JPTearsheet June, 2020 Vol. XII No. 6
“The "good news" is so simple that a child can understand it, and so deep that a philosopher can't.”
— Larry Wall 

Putting the CART
Before the Horse
When many companies and organizations feel the need to “get the word out,” their first response is to send out a news release. Not a bad suggestion.

The disappointment begins to set in when they realize that no one is picking up their news release and publishing it. Then the finger pointing starts; followed by the inevitable tap dancing by those responsible for the release as to why it “didn’t work.”

Why didn’t it work? Let’s start by looking at what was sent out: a news release. The key word here is “news.” Did the document that you released have any actual news? There are four guidelines that you can use to determine the news value of your release. Cleverly, the acronym for the four spells: CART.

C — for clarity. How well did you explain the topic of the release? Taking things for granted as well as an over abundance of jargon can go a long way to killing a news release. Have an outsider read it before you send it. If they don’t “get it” chances are that the media won’t either.

A — for accuracy. While this may seem like a no-brainer, it isn’t. This can be especially troublesome when you’re writing about a survey, a study or some research project.

R — for relevancy. Simply put: does it pass the so-what test? Why should anyone care? It may be very important to you, but will anyone else be moved? Think about the journalists who are on the receiving end. Why should their audiences care about your release?

T — for timeliness. It won’t do anyone much good if you issue a news release to comment on something that happened two weeks ago. Old news is not news. Think back to what was said earlier: the keyword here is “news.”

There is a reason why they call it a “news” release.
The Zoom effect. While hearing oral arguments in a U.S. Supreme Court case over the phone, clearly and identifiably a toilet flushing was heard in the background.
—  The Week

You go, girl. Guardians of the French language, the Academie Francaise has declared “Covid-19" to be a feminine noun.
—  New York Times

Way gone, girl.  At $58.5 million, the highest paid CEO on the S&P 500 is Lisa Su, head of chip-maker AMD. She is the first woman to top the list.

What could be the reason? With millions more working from home, online sales of pajamas are up 143 percent from earlier this year.

The fans in the stands.  To compensate for the lack fans in the stands, a South Korean soccer team filled the empty seats in its stadium with “life-size sex dolls.”

The NIMBY virus.  Nearly 7½ percent of all U.S. counties have not recorded a single case of Covid-19. Most are in the Midwest.
—   USAToday

The new Century club. After 118 years in business, J.C. Penney is joining 113-year old Neiman Marcus and 102-year old Hertz Rent-a-Car in bankruptcy court.
—  various sources

Yellow fever? Officially classified as a berry, world banana production is topped by India and China. On the other hand, Australians grow a red variety of banana.
Quote of the Month:
“The problem with political correctness is that it's too politically correct.”
—  Mel Brooks

Month of the Month:
Take a good look in the mirror because June is Beautiful in Your Skin Month. Of course, let’s not neglect that it’s also Cancer From The Sun Month. If you’re undaunted, then you might want to take advantage of World Naked Bike Ride Month (but it’s only observed in the Northern Hemisphere.)

Question of the Month:

What is the single largest irrigated crop in the United States?

Chances are that you won’t have to look far for the answer.
Changing Language
Much has been written about how the Covid-19 is going to impact the economy, the workforce, technology, etc. No argument here.

There is another facet of our lives that the pandemic has already changed, continues to change, and in all likelihood will go on changing for some time. And that’s our language. We have new words, new uses for words, new emphasis on words, etc.

Six months ago, no one had ever heard of “social distancing” and now we’re living it. In January, how many people were familiar with the word pandemic? A lot fewer than today. We’re all keenly aware of a “lockdown.” We now have a new appreciation for the word “Zoom” (capitalized here to refer to the proper name of the video conferencing app.) Some of us who have been forced to use Zoom more than we’d like are experiencing “Zoom gloom.” 

Remote work has taken on a heightened awareness for obvious reasons. And quite possibly, WFH might have surpassed WTF in our everyday lexicon.

One of the great things about language is that it’s constantly changing and evolving. The past few months have proven that again.

“For last year's words belong to last year's language, and next year's words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning."
— T.S. Eliot

Hard Hitting Lessons
A gridiron MBA? OK, maybe that’s not possible, but see how much you can learn about business from football in my book, Hard Hitting Lessons.  The subtitle says it all, “Some not-so-obvious business lessons learned from playing football.”
Most people associate football with learning things like hard work, discipline, teamwork, etc. That’s all very true. But what can you learn about business from football? According to Hard Hitting Lessons , a lot. This book will explain it all – from human resources to strategic planning and more. Yes, there’s a lot to be learned from playing football about business – and even about life itself. 

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