Pan Mass Challenge Training 5-31-08

Another relatively short ride today– about 20 mile, but nice scenery alongside the Charles River, and I managed not to plow through a flock of sheep– I mean, French tourists taking up the entire path.

For those of you new to these posts, I am training to ride the Pan Mass Challenge in august- a 2-day, 160-mile ride that is a benefit for the Jimmy fund (children’s cancer research).

To sponsor my ride, please go to (…ofiles.asp) , or if you are at my blog, simply click on the blue PMC logo to the right.

Thank you!

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Making a Move

The last time I switched jobs, I was barely blogging, and didn’t feel the need to publish anything about my move. Really, who cared?

Today is different. I suspect that most of the people who read this blog closely are friends or know me enough to be interested, which is why I am writing here about my move from Topaz Partners to SHIFT Communications (actually, I suspect many of you know already, but I’m still posting here just in case).

Oops, did I bury the lead?

Yes, I am changing jobs, to become an account director at SHIFT. My new role will stress management and team-building rather than pitching the media, an evolution I am eager to make. As much as I loved pitching stories to the media, applying my expertise to helping others do it properly holds a ton of appeal for me.

Also important: SHIFT keeps in place many of the things I look for in a public relations agency, especially a social media emphasis that does not ignore- or segregate- “traditional” media PR.

I look forward to joining Todd Defren and the team at SHIFT, including former (soon to be “former-former”) colleagues Sandy Kalik and Ashley Girard and some of the other young social media stars in the PR world.

As for Topaz, I want to thank principals Tony Sapienza and Paula Slotkin for the opportunity and encouragement over the last three-plus years. Similarly, I would like to thank colleagues and friends such as Adam Zand, Todd Van Hoosear, Glen Zimmerman, Tim Allik and a bunch of others, too many to include them all (sorry!). My time at Topaz is the reason I am so active in social media in the first place (Tech PR Gems, PRobecast, my introduction to PodCamp and more), and I did not make this decision easily.

Still, I can’t wait to start a new chapter in my career, and I will share what I learn as I settle in to my new role.

One Last Thing
The toughest part of changing jobs is packing the desk and deciding what to keep and what to throw out. The most difficult decision: I never EVER throw out my copies of PC Magazine, some of which are pictured below. But how to carry them? I fret.

Utterzcast: Careful blogging?


Recent stories in print: Sunday’s New York Times piece by ex-Gawker Emily Gould, and today’s Boston Globe piece about blogging Federal Judge Nancy Gerstner, have touched on the subject of how careful we need to be revealing ourselves online.

Gould’s story moved me not at all. Through her blogging addiction she shared too much and pissed off people. I learned nothing from her, but wish her luck as she continues to grow up.

As for a blogging judge, people in any profession should pay attention. On the one hand, legal blogging- similar to but much more than other professions- necessitates weighing discretion against actually writing something valuable. On the other hand, she is in an industry where many people see blogging as dangerous and not valuable. I wish her success in blogging and hope others follow suit.

Where do we draw the line between value, danger and vanity? It’s usually a judgment call, I think.

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Pan Mass Challenge – Training (& English Beat)

Got some more training in for the pan Mas Challenge this weekend. Today (Sunday) was the longer ride, in which I topped 40 miles. However, Saturday I had a bit more fun. In the midst of a 20-mile ride, I stopped at Boston’s Hatch Shell, hung out on a friend’s boat on the Charles River, and caught the English Beat in concert. No better way to train.

Again, thanks to those of you who have sponsored my ride, in support of the Jimmy Fund. I have raised nearly $1,300 of my $3,400 goal. To join the growing list of sponsors, please visit:…ofiles.asp.


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Utterzcast: Using what you have


Sometimes the right set of circumstances means a change in plans. The key is in making it into an opportunity. For example, my inability to sleep in today turned into an unplanned trip to the gym. OK, lame example.

My wife is a master at this. I look at this fridge and say ‘we have no food.’ She looks at it and sees a great dinner for three.

It’s not about ‘making do.’ It’s seeing what you have and turning it into something. How do you do that?

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Utterzcast: Again with feeling


I never had much luck with Facebook groups. They all seem to just lie there and do nothing- really not a great feeling when clients are trying to use them.

The temptation is to put a wall around Facebook groups and bar myself from going there again. However, I started to notice to some groups did work- generally those formed around an event or a cause. So I set up a group that is both, focused on my participation in the Pan Mass Challenge charity bike ride this summer. After one day I already had 50 members and started receiving sponsorship donations.

Passion and a call to action- not just an affinity- are key here. Have you had something you thought was useless until you took a different approach? Tell me your stories!

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