Richard’s “Asso” is Not Grasso

When I was a child there was the expression from bullies, “Your ass is grass.” I never quite understood the logic. I assume it meant that the other person would mow you down. For a while it seemed that the New York Stock Exchange was about to mow down it’s former CEO.

I was reading a story in PR Week about Richard Grasso (former CEO of the New York Stock Exchange) and his public relations strategy. A plan that included saying almost nothing to the media as he was being sued to return his $139.5 million retirement package. (Note to NYSE, I’d be happy with just the $ .5 million part, so consider me for CEO down the road).

His only major “comment” to the media during the case was providing an op-ed piece that was published in the Wall Street Journal. His publicist, Eric Starkman, felt that with the wave of negative publicity against his Grasso, there was no way to turn the tide…until the case was played out in court, and not the court of public opinion.

It worked. Grasso kept the money and get the last laugh with that piggy bank breaking retirement plan (my dad got a nice pin after 35 years at the American Can Company and a reasonable retirement package).

This makes me smile because, while agencies like ours love to help our legal clients win in the court of public opinion, sometimes you can win by keeping your mouth shut.


Was Tom Funny Or Not on WGN-Radio?

Today at 2:30 pm Cental, Bill Moller (someone I’ve known from CLTV before it was broadcast in color) is having me on his WGN-AM program, The Money Show. We’re going to be talking about how blogs can help (and hurt) your career and business.

When Bill let’s me get a word in edgewise (he’s really a lot of fun), I’ll suggest that blogger newbies check out Blogger as a place to start the process. It’s a great way to test the waters and start a blog about anything you care to comment on regularly (like sharing cute and stupid pictures of cats).

I’ll also suggest that baby bloggers check out a source, technorati, for seeing what’s popular in the blog world at their top 100 blogs. My rule of thumb is to see what’s working and learn from it.

Finally, time permitting, I’ll put in a gentle plug for my company TC Public Relations. While I’ve created on-line buzz for my clients, it would be fun to get a little buzzy myself.

And in case you wonder what I do on weekends, I think this picture says it all. (For those who might be concerned, I volunteer as a clown at a nursing home)

The is Tom Ciesielka, reporting in advance from WGN-AM radio. Back to you Bill.


Pete Wentz and Tom Ciesielka Talk “Baby”

While I’ve worked with celebs in the film and television industries, I’ve accepted the fact that what I do is unlikely to become tabloid news. That’s why I’ve decided to support Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz’s journey into fatherhood.

My buddy Pete (not sure if he would see it that way) has shared with the media that he talks to his baby still residing in Ashee Simpson-Wentz’s womb. Hey I do that too with my baby in the lower midsection of my wife. Pay attention CNN send over the cameras! Listen People Magazine, I’ll give you an exclusive to photograph me belting out “Strangers in the Night” to my wife’s belly.

I guess my point is that once your fame gets rolling, almost anything could matter. I’ve gained and lost weight, but Oprah still has me beat on the publicity.

So if you’ve got some insignificant news that you think people should care about, think again. If I run my bike into a pedestrian on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, no one is likely to care. However, if Jerry Springer does it… well maybe nobody would care either.

McDonald’s is Not So Sweet

Yesterday, I went to the McDonald’s in the pedway of the 233 N. Michigan Avenue building in Chicago. My hope was to get one of those $1 large drinks for either a soda or sweet tea. I am crazy about sweet tea. Although I noticed something was out of place. Normally all the soft drinks are in an open space where people serve themselves and can get refills. HOWEVER, I saw that the sweet tea was moved to behind the counter. I was shocked.

When I asked the friendly employee what was up she told me that the sweet tea was being abused by people getting refills. I was perplexed. I could not understand. Sweet tea at this location and other locations has been/is available for refills. What a joke. I’d like to know who in management wanted to stop the “abuse.”

Speaking of jokes, check out McDonald’s web page for “news.” The most recent press release is dated October 25, 2007. Wow, you’d think a big company like that would have something newer. I guess they got distracted from writing new press releases while guarding the sweet tea.