stock photo

Why sign the photo release?

By Laura Bergells on

Stock photos pretty much suck. Perhaps they had their time and place, but their moment has passed. After a few years of looking at your friend’s photos on Instagram and Facebook, your eyes have been accustomed to seeing real people doing real activities. In contrast, stock photos of people faking their emotions doesn’t quite resonate …

sound jeopardy

What can you do in 30 seconds?

By Laura Bergells on

Throwback Thursday… In 2005, Merv Griffin said he wrote the Jeopardy! theme song in under a minute. “That little 30 seconds has made me a fortune, millions,” he said. How much exactly? Somewhere between 70 and 80 million. And that was ten years ago. Let’s pretend it took you 30 seconds to click through and read this …

george carlin

Why bother with a cover-up?

By Laura Bergells on

People in Washington say it’s not the initial offense that gets you in trouble. It’s the cover-up. They say you should admit what you did, get the story out, and move on. What this overlooks is the fact that most of the time the cover-up works just fine, and nobody finds out anything. I would …

hearts are with those affected

Our hearts and thoughts are not with you at this time…

By Laura Bergells on

Enough with organizations offering generic sentiments and abstractions. Be specific. Give me something concrete, or don’t say anything at all. Let’s say I’m on a company’s email list. It sends me an email telling me to enjoy a happy and safe holiday weekend. It generously tells my family to have one, too. And then 100 other brands send me something …

Welcome

How well do you welcome?

By Laura Bergells on

Your “Welcome” mat may be a visual cliché. You may think it’s de rigueur — but is it really making your audience feel welcomed? We’ve reached a point where merely saying or writing “welcome” doesn’t even mean anything. It’s too generic to be useful or inviting. That’s why you don’t see many websites with a welcome …

Yes, But It Was Only a Quiet Two Million

By Laura Bergells on

Back in 2007, I quickly tossed up a YouTube instructional video. It took me about a half hour to make the 4:46 minute video. Today, the video will reach its 2 millionth view. But it’s not a viral video. It’s not hip or trendy. It didn’t get a big spike in viewership and then go …

Telecommuting: are you ready for your close up?

By Laura Bergells on

Owing to global weirding, those who can are making plans to telecommute today. If you’re a writer, teacher, or communicator: you might have access to tools that allow you to do your jobs remotely. In a pinch, remote tools can often allow ‘the show to go on’. I remember speaking at an out-of-state conference a …

Please: stop “hiring to cultural fit”

By Laura Bergells on

I bristle at the trendy, thoughtless phrase “hire to cultural fit”. And I’m not alone. Often, you’ll hear this phrase parroted at tech, business, and startup conferences. Generally, it means, “when hiring, consider personality first — consider tech and business skills second”. Here’s the loosey-goosey rationale for ‘hiring to cultural fit’: “Hey, it’s easier to …