Wednesday, February 27, 2013

How Can I Be of Help to You?

Little did I know when I began my blog, “Warning Signs” that it will would pass 3.6 million visits as 2014 began.

Posted as well on dozens of news and opinion websites and other blogs, it reaches well over a million readers a day and it is testimony to the way good writing, clear thinking, careful research, and straight talk has great appeal.
 
The same skills that go into the blog are, of course, available to you as well. The range of topics that I cover includes politics, energy, environmental issues, education, national security, health, and whatever interests and concerns, not just Americans, but readers from around the world.

 
Making the complex comprehensible is a talent, too.
My clients include a full spectrum and many have been with me for years. You’re invited to take advantage of the kind of knowledge and experience that only comes with time.
 

Affordable, able to respond to tight deadlines, to projects large and small, call me at 973-763-6392 (NJ) to discuss how I can be of service to you.


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Credentials: Alan Caruba

Public Relations Counselor & Editorial Consultant

Alan Caruba has been a professional writer and public relations counselor for more than five decades. His expertise on a range of public affairs issues has made him a popular guest on talk radio and on television.

Prior to establishing The Caruba Organization, Mr. Caruba was a professional journalist; a reporter and editor with two weekly newspapers in New Jersey and a columnist and feature writer for a New Jersey daily. In addition, he was a freelance contributor to the New Jersey Sunday section of The New York Times.

During this period and thereafter, as a freelance writer he contributed to many newspapers and magazines, consistently winning awards for his work. These days, his writings are widely published on leading news and opinion Internet sites, as well as in a variety of publications. His opinion editorials have appeared regularly in The Washington Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Providence Journal, and other print media outlets.

After graduating from the University of Miami (FL) and serving in the U.S. Army, and following his career as a journalist, Mr. Caruba joined the New York State Department of Housing and Community Affairs as its Communications Director, transferring to the New York State Housing Finance Agency. His work included award-winning annual reports for both of these state agencies. Returning to his home State, Mr. Caruba became the Director of Publications for the New Jersey Institute of Technology, responsible for a wide range of work including recruiting publications and annual catalogs of course offerings.

In the mid-1970s, he established The Caruba Organization and has enjoyed a wide variety of clients. Over the years, he has worked with leading corporations, trade associations, think tanks, and entrepreneurs of every description. He provides editorial services to public relations and public affairs agencies. Since the late 1980s, he has been the public relations counselor for the New Jersey Pest Management Association. For ten years until 2004, he served as the Director of Communications for the American Policy Center. In recent years, his expertise on policy issues that include energy, immigration, education, Islamic fundamentalism, environmentalism, and other topics have earned him wide recognition. He no longer conducts business as The Caruba Organization.

In his book, "Guerrilla PR", Michael Levine wrote "he’s one of the most in-demand public relations counselors, and counts major associations, corporations, and celebrities among his clients. Alan Caruba possesses the soul of a Guerrilla PR master."

Founder. Mr. Caruba has received extensive national and international media recognition, first as the founder in 1984 of the famed media spoof and clearinghouse of information, The Boring Institute©. He was profiled in The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, and many other publications as the nation’s expert on boredom and its impact on individuals and society. Over the course of its twenty years, Mr. Caruba averaged a thousand radio interviews annually until putting the Institute on hiatus in 2004.

In 1990, Mr. Caruba founded The National Anxiety Center as a clearinghouse for information about "scare campaigns designed to influence public policy and opinion" on a wide variety of issues. The Center's website is now an archive for the weekly commentaries he wrote for many years, but his daily commentaries, posted on his popular blog, "Warning Signs", now command a vast national and international audience of readers and are frequently published as opinion editorials in leading daily newspapers and other publications. He is a daily contributor to CanadaFreePress.com, an influential news and opinion website, and his commentaries appear in dozens of comparable websites and blogs. Environmental and energy issues are regularly examined, along with others involving national security, politics, education, immigration, and popular culture. Mr. Caruba is a frequent guest on talk radio.

Radio-TV Guest. A reflection of his activities as the founder of both the Institute and Center, Mr. Caruba has been a popular guest on radio shows throughout the United States, Canada, and Great Britain. He does many radio shows every year in addition to the occasional guest appearance on television. He has been on programs aired by Fox News Channel, CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, and other networks. He has appeared with Paula Zahn, Chris Matthews, Joan Rivers, Regis Philbin, and other leading TV personalities. Talkers Magazine has called him "one of the great guests of talk radio."

Book Reviewer. For four decades, beginning in his days as a journalist, Mr. Caruba has been a book reviewer. He is a founding member of the National Book Critics Circle. Bookviews has evolved from being syndicated to weekly newspapers, a monthly newsletter, and is now a monthly report on the Internet visited by more than 70,000 ardent book lovers. In addition, for many years Mr. Caruba was a judge for the Publishers Marketing Association’s Benjamin Franklin Awards.

Author. Mr. Caruba's most recent book is Right Answers: Separating Fact from Fantasy, a collection of his weekly columns, and a sequel to his 2003 collection, "Warning Signs", both published by Merrill Press. In the 1970s he was published as a poet by Pocket Books and a novelist by Dell. Over the years, he has been a contributor to many books including "The Complete Guide to Writing Non-Fiction", "Favorite Words of Famous People", "The Cat Catalog", "Managing Service for Success", "The Travel Atlas of Scenic America", and "Urban Terrorism." From 1989 to 1997, he was the editor of "Power Media Selects", a media directory identifying the most influential print and broadcast media contacts.

Memberships. In the course of his long career, Mr. Caruba has maintained memberships in the American Society of Journalists and Authors, the Society of Professional Journalists, and he is a founding member of the National Book Critics Circle.

Listed. Mr. Caruba’s professional standing is recognized by listing in directories that include the Yearbook of Experts; Working Press of the Nation; Literary Marketplace; Bacon’s media directories; O’Dwyer’s Directory of PR Firms and O’Dwyer’s Directory of PR Executives.



Where Read, Where Published, Where Heard.

Perhaps the most essential function a public relations professional performs is either to secure publication for his client’s writings or, through his own writings, secure exposure for his client’s products, services, or issues.

I have been published as much for my own views as a business, science, and public affairs writer. I have also ghostwritten commentaries for nationally known personalities represented by PR and public affairs agencies.

It is useful, therefore, to see where I have been published in the past and, of course, where my independent weekly column of commentary, "Warning Signs", currently appears when it is excerpted and posted on Internet websites and, from there, on many blogs. A Google and blog search reveals the extent of the coverage given my writings.

Here is a partial list of Internet sites where my work is routinely posted.

CanadaFreePress.com (daily columnist)
Accuracy in Media
EnterStageRight.com
NewMediaJournal.us

Accuracy in Media
Renew America
ConservativeTruth.org

The Moral Liberal
FederalObserver.com
Thought You Should Know.com
PA Pundits

The Tunnel Wall
FamilySecurityMatters.org

Tea Party News Network
Your News.com

Albany Tribune
Black Quill & Ink
Climate Change Dispatch
Climate Depot

RightSideNews.com
WebCommentary.com

Capital Hill Outsider
Theo Spark (blog)
The Absurd Report (blog)
Dr. Rich Swier (blog)
Ammoland
Ice Cap.us

Ice Age Now.info
American Daily Herald
PA Pundits
VeritasPac
US Action News
Climate Realists

Ice Age Now
Freedom Action Network
Freedom Pub

Real Clear Liberty Network
Global Free Press
Eurasia Review.com

Gold Coast Chronicle
News Nation Brewing
USActionNews
PR Online News
Paradigms and Demographics
CheyenneNetwork.com
Conservative Crusader
News Nation Brewing
Sonaran News
Highlands Tea Party
Gold Coast Chronicle


My writings are reprinted as opinion editorials and, in recent years, been published in The Washington Times, the Philadelphia Enquirer, Providence Journal, Pottstown Mercury, and elsewhere.

As a journalist, I have been a contributor to The New York Times and worked fulltime as a reporter and columnist for The Morris County (NJ) Record.

My work has appeared in consumer magazines such as Travel-Holiday and in public policy magazines such as The World & I, The Freeman, and The American Legion Magazine.

Public relations, media & business:
Public Relations Journal
Advertising Age

Editor & Publishers
Communications World
Folio: Magazine Publishing
Publishers Weekly
Sales & Marketing Management
Journal of Commerce
International Distributor
New
Jersey Business

Trade Magazines
Over the years, on behalf of clients my work has appeared in many trade journals serving a wide range of industries and businesses. Here’s a partial list:

Chief Executive
Restaurant Hospitality
Lodging Hospitality
Resort Management
The Kansas Restaurant
The Florida Restaurateur
Cleaning Management
Institutions
Food Executive
Beverage Industry
Progressive Grocer
Executive Housekeeping Today
American School & University
School Food Service Journal
School Bus Journal
Successful Meetings
Meeting Place
Hotel & Motel Management
Club Management
The Journal of Housing
The Homeowner
Airline Executive
Airport Services Management
Travel Agent
Contemporary Administrator
Nursing Homes
Southern Hospitals
Medical Marketing & Media
Biomedical Communications
Lab World
Modern Office Technology
Airport Services Management
Satellite Dish
Pest Control
Pest Control Technology
Pest Management
Lawn Care Industry
Occupational Hazards
National Safety News
Seaport
The Coal Journal
Pit & Quarry

Agriculture & related industries:
Progressive FarmerWashington Wheat FarmerMichigan FarmerOregon Farmer-Stockman
Agribusiness Fieldman
Dairy Record


Asheville (NC) Tribune (active contributor)

Author and contributor to books:

My most recent book is Right Answers: Separating Fact from Fantasy (Merrill Press) published September 2006, a sequel to Warning Signs, published in 2003. Both books are collections of my commentaries as posted on my own and many other news and opinion Internet sites.

Over the years I have contributed to several books. They include Favorite Words of Famous People, The Complete Guide to Non-Fiction Writing, Guerilla PR, Travel Atlas of Scenic America, The Cat Catalog, Managing Service for Success, and Urban Terrorism.

From 1989 to 1997, I edited a media directory, Power Media Selects, published by Broadcast Interview Source of Washington, D.C.

Radio and Television:

As the creator of a media spoof, The Boring Institute™, I was a popular radio guest from 1984 to the present. At the height of the Institute's popularity I averaged one thousand radio shows a year publicizing its various events that spoofed the Oscar Awards, the new television season, and celebrities. In this capacity, I also appeared on television with Joan Rivers, Regis Philbin, Paula Zahn, and many other TV personalities.

Currently, I continue to do talk radio discussing a wide range of public policy issues on both AM radio and Internet radio shows.

Note: The popularity of my daily blog with commentary concerning a wide range of "hot button" topics has made http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.com "must" reading every day for a growing body of visitors from around the nation and the world. By 2013, it has passed 2.5 million individual page views.

In addition, my posts are a daily element of www.canadafreepress.com, an influential news and opinion website, as well as numerous other news/opinion aggregators.

Over at www.anxietycenter.com, the website for The National Anxiety Center, one can read through archived commentaries as well as a four-part series on the production and consumption of meat in America, published in a newsletter of The Heartland Institute, a non-profit, free market think tank headquartered in Chicago. Another series regarding America's educational system is also posted there.

I am available in a consultant capacity to ghost-write comparable commentaries for individual entrepreneurs, corporate executives, and others seeking a wider audience for their views.

The Growing Power of Internet-Driven Public Relations

By Alan Caruba

I doubt that most people realize how public relations has increased its power to influence since the growth the Internet had in the 1990s and which continues today. Literally millions of new web sites are added to the Net every week. They represent the most extraordinary way to target one’s audience on the Net and via mainstream media outlets.

Today’s journalists, radio and television news producers and editors now all prefer to receive news via email and to instantly access web sites to secure the facts. The pressures of a 24/7-news cycle require such access and one site, Yearbook.com, instantly puts journalists in touch with experts on thousands of topics. Dedicated sites provide credibility to individuals, profit and non-profit organizations by staying up to date with news and commentary on issues and events that affect them.

Then, too, the news and opinion web sites have become independently influential, often breaking stories that are then picked up by the mainstream press. CNSnews.com, which specializes in news from a conservative point of view, routinely both breaks and makes news. Conversely, Salon.Com, offering a more liberal point of view, is struggling these days as public opinion continues to shift.

The result is an astonishing flow of information and opinion undreamed of in the days when I was a young journalist in the 1960s. Then, only the phone for an interview and a few books or files of yellowing clips in the newspaper’s library provided the quotes and facts necessary to write a story against deadline. It wasn’t called "the morgue" for nothing!

There has also been growth of mainstream print and broadcast media outlets, literally numbering in the tens of thousands. While daily newspapers have lost circulation, they still remain viable and all maintain their own web sites. New magazines seem to debut every week. Talk radio is enjoying a burst of success undreamed of only a decade ago. The choice of network and cable television programs provides still more public relations outlets.

For me, however, the success of a public relations program comes as the result of carefully targeting those Internet and mainstream media outlets that reach an intended audience and/or market. In that manner, the message can successfully compete amidst the deluge of news and commentary from which to choose. Every enterprise must have their own dedicated web site. It is the key element in public relations today.

Timing, too, is essential. There are still "slow news" days and knowing when to provide less than earthshaking news can yield dividends. A sense of humor helps as well, plus the willingness to be creative, coming up with programs that will generate coverage. It helps to be lucky and not bump up against some breaking news event that will preclude yours.

It’s useful as well to be realistic and realize that not everyone is waiting to hear or read your news.

It is essential, however, to be absolutely relentless in putting your news into the stream that flows 24/7.

Even if it does not always get coverage, it does put the name of your company, organization, product, service or issue in front of editors and reporters, giving it credibility the next time it shows up on their computer monitor. There is always a breakthrough point that initiates routine coverage. It can often take up to six months to a year for "a new face" to begin to make progress. This must be accompanied at all times with virtually instant response to any media inquiry. The more accessible you are, the more action you get!

Clients of mine have received a call before and been on major television news programs by the same day. Even I have found myself doing live radio simply because I picked up the phone!

My weekly commentaries routinely reach a potential audience of millions of readers.
The real power of public relations lies in a consistent effort, accessibility, and knowing where to "place" the story. That is why it has developed into a profession in its own right. It is also the difference between a web site that is designed to deliver that news up front and to provide ease of navigation to supportive, archived data. These days there is plenty of skilled talent to design web sites.

While advertising is a guarantor of getting your message where you want it, public relations is the "background music" that supports and augments it.

Abraham Lincoln said it best. "Public sentiment is everything. With it nothing can fail. Without it nothing can succeed."

Because of the huge role the media plays in our lives, public relations has gained in importance. Literally no business, no profession, no organization, no products, no services, no advocacy of any kind, can succeed without the implementation of public relations supported by an effective Internet site.

The Ten Most Common PR Mistakes

By Alan Caruba

Who needs public relations? Just about everyone these days.

Public relations has ceased to be the domain of large corporations, trade associations, and government agencies. Today, everyone engaged in a business or profession needs to use public relations in order to stand out from their competition. All too frequently, however, this area of activity is either ignored or poorly executed.

If you want your PR to fail, follow these simple guidelines!

1. Don’t plan ahead. Never anticipate your "busy season" or a tie-in with a particular holiday or event that can benefit you. (Most magazines need at least five to six months advance notice Newspapers and radio-t.v. need far less time, but waiting until the last moment is a sure way to lose valuable PR opportunities).

2. Write a really bad, boring news release. Don’t put an interesting headline on it, make it very long, and neglect to put phone numbers where you can be reached.

3. If a reporter does call, don’t return their call immediately, but make them wait until the deadline for the story has passed. Be evasive and long-winded. If the real answer is "I don’t know," make something up!

4. By no means undertake an on-going public relations program, reaching out to the media in your area with, at a minimum, a monthly news release featuring useful information.

5. Don’t maintain an updated mailing list of local (regional and national media) outlets and, even more importantly, don’t keep a list of the newsroom fax numbers available.

6. If an event or issue occurs that relates to your business or profession, make no effort to fax a short news release or "Op Ed" to your media list. Your expertise should be kept a secret.

7. Never join any organizations, give any speeches or enter any competitions. Don’t donate any time or money to worthwhile community events. Never, under any circumstances, send a thank you note to anyone.

8. Don’t engage the services of a public relations counselor or agency to plan and execute a public relations program for you.

9. If you do engage PR professionals, never keep them informed on issues, opinions, and activities which they can turn to your advantage.

10. And never think long-term (see #1). Pay no attention to the way your reputation is enhanced by a steady flow of positive news about your activities.

PR is Not Advertising

When it comes to marketing communications, public relations is generally not as well understood as advertising. Simply put, with advertising, you buy space or time. You have something specific whether it’s a billboard or a radio commercial.

PR is far more subtle because it relies on securing media coverage that works to enhance the public’s recognition and confidence in your business or profession. It is rarely quantifiable.

When a company or individual receives "bad" publicity, they know it! When they are benefiting from "good" publicity, it’s just part of the on-going growth of the enterprise.

Good public relations, however, is a very hands-on activity which requires a good measure of planning and effort to work well. It involves an investment in a press clipping and media distribution service, along with a high level of postage, telephone and fax expenditures.

Public relations, to have any success, requires building recognition, first, with the media that serves your market area, and, after that, the provision of a sufficient flow of newsworthy information to generate coverage. News people value their news sources. When you become one, good things happen.

How to Spot Hype: Guru Reveals PR Secrets!

Famed hypemeister, Alan Caruba, has revealed the secrets of "hype", describing twenty ways to spot it. It’s hype, says the PR guru, if…

1. An overnight courier service delivers the material.
2. It’s addressed to an editor who died some years ago.
3. It comes in a "cute" package such as a hot pizza.
4. You immediately get a call asking if it arrived.
5. The word "toxic" occurs repeatedly.
6. It’s about something that threatens all life on Earth.
7. It’s about a new "scientific" study.
8. Its author is unfamiliar with the English language.
9. Its topic remains a mystery even after the third reading.
10. It’s from a government agency.
11. It arrives in triplicate, in large, flat envelopes.
12. It’s from a politician.
13. It’s from a "fabulous" place to visit.
14. It has anything to do with sex.
15. It’s about a new film.
16. It’s about a new television show.
17. It’s about animals.
18. It’s about a celebrity.
19. Voice mail thwarts all efforts to verify.
20. It uses phrases like "famed hypemeister."