(We All Should Wake Up) When September Ends and …

By Edward M. Bury, APR aka The PRDude

educate ourselves on which candidates to vote for in the November 6 election — surely one of the most significant of our life time.

Before I get into the real content of this post, let me assure you — my loyal readers — that I will refrain for a while from naming posts after popular songs.  This one is inspired in name only by a great song from American Idiot, Green Day’s rock opera from 2004.  Recently, I’ve borrowed songs made famous by U2 and a gem sung by the “countrypolitan” genius of Glen Campbell.

I’ll stop.  For a while.  Onto the serious stuff.

On this last day of September, every American who is eligible to vote — as well as every American of sound mind and possessing a conscious — needs to commit to making a difference in shaping the national agenda in the weeks to come.  I assure you, it won’t take all that much time; yes, you’ll have plenty of time to watch football, rake leaves and accomplish all the regular stuff done in fall.

Here’s how:

Visit both.  Read and absorb where the candidates stand (at least as of  today) on key issues facing our nation.  Determine what will drive your decision on November 6.  It could be energy or education, taxes or overseas trade policies.  Everyone’s concerned and immediately impacted by jobs, the economy and healthcare, so make sure you know where the candidate’s stand on these three issues.

Talk to friends and family about the upcoming elections and the discuss the background, records, history and accomplishments of the two men running for President of the United States.  Listen to those who have differing opinions.

Pay some attention to the professional pundits, the vast majority who are clearly partisan red or partisan blue. And, it’s probably best to hit the remote button when a television ad — and there will be lots and lots of them — bashes one guy but fails to offer anything positive about their guy. Understand that political campaigns do incorporate “public relations” in crafting communications strategies and tactics, but attack ads don’t qualify as effective public relations.  I’m sure there are a lot of people who’ll debate me on the this contention.

Watch the televised presidential and vice presidential debates.  The first one is Wednesday, October 4.  Fact: There’s a body called the Commission on Presidential Debates that organizes these things.  Read your local newspaper and visit politically-oriented websites and blogs for their opinions on the candidates.

Take this new-found insight, make a decision and please vote November 6.

Employ the above to also become familiar with the congressional and other elections in your state, county and municipality.  Google will help you find local election information.

The Green Day song that inspired the title to this post was part of a body of songs that based on a period in the life of an anti-hero named Jesus of Suburbia. Critics, of course, have dissected the meaning of the work, and like all good art it’s open to interpretation.

The same goes for what you’ll learn about candidates running for office this fall: Everything is open to interpretation. So wake up, because September ends in just a few hours.

Ways to Save After Daylight Saving Time Ends

By Edward M. Bury, APR, (aka The PRDude)

Some time yesterday, most of us set our clocks forward to return to Standard Time, saying “goodbye” to Day Light Saving Time.  (It case you didn’t touch your time pieces, it’s an hour earlier that you think.) The real purpose behind the national initiative, of course, is to take advantage of more daylight hours.

But hey: Aside from tech start-up wizards who get bought out for nine figures or hedge fund managers who probably make that much, we all should be focusing on saving something these days.

As a public service initiative, the PRDude offers these ways to save time– certainly something of value — until we switch back to Daylight Saving Time this fall when we’ll save, well, daylight again.

  • Following the GOP Presidential Race.  Seriously, Mitt Romney pretty much has got the race locked, unless he does or says something really dumb when the primary race moves to a big state like Texas or Illinois.  He’s just got too much of the two “m-words” going for him: Money and momentum.  So why listen to more empty rhetoric until the Republicans meet in Tampa this August.  After weeks and weeks of debates and more recently, the primaries, is there anything of significance that Governor Romney, Senator Santorum or Speaker Gingirch has to say that we haven’t heard? Oh yes, Congressman Paul, too.  Want to spend time following a race that means something to Americans these days?  Read the next item.

  • Deciding on Your Final Four Picks. Yesterday also was “Selection Sunday,” or the day many of us who don’t regularly follow college hoops — me included — start following the game because of the exciting NCAA men’s basketball tournament.  And, the fact that some people actually lay down wagers on the games. Yes, we’re in March Madness, meaning roundball prognosticators will spend hours studying stat after stat right up to the start of First Round play Thursday, March 15 to complete their brackets.  Spend your time this week doing something else because the Final Four will be comprised of Kentucky, Missouri, Syracuse and Kansas. How do I know this?  I have a “system,” which I can’t share because I’m entering two pools.  But please feel free to share any insight on preventing your brackets from being busted too early.

  • Contemplating the True Definition of  “Public Relations.” A couple of days ago, the Public Relations Society of America announced the results of an initiative to offer an “official” definition of “public relations,” the noble communications practice that inspired this blog and continues to be its driving force.  The definition, which was vetted online by the membership from three choices, strikes a responsive chord from The PRDude:  “Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.” Adding “strategic” really solidifies this definition for me; without a defined strategy, what many believe is “public relations” more than likely falls under “publicity.”  Disclaimer: I’m a proud member of PRSA.  The take away from this segment: Now that the world’s largest body governing public relations has defined the practice, allocate time to learn how to be a better practitioner.

What are your suggestions for saving time?  And, don’t say: “Stop wasting time reading blogs like this one!”