Unwinding For The Long Weekend

If you are planning to rest and de-stress over this long weekend, why not make it a goal to catch up on all the good entertainment you might have missed working long hours at a busy job like public relations!

Here is our list of media musts to savor and enjoy over the next three days.

TV Go to Netflix or Showtime on Demand, upload the entire season of “Homeland,”  the drama/thriller about a returning American soldier who may not be who he appears and the slightly unstable yet brilliant CIA agent with suspicions. Prepare to be blown away by expert writing, compelling acting and twists and turns that will keep you mesmerized until the last minute. Then, be very patient until the next season begins months from now.

Film If you haven’t seen everything that is nominated for this year’s Academy Awards, time is running out. While not a big blockbuster year, there were some “quiet” films that really resonated. And, yes I am talking about the silent film, “The Artist.” The first fifteen minutes require an adjustment to a film without human voices but the acting, costumes, art direction, dancing and poignant story will grab you and keep you until the last frame. Even if you don’t fall in love with the film, fall in love with the canine co-star.

Books The cornucopia of good reading boggles the mind! If you’re looking to be on the edge of your seat the entire weekend, you won’t be disappointed with Stephen King’s “11/22/63.” For biography lovers, of course read Walter Isaacson’s “Steve Jobs.” Looking to get that extra edge in business?   Why not learn how to grow your career like a Silicon Valley billionaire with LinkedIn Cofounder and Chairman Reid Hoffman’s “The Start up of You.”

Music The Grammys celebrated much of the best of 2011 music from Adele to the Foo Fighters. Why not use this downtime to explore something from each category such as Louis CK’s comedy album, “Hilarious” or Tony Bennett’s “Duets II.”  For a real treat, download the award-winning soundtrack to “Book of Mormon.”

We want to know what you consider the best of the best in recent media memory. Share here!

What Steve Jobs Knew About PR

In the wake of Steve Jobs’ passing, pundits and Apple-watchers are trying to outdo one another to describe his talent, vision, and impact. But if you look at Jobs as the presumed architect of Apple’s ongoing public relations strategy, he was a disaster. At least, he should have been.

After all, in the digital age, good customer and stakeholder relations depend on transparency and openness. Jobs, by contrast, was famously private. Apple’s PR machine was accused on more than one occasion of lying, or certainly of hiding the truth. Antennagate? Deny. Product news leaks? Obfuscate. CEO health issues? Say as little as possible.

Jobs could also be visibly defensive or angry when criticized, rather than following PR principles of acknowledgement and apology. (Remember the awkward iPhone 4 press conference?)

Could any other brand have gotten away with such practices?

And yet. If Jobs broke every rule for good corporate communications with his secrecy and media-unfriendly character, he made up for it on the marketing side. He was a charismatic advocate for his own ideas and vision, even internally – hence, the famous “reality distortion field” stories. And he was indisputably a master of using the media to create excitement around new products.

Jobs gave few interviews. When he did, they were designed to support a new product, and to engage users more deeply with the Apple brand. He used his charisma and media access more skillfully than the legendary Hollywood agents of old.

Though he was famously rude to reporters who didn’t measure up to his exacting standards, he was a relentless pitcher of his own ideas. Chris Taylor’s Mashable post is my favorite reminiscence in that vein.

Like the most talented special event marketers, Jobs understood theatrics. He knew how to set the scene and tell a story. As he said, people don’t necessarily know what they want until you show it to them. And he did that…in a big way.

Most importantly, he was exciting. Not an easy interview, exactly, but always passionate, colorful, and focused. Good copy.

Jobs was a legendary marketer and one of the most effective PR advocates who ever lived, not just of his own products, but of the power of technology to change our lives. That was his real legacy.