-312-252-7318 Website: www.key.com/kpb/index.jsp

    **5. FINANCE: WHAT WILL THE NEW FREE-TRADE PACTS WITH COLOMBIA, PANAMA AND SOUTH KOREA DO FOR THE UNITED STATES? Daniel L. Gardner, CEO of Ocean World Lines and author of the article "The U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement: Free Trader or Fair Weather Friend?": "Free-trade agreements, when combined with a highly skilled workforce, offer the best possible hope for the restoration of U.S. competitiveness, and as such, the creation of high-value-added, satisfying and well-paying jobs. We see a lot of market opportunities in this hemisphere, with Panama and Columbia as real game changers. Our nation's relationship with South Korea has always been strong, of course." Gardner is an author, professor and international business executive whose goal is to help U.S. exporters be more competitive overseas. Gardner can discuss U.S. trade agreements and specific ideas on how the U.S. can increase exports and drive job creation, starting today. Profile: www.profnetconnect.com/gardner  News Contact: Melissa Bradley, bradleycomm@earthlink.net Phone: +1-928-208-9300

    **6. MARKETING: YOUR WEB MARKETING CAMPAIGN NEEDS ONLY ONE THING TO SUCCEED TODAY. John D. Leavy, author of "Outcome-Based Marketing: New Rules for Marketing on the Web": "In my 26 years as a serial entrepreneur and small-business person, I’ve launched plenty of marketing campaigns that flopped. They flopped not because I skimped on the budget, or didn’t work hard, or wasn't creative, but because I lost sight of the ‘results.’ Positive results are the only meaningful measurement of a successful Web-marketing campaign. To be successful, Web businesses need to focus more on positive results than they do on actions or activities." Leavy can discuss six elements to add measurement to any online marketing campaign, allowing Web marketers to accurately read and replicate their positive results. News Contact: Jillian McTigue, jmctigue@entrepreneur.com Phone: +1-949-622-5274

     

    OTHER NEWS & RESOURCES:

    Following are links to other news and resources we think you might find useful. If you have an item you think other reporters would be interested in and would like us to include in a future alert, please drop us a line at profnetalerts@prnewswire.com

    **1. 'MORNING JOE' CO-HOST MIKA BRZEZINSKI: WOMEN IN THE WORKPLACE: ProfNet Editor Grace Lavigne recaps Mika Brzezinski's presentation for the New York Women in Communications event on Oct. 18: bit.ly/oRSaDx

    **2. INTERESTING EXPERT OF THE WEEK, FRAUD EDITION: ProfNet Director Maria Perez presents Linda Webb, aka The Fraud Dog: bit.ly/qEDQw9

    **3. BANNING REPORTERS FROM PR EVENTS: ProfNet Editor Evelyn Tipacti discusses the ethics of banning reporters from PR events, due to negative coverage: bit.ly/nnTDS6

    **4. GRAMMAR HAMMER: AVOIDING APOSTROPHE ABOMINATIONS: ProfNet Editor Grace Lavigne explains grammar guidelines on when to use apostrophe and when not to: bit.ly/qamwXw

    **5. CREATIVE USES OF SURVEYS & POLLS CAN PERK UP PR CAMPAIGNS: PR Newswire's Sarah Skerik interviews social media expert Jason Miller on content: bit.ly/q6SfzO

    "Morning Joe" Co-Host Mika Brzezinski: Women in the Workplace

    Friday, October 21, 2011, 3:09 PM [General]
    0 (0 Ratings)

    On Tuesday night, about 140 women (and one man) attended New York Women in Communications' Cocktails & Conversations event at Scholastic Auditorium in Manhattan, featuring MSNBC's "Morning Joe" co-host Mika Brzezinski. Brzezinski discussed themes from her recent, best-selling book, "Knowing Your Value: Women, Money, and Getting What You're Worth," including strategies on how to be a confident female in the workplace and learning how to ask for the raise you deserve.

    Brzezinski is best known for her gutsy attitude and unfailing honesty, who holds her own every morning as she goes toe-to-toe with Joe Scarborough on their TV show. During her 26 years in the industry, she's gone from meek Mika to fierce Mika, teaching herself along the way how to be a powerful and well-paid career woman, without compromising her values or personal life. Her presentation at the event was really a pep talk and a rallying cry to the female work troops on how to be brave in a man's world and take control of your career.

    Brzezinski realized that she desperately needed a raise when she learned that Scarborough was making *14 TIMES* as much money as her. But it wasn't until her fourth try asking for a raise from her boss, Phil Griffin, president of MSNBC, that she actually got it. Afterwards, she realized what she'd finally done to get what she deserved -- she'd assumed a take-no-prisoners attitude -- and wanted to share her experience with other women who struggle with insecurity and submission in the workplace.

     

    First off, stop saying "I'm sorry," all the time, said Brzezinski. Don't apologize when you've done nothing wrong. When you ask for a raise, never start off by saying something like, "I'm sorry to bother you but…" What you're going to say is important, so don't undermine yourself.

    Furthermore, when you accept a low salary, or when you accept defeat when asking for a raise, you're also undermining your family, Brzezinski said.

    So stop worrying about what people think of you, she continued. "Men can be a**holes and women can be b*tches." Now get over it. You're not at work to be homecoming queen; you're at work to get your job done. When you ask for a raise, it's about the work you've put in it to deserve it -- it's not about how much your boss likes you. "Call me a bad word. That's great. Now give me the money," she said.

    That's why you need to re-set your relationships, said Brzezinski. It's OK to have tough moments with your colleagues. Sometimes those are the most productive conversations, and you'll end up with a stronger relationship.

    When you go into your boss' office to ask for a raise, "go in once and close the deal," she said. To do that, you need to know and believe what your own value is: "Believe it. Know yourself. Know your value," she said. Speak with authority, and stand up straight. Communicate your value, message and voice, and take pride in yourself. Brzezinski definitely knows her value: "Morning Joe is nothing without Morning Mika," she said.

    Brzezinski said the reason she was rejected the first three times she asked for a raise was because she didn't have any leverage. Document your work to prove your value, and document how many times you've asked for a raise, she said. Even look for another job, so you can make an ultimatum if you need to. Brzezinski got her raise after she finally drew the line and said, "I'll walk out right now if you don't give me what I deserve."

    And if you get the promotion or raise, don't be super grateful about it, said Brzezinski. She learned this lesson the hard way. When she famously refused to read a lead story on air about socialite Paris Hilton getting out of prison, ahead of a story on the United States' declining support of keeping troops in Iraq, her boss was angry with her afterwards. So Brzezinski apologized. However, the incident soon became viral on the Web, and ended up being a defining moment of her career. It even led to her being offered her own TV show. When they offered her a full hour after "Morning Joe," she said "thank you" and felt indebted. But in retrospect, she realized she should have said, "How much work will this take, and how much are you going to pay me for that work?" If you bring legitimate value to a job, don't act like someone is doing you a favor when they recognize you for it.

    So figure out what you do well, and focus on that, said Brzezinski. When you're young, it's OK to try everything, but at some point, you need to stop overcompensating.

    And don't forget to get married and have kids, if that's what you want, she said. Make that happen now -- don't say "eventually" -- it's too important. When she lost her job at 39, she came home and opened the door and saw her two daughters and thought, "I won."

    The program concluded with an hour-long tweet chat with @morningmika and @NYWICI about her book, which you can find by searching #nywicichat

    Hangovers, Window Shopping, Zit Pus: My Favorite Queries of the Week

    Friday, October 21, 2011, 9:29 AM [Favorite Queries]
    0 (0 Ratings)

    What do hangovers, window shopping and zit pus have in common? They all made my list of favorite queries this week:

     

    Must-Buys Before You Bring Home Your New Cat. Backup couches and window shades.

    Fear: What It Is, Different Types. Running out of handi-wipes at just the wrong time.

    Life Insurance and Extreme Sports. What about board insurance?

    Dating the Job Hunt. I guess "Kissing Your Boss" wasn't an appropriate title.

    Emotions in the Workplace. Why can't we just learn to be machines already?

    How Food Affects Mood. This dude eats some food, it gets chewed, then he's rude.

    Dressing for Safety. One pant leg at a time -- no jumping!

    The end to window shopping. With this economy, it might just be the beginning.

    How to Be Fearless in the Kitchen. But still cut the onions with your eyes closed.

    Easing Hangover Symptoms. Hair of the dog!

    At What Speed Does Zit Pus Travel When Popped? EW!

     

    *Publication names have been omitted to protect the innocent.

    What were some of your favorite queries this week? Did they make this list?

    Expert Alert: Energy Awareness Month / FHA Loans / Free-Trade Pacts

    Thursday, October 20, 2011, 3:36 PM [Expert Alerts]
    0 (0 Ratings)

    EXPERT ALERTS

    1. Energy: October Is Energy Awareness Month

    2. Government: FHA Loans and Jumbo Loans

    3. International: What Will the New Free-Trade Pacts Do for the United States?

     

    OTHER NEWS & RESOURCES

    1. A Brief Blog Profile: RedState

    2. Stopping Bullies From Tormenting Your Child: Key Facts

    3. The Benefits of Blog Posts

     

    *********************

    EXPERT ALERTS:

    Via Expert Alerts, ProfNet members can alert reporters to experts who are available to discuss timely news topics. If you are interested in interviewing any of the experts, please see the contact info at the end of the alert. You can also find Expert Alerts online on ProfNet Connect at bit.ly/pncalerts

    **1. ENERGY: OCTOBER IS ENERGY AWARENESS MONTH. J. B. Hoyt, director of government relations and sustainability for Whirlpool Corporation in Benton Harbor, Mich.: "Simple and inexpensive things can be done around the house to save a consumer’s energy and money. Start by checking your appliances for Energy Star ratings to ensure you are running efficient models. Also, being eco-friendly in the kitchen is simple -- start by using the dishwasher to clean dishes as opposed to hand washing. Even baking can be energy-efficient through effective preheating, use of convection and by using the microwave to cook some parts of the meal.” Hoyt can provide tips to help consumers save money and live more efficiently, including the impact energy- and water-efficient appliances can have on the wallet, to promote public understanding of our energy needs and to reduce energy consumption in our everyday lives. News Contact: Kaitlin Tierney, ktierney@peppercom.com Phone: +1-212-931-6170

    **2. GOVERNMENT: FHA LOANS AND JUMBO LOANS. Chip Poli, CEO of Poli Mortgage Group, Inc.: "FHA loans are insured by our government's Federal Housing Authority (FHA) and allow a greater number of Americans to own or refinance a home. These types of loans typically allow for a borrower to have a low down payment and a less-than-perfect credit score. FHA loan products include: fixed rate, adjustable rate, and repair and restore loans. Jumbo loans are any mortgages that are higher than what the federal government defines as a conventional conforming loan. Currently, this means that any loan amount exceeding $417,000 is a jumbo mortgage. The exact dollar amount that determines a jumbo loan can be changed annually." News Contact: Lucia Scott, Lucia@exposeyourselfpr.com Phone: +1-617-797-9869

    **3. INTERNATIONAL: WHAT WILL THE NEW FREE-TRADE PACTS WITH COLOMBIA, PANAMA AND SOUTH KOREA DO FOR THE UNITED STATES? Daniel L. Gardner, CEO of Ocean World Lines and author of the article "The U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement: Free Trader or Fair Weather Friend?": "Free-trade agreements, when combined with a highly skilled workforce, offer the best possible hope for the restoration of U.S. competitiveness, and as such, the creation of high-value-added, satisfying and well-paying jobs. We see a lot of market opportunities in this hemisphere, with Panama and Columbia as real game changers. Our nation's relationship with South Korea has always been strong, of course." Gardner is an author, professor and international business executive whose goal is to help U.S. exporters be more competitive overseas. Gardner can discuss U.S. trade agreements and specific ideas on how the U.S. can increase exports and drive job creation, starting today. Profile: www.profnetconnect.com/gardner  News Contact: Melissa Bradley, bradleycomm@earthlink.net Phone: +1-928-208-9300

     

    OTHER NEWS & RESOURCES:

    Following are links to other news and resources we think you might find useful. If you have an item you think other reporters would be interested in and would like us to include in a future alert, please drop us a line at profnetalerts@prnewswire.com

    **1. A BRIEF BLOG PROFILE: REDSTATE: Thomas Hynes reviews the conservative political blog RedState: bit.ly/qNer2h

    **2. STOPPING BULLIES FROM TORMENTING YOUR CHILD: KEY FACTS: Marie Newman provides tips for parents who find out their child is being bullied: bit.ly/qpaoXI

    **3. THE BENEFITS OF BLOG POSTS: ProfNet Editor Evelyn Tipacti explains how ProfNet Connect can increase exposure via blogging: bit.ly/nRQvXa

    Grammar Hammer: Avoiding Apostrophe Abominations

    Thursday, October 20, 2011, 11:33 AM [Grammar Hammer]
    0 (0 Ratings)

    Via this column, we'll explore one grammar rule each week. If you have a grammar question you'd like me to address, please drop me a line at grace.lavigne@prnewswire.com and I'll do my best to answer it.

     

    You no longer need to hide from apostrophes! Today we're reviewing the rules of apostrophes using spooky examples to chase away this grammar nightmare -- just in time for Halloween!

    We use apostrophes for two main reasons:

    1. To signify the exclusion of a letter in a contraction:

    • I'm/I am going to dress up as Carmen Sandiego for Halloween.
    • You can't/cannot dress up Freddie! (or I'll have nightmares…)
    • You're/You are going to be Indiana Jones instead.

     

    2. We also use apostrophes to show possession (which is to own something) of singular and plural nouns:

     

    • If a word is simply plural, don't use an apostrophe:
      • I saw two kids fighting over candy corn.
      • How many chocolates have you eaten? (Too many.)
    • But there are two exceptions:
      • If the word is a single letter:
        • How many e's are in "eerie"?
        • There are three m's in "mummy."
      • If a decade is abbreviated:
        • In the '90s, zombies took over the world.
        • Harry Houdini was born in the 1870s. (no apostrophe)

     

    • To indicate possession, use an apostrophe:
      • The werewolf's face is repulsive.
      • The witch's cauldron is bubbling.
    • But if the word is plural and possessive, put the apostrophe after the "s":
      • The werewolves' faces are repulsive.
      • The witches' cauldron is bubbling.
    • Unless the word is already plural:
      • The children's faces were filled with fear.
      • The people's screams were bloodcurdling.

     

    • If a name is possessive (and singular or plural) and ends in "s," drop the second "s":
      • Charles' gravestone is cracked.
      • The Mansons' plan was evil.

     

    • Never use an apostrophe for pronouns, since they already indicate possession:
      • The mask is your's (wrong).
      • The cape is hers. (right)

     

    Common Confusion:

    • "its" vs. "it's"
      • Are you trying to say "it is" or "it has"? Use an apostrophe:
        • It's that black cat again.
        • It's been in the cemetery for a long time.
      • Are you indicating possession? No apostrophe:
        • The bat is known for its distinctive ears.
        • The skeleton lost its head.
      • If you're not sure, try replacing "it's" or "its" with "it is" (or "it has"). If it sounds OK, use an apostrophe:
        • The clown has its shoes off.
        • The clown has it is shoes off. (wrong, no apostrophe)
        • It's that creepy clown with no shoes again.
        • It is that creepy clown with no shoes again. (right, use apostrophe)
    • The same rules apply for "whose" vs. "who's"
      • Possession
        • Whose wand is that?
        • A ghost whose time has come.
      • Contraction
        • Who's carving a pumpkin?
        • Who's seen his fangs?
      • If you're not sure, try replacing it with "who is" (or "who has"). If it sounds OK, use an apostrophe:
        • A wizard whose mind is evil.
        • A wizard who is mind is evil. (wrong, no apostrophe)
        • The wizard who's evil.
        • The wizard who is evil. (right, use apostrophe)

    Dear Gracie: Managing the Client-Agent Relationship

    Wednesday, October 19, 2011, 12:01 PM [Dear Gracie]
    3.7 (1 Ratings)

    Each week, Dear Gracie answers questions from ProfNet Connect readers with advice from our network of more than 44,000 ProfNet experts. Has there been a question burning in your mind lately, something you've been wondering that none of your friends can answer? Please send it to grace.lavigne@prnewswire.com

     

    Dear Gracie,

    I'm a PR newbie, and am looking for advice on how to maintain relationships with clients. What do I need to tell them ahead of time? How often should I give them updates? How do I balance professionalism with friendliness? What if they have unreasonable expectations?

    Puzzled by PR

     

    ******

    Dear Puzzled by PR,

    Here are tips from five experts on PR from the ProfNet community:

     

    Managing Expectations

    The secret to managing the client-agency relationship is simple -- it's about understanding the client's definition of success, and then continually working to achieve that success, says Dave Groobert, U.S. general manager of Environics Communications.

    What's critical is making sure you know how your client defines success, he says.

    "Many times in my career, I've seen an agency achieve great results, but disappoint the client, simply because what the client needed wasn't what the agency provided. In those instances, the agency was defining what success would look like, and assuming that would please the client," Groobert explains.

    It's like the famous comic where two train tracks are being built by two different crews, and then they meet up in the middle but the tracks don't align. "Each crew did their job, but due to lack of advance coordination, the result is derailment," says Groobert.

    So fully define, explain and constantly update every tool, strategy and tactic that is part of the campaign, says David E. Johnson, CEO of Strategic Vision.

    Clients or potential clients now not only expect, but demand, a detailed plan before they begin working with a PR agency, Johnson continues. "They want to know in detail what they can expect for their investment."

    So, for example, give them a time table of events, says Karyn Martin, senior account director of PR at 451 Marketing. And realize that your client could have limitations too, she says.

    Because many clients have not used PR before, or have had a bad experience, it's important to help them understand what PR can and cannot do when defining "success," says Susan Tellem, partner at Tellem Grody PR.

    For example, more and more clients want to know how PR assists sales, says Johnson. You must explain and stress that PR is not sales.

    Many clients are also aware of what press releases are, but don't know the difference between a press release and a pitch, says Johnson. These details need to be explained ahead of time.

    Discuss how success will be measured too, so the appropriate tracking systems can be put in place early, says Groobert

    You'll also need to define a client's target audience. "Many companies are constantly changing who they are targeting or what niche they are now going after," says Johnson. "This means being more involved than ever in business develop and the staff meetings of the clients. It means that PR people now have a say in selecting target audiences, as they are asked by the client who they should target with a particular product and why."

    But remember, definitions of "success" need to be realistic, says Tellem. For example, let your clients know that they will not have anywhere near 5,000 Facebook fans or 10,000 Twitter followers in a month if publicity efforts are done correctly and organically.

    If the client requests something that probably won't work, tell them why, Tellem continues. If they insist anyway, help them do it to the best of your ability, as long as it is morally and ethically OK.

    If a client's expectations are unrealistic, a blunt and honest talk backed up by facts is necessary, says Johnson. "If that doesn't work, you may find the account is not worth it. Never lie to a client to appease them."

    But also remember that a client's definition of success will change over time, and often at a moment's notice, based on internal pressures and external business factors, says Groobert. "Success today might be totally different than success just six weeks or six months ago."

     

    Managing Relationships

    "Communicate often and email frequently," says Tellem. "Clients want to know what is happening, even if nothing is happening."

    "Schedule assessment meetings at regular intervals to discuss and review goals, and make adjustments," suggests Vivian Hood, vice president of Jaffe PR. She checks in with some of her clients as often as three to four times per week, while others prefer once a week or once every two weeks. "Your clients need to know that you are engaged and active on their behalf," she says.

    Some clients might even feel neglected if they don't hear from someone working on their account every day, says Johnson. Clients nowadays are demanding more accountability.

    But regardless of the time you agree upon as your normal meeting time, it's important to let them know you know are accessible whenever they need you, says Martin. "If something comes up, they should feel comfortable calling you right away."

    So tell your clients that when and if something goes wrong, they will need to be direct and communicate with you, says Hood. The client will expect you to solve the problem or issue, talk to them about how that happens, and follow up afterwards to see if it's been improved or alleviated, she says.

    You also need to anticipate problems, so that you are ready to respond when they arise, says Martin. Have a crisis communications plan in place.

    Likewise, you also need to have good listening skills, says Groobert. Ask the client strategic questions regularly about their business and communication objectives, and then listen closely to their answers and follow up with questions. "It will lead to a successful relationship that will last in the long run," he says.

    "Long-term relationships have several benefits, including a keen understanding of my client's culture, practices and work," says Hood.

    But with long-term client relationships, it's important not to let it become the "same old, same old," says Hood. Constantly look for new or improved methods.

    In terms of balancing professionalism with friendliness, says Tellem, try to keep clients at arms length. There are some clients you can golf or dine with, depending on the nature of your relationship, but stay away from representing friends and family. Representing people from your personal life almost always leads to disappoint, and maybe even divorce!

    But clients do usually feel more comfortable with someone they relate to -- and not just in a professional way, says Martin. Always take cues from your client and let them take the lead on how personal they want to be.

    "The relationship needs to be based on respect and trust so the client feels confident in sharing confidential information, providing candid feedback and discussing the factors that define their success," says Groobert.

    For Hood, it's important for her to know her clients on a personal level. "It helps me understand them," she says. However, she is careful not to let that overshadow the fact that it's a business relationship first and foremost.

    But at the end of the day, remember: Clients today are more concerned with results and professionalism than friendliness, says Johnson.

     

    Gracie

    Expert Alert: Ice Dams / FHA Loans / Food Shopping

    Monday, October 17, 2011, 2:35 PM [Expert Alerts]
    0 (0 Ratings)

    EXPERT ALERTS

    1. Building: Ice-Dam Damage Can Be Prevented

    2. Business: Three Things to Remember at 3 a.m. in This Economy

    3. Finance: FHA Loans and Jumbo Loans

    4. Marketing: Top Five 'Need to Knows' About Millennials and the Future of Food Shopping

    5. Real Estate: Do’s and Don’ts of Homebuying

     

    OTHER NEWS & RESOURCES

    1. Social Media Monitoring Delivers Quick Returns

    2. Transitions in Media: Melissa Jun Rowley, TV & Online Journalist

    3. Grammar Hammer: The Rules of Capitalization

     

    ***************************

    EXPERT ALERTS:

    Via Expert Alerts, ProfNet members can alert reporters to experts who are available to discuss timely news topics. If you are interested in interviewing any of the experts, please see the contact info at the end of the alert. You can also find Expert Alerts online on ProfNet Connect at bit.ly/pncalerts

    **1. BUILDING: ICE-DAM DAMAGE CAN BE PREVENTED. Brian Kearney, owner of Neponset Valley Construction: "Ice dams on roofs damage countless homes each winter. Warm air in the attic can melt the underside of the snow on your roof. The cause is usually a lack of adequate insulation and improper air flow in the attic. When the underside of the snow melts the water sheds toward the eaves of your home, where the temperature is much colder, it causes the water to refreeze at the roof’s edges. The continual refreezing of this runoff water is what causes ice dams to form on your roof and wreak havoc on your home’s structure. Once an ice dam forms, additional water can begin to back up under the lower shingles and eventually find its way into the house." News Contact: Lucia Scott, Lucia@exposeyourselfpr.com

    **2. BUSINESS: THREE THINGS TO REMEMBER AT 3 A.M. IN THIS ECONOMY. Dr. Joey Faucette, best-selling author of "Work Positive in a Negative World": "Business owners find themselves confronting the ghost of 'financial terror' in this current economy. The compilation of concerns about cash flow, credit, profit margins and not knowing if there will be enough to support their families awaken them at 3 a.m. How do they deal with it? Here are three things to remember at 3 a.m. in this economy: 1) Until now, you have generated enough revenue to keep the doors open. 2) Business walked through your door at just the right time previously. It will again. 3) There is enough business waiting for you to receive today. Go get it and watch your ghost of financial terror become a ghost of the past." News Contact: Jillian McTigue, jmctigue@entrepreneur.com Phone: +1-949-622-5274

    **3. FINANCE: FHA LOANS AND JUMBO LOANS. Chip Poli, CEO of Poli Mortgage Group, Inc.: "FHA loans are insured by our government's Federal Housing Authority (FHA) and allow a greater number of Americans to own or refinance a home. These types of loans typically allow for a borrower to have a low down payment and a less-than-perfect credit score. FHA loan products include: fixed rate, adjustable rate, and repair and restore loans. Jumbo loans are any mortgages that are higher than what the federal government defines as a conventional conforming loan. Currently, this means that any loan amount exceeding $417,000 is a jumbo mortgage. The exact dollar amount that determines a jumbo loan can be changed annually." News Contact: Lucia Scott, Lucia@exposeyourselfpr.com Phone: +1-617-797-9869

    **4. MARKETING: TOP FIVE 'NEED TO KNOWS' ABOUT MILLENNIALS AND THE FUTURE OF FOOD SHOPPING. Michelle Fenstermaker, executive director of insights for WD Partners: "While millennials aren't *that* different from the slightly older Gen X, if you compare millennials with baby boomers, you see the trend. What are the five things retailers and consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies should understand about millennials when it comes to food shopping? 1) The 'experience gap' between grocery shopping and other kinds of retail. 2) The digital/physical gap. 3) How millennials 'lead' Gen X. 4) Millennials' desire for inspiration and information. And perhaps the most important thing to understand, 5) a simple evolution in grocery retailing would get their attention." WD Partners recently completed the white paper, "Grocery's Next Generation," which studies how millennials will change food shopping: bit.ly/rgLKfR  News Contact: Ann Rogers, ann.rogers@wdpartners.com

    **5. REAL ESTATE: DO’S AND DON’TS OF HOMEBUYING. Kelly O’Ryan, office manager at Coldwell Banker in Lexington, Mass.: "Research the neighborhood -- location is critical when purchasing a home. Make sure that you'll be comfortable not just now, but in the future with the area you choose to live in. Look at several houses before you make your decision; looking at any first place is exciting, but if you buy the first home without comparing it to other listings, you are likely to overpay or miss out on something even better. Don't buy a house for its decor; look past the decor that is already in the home, and think about if it can accommodate your lifestyle and furnishings. Buy based on your needs -- not wants." News Contact: Lucia Scott, Lucia@exposeyourselfpr.com

     

    OTHER NEWS & RESOURCES:

    Following are links to other news and resources we think you might find useful. If you have an item you think other reporters would be interested in and would like us to include in a future alert, please drop us a line at profnetalerts@prnewswire.com

    **1. SOCIAL MEDIA MONITORING DELIVERS QUICK RETURNS: PR Newswire's Sarah Skerik discusses the importance of understanding social media and its influence on customer buying decisions: bit.ly/qsBZ4M

    **2. TRANSITIONS IN MEDIA: MELISSA JUN ROWLEY, TV & ONLINE JOURNALIST: ProfNet Editor Evelyn Tipacti presents Melissa Jun Rowley's career in media: bit.ly/pSuX7M

    **3. GRAMMAR HAMMER: THE RULES OF CAPITALIZATION: ProfNet Editor Grace Lavigne explains grammar guidelines on when to capitalize and when not to capitalize: bit.ly/pRLXYc

    Expert Alert: Domestic Violence / Chilean Miners / Secular Religion

    Friday, October 14, 2011, 4:11 PM [Expert Alerts]
    0 (0 Ratings)

    EXPERT ALERTS

    1. Behavior: Implications of the Repeal of the Domestic-Violence Law in Kansas

    2. Behavior: One-Year Anniversary: Chilean Miners Struggle With Psychological Aftermath

    3. Behavior: Snacking vs. Shagging?

    4. Consumer Issues: Don’t Gamble With Your Ticket Purchases

    5. Consumer Issues: Unbundled Cable Pricing: An Idea Whose Time Has Come?

    6. Health: Tooth Sensitivity and Aging

    7. Religion: Has Secular Religion Become Mainstream Religion?

    8. Shopping: Don’t Forget to Get in Good With the Big Man This Boss's Day

     

    OTHER NEWS & RESOURCES

    1. Dear Gracie: How and Why to Use Twitter Lists

    2. History of Hispanic Heritage Month

    3. Seven Grammatical Staples for Polished Writing

    4. Interesting Expert of the Week, Karate Edition

     

    *********************

    EXPERT ALERTS:

    Via Expert Alerts, ProfNet members can alert reporters to experts who are available to discuss timely news topics. If you are interested in interviewing any of the experts, please see the contact info at the end of the alert. You can also find Expert Alerts online on ProfNet Connect at bit.ly/pncalerts

    **1. BEHAVIOR: IMPLICATIONS OF THE REPEAL OF THE DOMESTIC-VIOLENCE LAW IN KANSAS. Jeff R. Temple, Ph.D., is a psychologist and assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. He is an intimate-partner-violence expert available to discuss lawmakers’ decision to repeal the domestic-violence law in Topeka, Kan., which he says will likely lead to escalating rates of domestic violence and recidivism: “One reason approximately one-quarter of all women will experience violence in their lifetime is because batterers are rarely caught and, thus, rarely punished. Violence is typically committed behind closed doors and victims frequently fail to report the crime. The involvement of police and the judicial system is one of the few deterrents that victims can rely on. In addition to being a repugnant public-health failure, this is fiscally shortsighted. Additional health care costs and lost productivity associated with increased incidents of violence will far outweigh any money saved in the short term.” News Contact: Brianne O'Donnell, brianne.odonnell@gabbe.com Phone: +1-212-220-4444

    **2. BEHAVIOR: ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY: CHILEAN MINERS STRUGGLE WITH PSYCHOLOGICAL AFTERMATH. Dr. Daniel Beach, chair of the psychology department at Dominican University in River Forest, Ill., is available to comment on reports about the psychological struggles of the Chilean miners one year after their rescue: “Many of the Chilean miners remain captives of the emotional trauma of the events of one year ago. The euphoria of their escape from a collapsed mine, the heroic efforts to save them and their own courage in staying alive have faded into the background of world events. Their pain continues to run as deep as the caverns of the mine, yet the rest of humanity has moved on, leaving the miners to deal with the painful emotional aftermath of their traumatic confinement.” Beach was featured last year as an expert resource on the psychological state of the Chilean miners in numerous media outlets, including BBC TV and BBC Radio, WGN Radio, and several Canadian newspapers. News Contact: Jessica Mackinnon, jmack@dom.edu Phone: +1-708-524-6289

    **3. BEHAVIOR: SNACKING VS. SHAGGING? Pamela Madsen, sexuality coach and author of "Shameless: How I Ditched The Diet, Got Naked, Found True Pleasure and Somehow Got Home in Time to Cook Dinner," can discuss a new survey out of the United Kingdom that says that women think more about food than sex. Fifty-four percent of respondents confessed to thinking more about food than sex, and one quarter admitted they put more effort into their weight-loss attempts than into their romantic relationships: “Interesting study, wrong conclusion. It's not that women are obsessed with food in replacement of sex or their relationships. It's that they are hiding behind food and diets to avoid their discomfort and shame with their own sexuality. And we have taught women that if they can control their weight, all the rest of it -- love, sex, approval -- will work out fine. So women start from there, instead of the edgier prospect of confronting their body image and sexuality.”  Madsen is available to discuss the issues at the heart of women’s struggle with weight, food, love and sex; why woman sublimate their sexual selves; who says food and diet in place of sex is a solely a “fat girls” problem; skinny girls suffer, too; and how women can transcend poor body image. News Contact: Wendy Knight, wendy@knightanddaycommunications.com Phone: +1-347-924-2812

    **4. CONSUMER ISSUES: DON'T GAMBLE WITH YOUR TICKET PURCHASES. Steven Camp of the Dallas office of Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP: “The baseball faithful wanting to watch their favorite team in the World Series may be scrambling for game tickets, but if you are among those hoping to score last-minute tickets, the key is to buy from a respectable ticket broker with established, understandable purchase policies. Brokers tend to be more credible, and if there is a problem you can dispute the charge with your credit card company. It’s always tempting, but you shouldn’t buy from anyone you don’t personally know or who isn’t a recognized broker. But if you do, do not give out your credit or debit card information, or you could be paying for that mistake for years.” News Contact: Rhonda Reddick, rhonda@androvett.com Phone: +1-800-559-4534

    **5. CONSUMER ISSUES: UNBUNDLED CABLE PRICING: AN IDEA WHOSE TIME HAS COME? Kurt Janvrin, senior marketing strategist with Allant Group: "Recent news articles have suggested that cable operators are actively considering opening up bundled channel pricing to allow consumers to buy just what they want to see. Why would cable open this Pandora's box of pricing options to allow a la carte network billing? In a word -- money. The cost of programming (per subscriber fees paid to networks by cable operators and passed on to consumers) has been rising 6-10 percent annually, and squeezed subscribers are voting with their checkbooks by leaving cable at unprecedented rates. Unbundled pricing can, in theory, lower the cost of a cable subscription and allow consumers to choose what they want to pay for -- and no more -- creating a counterweight to escalating content fees. After all, much like a 15-course meal that you can’t possibly finish, the 'all you can eat' price is no bargain if what you really wanted was a small meal in the first place. The beauty of the ‘bundled vs. unbundled’ debate is that consumer behavior can play a very positive role in keeping all parties honest about the real value of both the programming content and the distributor’s viewing experience -- and lead to more satisfied, loyal customers." Janvrin is available for media interviews. News Contact: Richard Berman, gobermanpr@gmail.com Phone: +1-914-572-2707

    **6. HEALTH: TOOTH SENSITIVITY AND AGING. Dr. Todd A. Pizzi, DDS, owner of Modern Dentistry in Shrewsbury, Mass.: “As we age, our teeth often become more sensitive to temperature. There are a few different things that can work together or independently to cause sensitivity in teeth. This problem is becoming more prevalent as proper dental care is becoming more common and our elderly population is keeping their teeth longer. As we get older, the majority of us will have some degree of gum recession, which exposes the root surfaces of our teeth. The roots of our teeth are porous, allowing them to attach to the gum tissue. When pores in our teeth are exposed to hot, cold or sweet items, they can transmit that sensation directly to the nerve of the tooth, often felt as discomfort or pain.” News Contact: Lucia Scott, Lucia@exposeyourselfpr.com

    **7. RELIGION: HAS SECULAR RELIGION BECOME MAINSTREAM RELIGION? Robert Nelson, professor at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy: "Major newspapers are now noting that Apple has become a new religion and Steve Jobs the prophet. In mourning, many Apple fans are testifying that Jobs changed their life. They believe that Jobs and Apple renewed their faith in human beings and progress, as well as the belief that better technology could help to save the world. Jobs' appearances to announce new Apple products were like revival meetings. Religion today increasingly is taking nontraditional forms, like the worship of Apple. These religions also have their secular saints and sinners. Their religious disagreements are central to many current policy debates. It is necessary to recognize the underlying religious conflict in order to understand how American society increasingly is filled with many kinds of 'holy wars.'" In his new book, "The New Holy Wars: Economic Religion Versus Environmental Religion in Contemporary America," Nelson examines how on a much broader scale, even contemporary economics and environmentalism have become new religions. Nelson is based in Chevy Chase, Md. He is available for media interviews. News Contact: Richard Berman, gobermanpr@gmail.com Phone: +1-914-572-2707

    **8. SHOPPING: DON'T FORGET TO GET IN GOOD WITH THE BIG MAN THIS BOSS DAY. Lindsay Roberts is the gift expert of TheGiftInsider.com, a site that reviews and categorizes unique and creative gift ideas: “Boss Day is coming up this Sunday, Oct. 16. We recommend not going over the top this holiday -- keep it simple, give something under $25 and pair it with an appreciative and well-thought-out card. Go for gadgets or accessories for their desk or office -- fun USB drives, entertaining desktop games and creative notepads are all affordable and casual ideas to show your boss you appreciate them, without spending your entire month's salary.” Roberts does not sell these products, but reviews them on her site and on NBC, ABC, FOX and CBS news affiliates across the country. Please contact her for more ideas to make life easier this Boss Day. Roberts: Lindsay@thegiftinsider.com Phone: +1-248-939-0195

     

    OTHER NEWS & RESOURCES:

    Following are links to other news and resources we think you might find useful. If you have an item you think other reporters would be interested in and would like us to include in a future alert, please drop us a line at profnetalerts@prnewswire.com

    **1. DEAR GRACIE: HOW AND WHY TO USE TWITTER LISTS: ProfNet Editor Grace Lavigne gets five experts to weigh in on Twitter lists: bit.ly/pNY6GG

    **2. HISTORY OF HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH: ProfNet Editor Evelyn Tipacti offers some background on how Hispanic Heritage Month originated: bit.ly/q6xLmS

    **3. SEVEN GRAMMATICAL STAPLES FOR POLISHED WRITING: Steve Vittorioso highlights seven guidelines from the AP Stylebook: bit.ly/qC4DkJ

    **4. INTERESTING EXPERT OF THE WEEK, KARATE EDITION: ProfNet Director Maria Perez interviews karate expert Sensei John Mirrione on his National Stop Bullying Campaign: bit.ly/p03PoU


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