Saturday, December 19, 2009


I am now a blogger with the new website - Chicago Now is owned by Chicago Tribune and has picked experts in their field to talk about all things Chicago.

I will cover events/society in Chicago. I will take readers to hottest concerts, parties, must attend events, galas and more!

Please visit and search my blog CHI-SOCIETY.

Check every week for updates!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

What bases do I need to cover when I've been laid off?

There are several important things you need to do after being laid off. First, figure out how much money you will need to meet your monthly obligations. Evaluate your severance package if you have been given one. Some may involve a lump sum payment or salary continuation. You will also need to look over your benefits package and see if you are eligible to continue them through COBRA. Find out about your monthly costs. Then you should analyze your 401K plan.

Do you have a loan associated with the 401K that you will need to pay off immediately? Should you leave the 401K with your employer's administrator while you decide where to transfer the funds or do you need to transfer the money right away?

Next, learn the rules of unemployment insurance. See if and when you are eligible for benefits and what the requirements are to receive them. Then set your professional and personal priorities. What types of jobs will you be pursuing and where?

The next step is to start updating your resume and networking with all of your connections. Attend industry events, job fairs, and contact everyone you know in your area of expertise. Colleagues and former supervisors can often be the source of good job leads so arrange to have coffee or lunch with them.

It is also a good idea to network with your contacts through various social networking sites. Also, check with your former employer to see whom you can use as a reference and make a list of people whose names you can give to potential new employers.

It is also important to get ready for your interviews. Practice your story about being laid off and what you will tell those who interview you. Your job now is to promote yourself to potential employers so you can land a new position and get back into the workforce.

Jane Waldman is director of recruitment at Kaplow

How can I approach an agency if I want to do freelance work?

Following a year in which many PR agencies reduced their headcount, there are likely more freelance opportunities available as agencies hesitate to add permanent staff in a still unstable economic climate. However, with so many more capable professionals on the market, the competition for freelance assignments is fierce. To stand out you have to be aggressive and disciplined in your pursuit of freelance work.

Market yourself. Tailor your resume for freelance work by highlighting your strongest expertise and sector-specific knowledge; when an agency is looking for a freelancer, it is probably for a very specific assignment. Demonstrating experience which closely mirrors the specs will help you land the assignment. The next step is to educate yourself about your target market. After you have identified your most marketable skills and industry experience, it's time to find the agencies whose practice areas match your profile. If you are a food and beverage expert, locate the agencies with the largest food and beverage divisions. If you have extensive experience pitching financial media, look for agencies with strong financial/IR or corporate practices.

Few freelance positions are advertised on job boards, so you must reach out to agencies directly and inquire about work. Reach out to the HR director, as well as senior executives in your target practice areas requesting informational interviews. I regularly conduct informational interviews with interesting applicants in order to keep my network – as well as my freelance and permanent staff pipeline – active. In the meeting, emphasize those skills which distinguish you from the competition, and also try to learn more about the company. After the meeting, don't send your interviewers a LinkedIn request; keep in touch by periodically sharing articles which you know would be pertinent to their work. This is less intrusive than an unsolicited “friend request,” and more importantly, a relevant Wall Street Journal or PRWeek article demonstrates your knowledge of their company and their clients' businesses. It's a great way to remind them that you are not the average candidate, and you're just one mouseclick away from a freelance position.

Steve Seeman is a VP at Makovsky + Company

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Unless you've been under a rock or in a coma, you know that Tiger Woods is embroiled in one of the messiest personal scandals in a long time. Over the last several weeks, multiple mistresses have disclosed the intimate details of their affairs with the acclaimed golfer.

Now, former 'View' co-host Star Jones is making headlines of her own for suggesting that her former boss, media maven Barbara Walters, land Woods' first interview.

Jones was serving as a guest host on Friday's episode of 'The Insider' when she was asked whether Woods should give his first interview to Walters or his pal Oprah Winfrey.

"My former boss might be a good choice," Jones recommended. "She wrote an entire book where she detailed her own affair and got paid a lot of money. She would be a very good choice. That would be like the pot calling the kettle black. I'm not sure she would be sympathetic, but she can't be as judgmental."

The former 'Court TV' host was referencing Walters' affair with married Sen. Edward Brooke, which the 80-year-old journalist detailed in her best-selling memoir 'Audition.'

Jones, a former prosecutor, has been a regular guest host on 'The Insider' since October. When she appeared on the celebrity gossip show's Oct. 12 episode, her comments about filmmaker Roman Polanski made headlines as well.

"Spike Lee wouldn't have been allowed to chill in France for 30 years if he had raped a child," Jones said.

Posted by Jawn Murray


Politico's Mike Allen reports what industry-watchers have been expecting for the last week: George Stephanopoulos will be joining "Good Morning America" as anchor. ABC is expected to make an announcement Thursday.

Allen adds that Stephanopoulos may begin anchoring the morning show — along with co-anchor Robin Roberts, and recently appointed newsreader JuJu Chang — as soon as Monday.

Diane Sawyer's final "GMA" broadcast is Friday; she takes the reins at "World News" on December 21.

Current "GMA" newsreader Chris Cuomo has reportedly been offered a job co-anchoring "20/20" with Elizabeth Vargas.

Stephanopoulos may remain as host of his Sunday program, "This Week," for a transition period but will eventually give it up to focus exclusively on "GMA."

He and his wife, actress Ali Wentworth, were seen apartment-hunting in New York over Thanksgiving weekend, and have reportedly been scouting schools for their two daughters, Elliott and Harper, to attend in New York.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Tiger Woods' Image Likely Unharmed


Smashed up, semi-conscious and bleeding may be how Tiger Woods was discovered three days ago. However, his reputation as a top brand endorser should remain relatively unscathed, according to sports marketing experts. Woods is currently the face of some of the world's biggest companies. Accenture, American Express, AT&T, EA Sports, Gatorade, Gillette and Nike are among the brands to which he has ties.

All told, he pulls in about $100 million annually in endorsement deals, per Forbes. Allegations of infidelity and other stories that are currently swirling will not greatly affect his abilities as an endorser, said David Schwab, vp, Octagon Sports Marketing's First Call and managing director of athletes and personalities. "If it's only a spat and the story is what we've seen, then it doesn't affect him," Schwab said. "He is unique in terms of his global appeal, size and long-term ability. He's not like a prime-time actor competing with 30 other competitors. He doesn't compete with anyone." Woods' target demographic, namely middle- to upper-class males, "tend to be a lot more forgiving," said Larry McCartney, associate professor of sports marketing at Seton Hall University's Center for Sport Management.

"There are obviously rumors flying around all over the place at the moment, but he's pretty much bulletproof." Nike has already issued a statement of support, and Leverage Agency CEO Ben Sturner expects that other brands will follow suit. "All of his sponsors are going to support him," he said.A Gillette rep said, "He remains a part of our current marketing efforts. We have not announced any changes to our plans.

"The only danger for Woods involves any offers that are currently on the table. "Right now if I'm a brand manager negotiating to do a global campaign, do I pull out because maybe it could get worse?" said Sturner. Still, "long term will it hurt? No. Look at Kobe Bryant right now. Look at the other stars that have had worse incidents that have dampened their reputations [and rebounded]. It's about what happens on the golf course. That will make or break his marketing appeal."

by Kenneth Hein

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Gibson Signing Off From 'ABC World News' Dec. 18

Charles Gibson will sign off from World News Dec. 18.

Diane Sawyer will officially move into the anchor chair in January, though ABC News has not made an announcement about her start date. But according to sources at ABC News, Sawyer plans to give herself a soft launch at World News by anchoring the broadcast on Dec. 21 and 22 before leaving for the holidays.

An announcement about who will succeed Sawyer at Good Morning America is expected in the coming weeks.

Gibson has anchored World News since May 2006. Prior to that, he co-anchored GMA with Sawyer.

Gibson came to ABC News in 1975 from Television News Inc. (TVN), a syndicated news service. From 1970 to 1973 he was an anchor and reporter for WJLA-TV (then WMAL-TV), the ABC affiliate in Washington, DC. Prior to joining WJLA-TV, he had been news director for WLVA-TV and Radio in Lynchburg, Virginia. His first job in broadcasting was Washington producer for RKO Network in 1966.

In a post on the World Newser blog, Jon Banner, the executive producer of World News, wrote that Gibson's last week would include a walk down memory lane.

"We're going to spend a good deal of time during his final week on the air looking back at the stories Charlie covered, hearing again from some of the remarkable people he interviewed, and paying tribute to our friend and colleague, and the enormous contribution he has made to ABC News over the last three decades," wrote Banner.


If you are in Chicago and in the Public Relations and Journalism field make sure you attend the NABJ-Chicago (Nat'l Assoc. of Black Journalist Chicago) AND BPRS (Black Public Relations Society)

It is taking place on December 16th from 5:00pm - 10:00pm at the Joynt ( 650 North Dearborn * Chicago)

It is a great place for networking and have fun!