Monday, January 25, 2010

The Domino Effect

This is where it started - an Ikea trip - a Christmas gift, and now the whole house is in jeopardy. This Karlstad "swivel chair" has thrown off the balance in the house demanding we up the ante in the furniture department as a whole.

Next to the svelte Swedish lounger, our red chair looks squatty, fat and pathetic. Even furniture as far away as the bedroom is peeking down the hallway with envy. See, this is what happens when you buy new things. No longer are we satisfied with our college mish-mash, we want grown-up furniture, and as soon as you get one piece, it's all downhill. Now I know this is heaping a lot of weight onto something from Ikea, but the dominoes had to start somewhere.

As for the next domino - here are a few options I'm considering. Luckily for me and my bank account, these dominoes are slow-falling.

These are all from Macy's - But there are of course other, less probable (and by probable I mean affordable) options to consider.

Jonathan Adler and Anthropologie respectively.

This really isn't a blog about chairs - so I'll try to get back to wedding planning tomorrow.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

We've Been a Little LOST

Oh little blog, how neglected you've been. Just like the dishes in the sink, the laundry piling up and the deterioration of any semblance of productivity in my non-working hours. My affliction is an addiction to the all too well-known television program, LOST. D. and I picked up seasons one and two after Christmas, ran through the DVD's at light speed and have since moved on to a streaming Netflix subscription so we can get a steady supply at all hours of the day. With the sixth and final season premiering only weeks away, we're rushing to catch up and watch the conclusion unfold in real time with the rest of the world. The only way to make our self-imposed premiere deadline is to watch LOST at all hours of the day not already allotted for sleeping, working or showering. From the moment we get home to the moment we can no longer stay awake, it's all we do. I'm convinced that the cold I came down with this week was an evil plot on behalf of Season four, to ensure I wouldn't stray from the couch. What began as a suspenseful viewing experience, where I couldn't wait to see the next episode has become a heavy responsibility, taking all of our time but delivering no answers. Oh LOST, why must you torture us so? I'm looking forward to the day when our weekends can return to normal, when we might see our friends or go out for the evening instead of intently focusing all efforts on the pursuit of this series. The side effects of so much LOST are obvious: the nightmares, distraction, listlessness and of course when not viewing, withdrawal - all resulting in total weekend incapacitation.

I guess that's the long and short of it. I'd write more, but I guess you understand that I'm a little busy watching LOST.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Guest Blogging

Today I'm blogging in a new locale as a guest at Burrelles Luce's Fresh Ideas blog. Burrelle's Luce is a mega-media-monitoring company with a PR-focused blog. I won registration to a conference sponsored by Burrelles Luce over Twitter last fall and was asked to write a guest blog post for them. Well, the day has come, the blog is live and you can go visit it here.

If you don't feel like clicking over, I'm posting it here as well. It's about Opes, enjoy!

Life After Oprah
January 14th, 2010
by Industry Insider Guest Blogger 

Abbey Franke is an Account Executive at Scott Circle Communications. She focuses on new media strategies and online communications and comes to public relations with a background in live television production. You can follow her on Twitter: @scottcircle LinkedIn: abbeyfranke or Facebook: Scott Circle.
Image: AdWeek
Image: AdWeek

As Oprah tearfully announced that her upcoming 25th season would be her last, a flurry of tweets began flying before the credits even started rolling. The question on everyone’s lips (or tweets): “Who would be next?” Oprah, a towering icon of television talk, leaves behind a unique brand and some sizeable shoes to fill. As the voice that launched a thousand small businesses, authors, celebrities and lately, politicians, she has harnessed the power of her daytime audience in a way that no competitor has. Where other shows are more specialized, the Big “O” packs a punch in terms of variety, serving up everything from celebrity interviews to self-help, confessionals to contests, all with a side of fashion and fanfare. This broad base has made Oprah into a holy grail of public relations, the golden ring for communications professionals and clients to strive for.

So, who is next? Where will we turn when we have a new book to promote? An expert on multiple personality disorders to pitch? Or a golf pro ensnared in a PR-tsunami with a big apology to make? Already names are being tossed around.

Funny girl, Ellen DeGeneres seems to be the natural heir to Oprah’s talk queen crown. Her appeal is broad, although she only commands less than half of Oprah’s estimated seven million viewers. This fall has seen the two together on the cover of O, The Oprah Magazine and appearing on each other’s shows, leading many to believe that Ellen’s succession could be a natural one. Still, it’s hard to imagine her hi-jinks and dancing paired with a tell-all from Whitney Houston, much less Sarah Palin, both of whom appeared on Oprah this fall.

Rumors also suggest a Katie Couric daytime program following the end of Couric’s contract with CBS in 2011, but Couric’s image, as a sophisticated girlfriend, does not have quite the same warm, likeability of Oprah’s mentoring presence. Other names like Tyra Banks, Whoopi Goldberg, Paula Abdul and even Sarah Palin are floating around as potential daytime divas. Morning shows like Good Morning America and the Today Show offer a similar variety to Oprah’s programming, but still cannot match her numbers. And then, of course, there are the prime time and late night outlets. Leno, Letterman, and Conan remain strongholds for celebrities while Colbert and Stewart offer politicos, authors, economists and other thought leaders.

Perhaps Oprah leaves behind her a void that no one show can fill. Fans of her self-help segments may gravitate towards spin-offs Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz. Viewers interested in celebrity will stick with Ellen or Tyra. Lifestyle audiences could turn to Martha Stewart, the Oprah-launched, Rachel Ray or a rumored new program for Oprah regular, home improvement/design guru Nate Berkus.

So where does this leave PR professionals? The end of Oprah could be just another step towards the increasing hyper-fragmentation of the media as niche outlets multiply on and offline. The result: continued need for greater targeting efforts, heightened listening, and connecting with audiences where they are by PR. Does this require more work than one big push for the golden Oprah standard? Probably, but the outlets for exposure expand drastically as do the opportunities for meaningful interaction. Building buzz from the bottom up is daunting and without the ultimate “stamp of approval,” individual influencers need to be discovered at every level of communications. They might look a little different than Oprah and come in the form of mommy-bloggers or local anchors, but perhaps their reach will be even more personal and their audience even more engaged.

Between now and the end of Oprah’s reign supreme, there will be undoubtedly hundreds of potential candidates to take her place. Of course, there’s still one candidate that might be the best replacement for Oprah, and that’s Oprah herself. Although the full details of her next venture have yet to be released, or even developed, what’s brewing is a network that uses Oprah’s successful show as a jumping off point, promising dozens of new programs to pitch. So, as we enter into the end of an era, how will you be tailoring your PR efforts? Who will be your big get?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I'm with Coco

          People of Earth:
In the last few days, I’ve been getting a lot of sympathy calls, and I want to start by making it clear that no one should waste a second feeling sorry for me. For 17 years, I’ve been getting paid to do what I love most and, in a world with real problems, I’ve been absurdly lucky. That said, I’ve been suddenly put in a very public predicament and my bosses are demanding an immediate decision.
Six years ago, I signed a contract with NBC to take over The Tonight Show in June of 2009. Like a lot of us, I grew up watching Johnny Carson every night and the chance to one day sit in that chair has meant everything to me. I worked long and hard to get that opportunity, passed up far more lucrative offers, and since 2004 I have spent literally hundreds of hours thinking of ways to extend the franchise long into the future. It was my mistaken belief that, like my predecessor, I would have the benefit of some time and, just as important, some degree of ratings support from the prime-time schedule. Building a lasting audience at 11:30 is impossible without both.
But sadly, we were never given that chance. After only seven months, with my Tonight Show in its infancy, NBC has decided to react to their terrible difficulties in prime-time by making a change in their long-established late night schedule.
Last Thursday, NBC executives told me they intended to move the Tonight Show to 12:05 to accommodate the Jay Leno Show at 11:35. For 60 years the Tonight Show has aired immediately following the late local news. I sincerely believe that delaying the Tonight Show into the next day to accommodate another comedy program will seriously damage what I consider to be the greatest franchise in the history of broadcasting. The Tonight Show at 12:05 simply isn’t the Tonight Show. Also, if I accept this move I will be knocking the Late Night show, which I inherited from David Letterman and passed on to Jimmy Fallon, out of its long-held time slot. That would hurt the other NBC franchise that I love, and it would be unfair to Jimmy.
So it has come to this: I cannot express in words how much I enjoy hosting this program and what an enormous personal disappointment it is for me to consider losing it. My staff and I have worked unbelievably hard and we are very proud of our contribution to the legacy of The Tonight Show. But I cannot participate in what I honestly believe is its destruction. Some people will make the argument that with DVRs and the Internet a time slot doesn’t matter. But with the Tonight Show, I believe nothing could matter more.
There has been speculation about my going to another network but, to set the record straight, I currently have no other offer and honestly have no idea what happens next. My hope is that NBC and I can resolve this quickly so that my staff, crew, and I can do a show we can be proud of, for a company that values our work.
Have a great day and, for the record, I am truly sorry about my hair; it’s always been that way.
We love you Conan and your old time baseball, floppy hair and above average height. We will still watch you wherever you go - unless you just go home, because that would be stalkerish.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Does anyone else appreciate my childish acronym for save the dates? Well if not, maybe you'll appreciate the STD's themselves.

I know these are pretty basic, but since I can't seem to commit to any one color, our wedding is black and white, so something like this would fit in perfectly.

This one is a little more flourishy- both are from Minted.

The shell is a little out of place given our landlocked nuptials, but I do like the fonts.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Well, the holidays are over and 2010 has already begun, which means it's time to start making the list of things that I should do, want to do, but will probably end up lamenting not doing by the time 2011 rolls around. This year is a little different, however, with the wedding as an added motivation, or actually a resolution in of itself in the sense that I need to work on it. Not fulfilling that resolution would be bad. Bad like my nightmares where the wedding is tomorrow and we eat off of paper plates while I carry a bouquet of pencils. I'm not a crazy person, I swear.

In addition to wedding accomplished, my list of to do's contains the usual lose half my body weight, realize pizza is not a daily food and become a morning person (gaining super powers would be more likely).

I see sitting on my couch right now watching Platinum Weddings while eating a coffee cup full of dry Special K Red Berries as a partial success. That - and these - my only completed wedding project to date.

Not that sending bridezillas in a can is a typical item on the checklist of wedding to do's...

But I'm certain that my bridesmaids appreciated being hit in the face with my request to participate in the wedding.

I hope you have some more interesting resolutions that involve things like jet skiing or fashion week or trips to Tokyo or eating at every restaurant in Washingtonian's 100 Best, please share if you do.