Tag Archives: United States

“This is an ex-parrot”, Hippocrates and Cancer

There are words received via text that shatter your heart.  Sent from a friend during their latest round of chemotherapy more than 5100 miles and multiple time zones away these are debilitating words. #notadamnthingIcando words. I respond to each line of text, being present without being physically there. In truth, it feels beyond inadequate. I want to jump on a plane and just sit next to him while he has these poisons dripped into his body via a port in his chest – and not only does he not want that, but I can’t. I scan hundreds of YouTube videos and send these as a possible lightening of spirit parrotor at least distraction but he can’t watch them because the noise in the room where he sits with other cancer patients is loud. Very loud. A man sitting someplace behind my friend was evidently screaming from the pain of his infusion for hours. The time before last a woman was bitching non-stop, unnerving everyone around her and especially her family.  (He survives this assault to the psyche earning platitudes from the son for his ability to crack jokes, and generally lighten the environment of suffering around him.)

The last time I was (physically) present to a chemotherapy session was more than sixteen years ago; the brother of my best friend, the uncle to her children, the husband of another dear friend and dad of three kids the youngest of whom was a toddler at the time, brother to another brother, uncle to his three kids, son, friend, et al. I haven’t been in the Beverly Hills Cancer Center (BHCC) to witness first-hand what I perceive as being the antithesis to luxury on which so much of Beverly Hills reputation rests but I was present at the Wilmot Cancer Center at Strong Memorial (Rochester, NY) and the contrast between the two care environments couldn’t be clearer to me.  Sixteen years ago Mike was surrounded by family and friends, shifts of love floating in and out of the room like sunbeams streaming through clouds, there was raucous camaraderie (he being a former Major League Baseball player, the baseball coach of the local Jesuit high school, a widely and much-beloved friend) and I recall at least six people being in the (memory driven) seemingly private room besides myself and Mike.  I could not tell you why I was there.  As Jeffrey describes it BHCC is a ‘factory’, 12 reclining chairs crammed into a single visually sterile room with half walls separating patients, everything everyone says can be heard by every other person in the room, all the bitchingmoaningandcomplaining, the comings and goings of the staff and their commentary.

I didn’t think of this last night as I responded to the texts, but I had two vastly different dreams about those treatment rooms after I went to bed. And it strikes me that the experiences of these two men hang not simply on the distance of years and geography but also insurance coverage.  Mike had robust private insurance and friends and family offsetting some of the costs, my friend Jeffrey was ‘covered’ by Molina Health as part of its participation in an Affordable Care Act Exchange.

The other component is two decades ago, regardless of the circumstances, we were as a nation and as individuals more compassionate toward one another.  That compassion manifest in Rochester in an environment that was calmer and more conducive to healing. The perception of Beverly Hills Cancer Center I have gained through my texts and conversations with Jeffrey reflects an odd dichotomy, on occasion extraordinary but all too often disconnected from the very compassion which Hippocrates advocated and swore to uphold. His first oncologist failed to speak a single word to him in the first nine hippocratesweeks after his diagnosis. His current oncologist, though certainly mending Jeffrey’s body and on a scale, infinitely more attentive, had the most outrageous response imaginable to Jeffrey expressing that he didn’t like the smell of his own burning flesh from the cauterizing knife used to install the port (replacing the defunct PICC line). My head is still reeling from the quote in the text I received on Thursday night.  Compassion. Seriously. Lacking. (Say nothing rather than do harm.)

It pains my heart, my psyche and every aspect of my humanity that Jeffrey’s experience is a mere glimpse into a state of being under-insured in the United States. That “the haves”, those with robust private insurance, and the “have-nots” relying upon a broken system commandeered by shareholder value are somehow less human, less entitled to care and more inclined to be denied basic human dignity, less likely to be approved for the very treatments that they need to get healthy despite paying the disproportionate percentages of their wages to have insurance.

Let’s be clear, as of 1 September my friend Jeffrey is no longer insured by Molina Health, his Screen Actors Guild Blue Cross and Blue Shield coverage went live at 12:01 AM. I think about something one of his doctors said about Molina Health’s consistent position to deny coverage first and then if the patient gets loud about it, or the doctor treating chooses to advocate on behalf of the patient, then approve and eventually pay out. This seems like a path to protecting golden parachutes and seven figure salaries and double or triple digit earnings; to me, this seems more like a Ponzi scheme than health insurance. This strips the humanity from Molina Health’s employees and isn’t a terribly efficient manner of running a company given the human resource cycles of answering phones and ensuing paperwork.

Societies have always been measured by how they care for their most vulnerable citizens, it’s clear we are failing. The three hundred year expansion, supreme dominion, the subsequent decline of the Roman Empire and the resulting Dark Ages seem as though they could be minor in contrast to whom we are becoming.  Maybe a tiny private room for receiving chemotherapy is insignificant in the grand scheme of things but the dignity such affords seems as important to healing illness as putting the ‘civil’ back in service.

This is the fourth instalment in my series on having cancer in America.

 

If you enjoy my blog please consider ‘buying me a cup of tea’ in your currency via PayPal to livelikeadog@gmail.com and do share it with your friends on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter – I am @TeresaFritschi. To order my book, please click on the cover art of my book below, thank you! 
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This is “Matt”. Matt is Every Single One of Us.

Jeff

This is “Matt”. Matt is the guy down the street whose kid plays Little League with yours.  He is courteous and helpful.  So, of course, he works at getting your ‘shades of blue’ reconciled in the paint department at Lowe’s.  Matt could be your neighbor, or you.  The truth is that Matt is every single one of us.  “Matt” is actually my friend Jeffrey, an actor living in Los Angeles, a very funny comedian, an intellectual pundit (when he chooses to be) and a man with a laugh that fills rooms with joy.  Jeffrey has been diagnosed with cancer, stage 2 lymphoma to be precise, and at present he is being squeezed in the middle like a tube of toothpaste by a grossly negligent ‘system’ and the people employed by it who have zero sense of humanity. I am mad as Hell over all of it.

The name of his insurance company matters, it’s Molina Health.  With ‘our’ shareholder, profit-driven, horribly broken, healthcare system in the United States the truth is that what is happening to Jeffrey could happen to any of us and our loved ones. It also matters that his insurance company hangs up on him. It matters that the administrative staff tell him that his premium will quadruple if he ‘wants’ home care for changing the dressing on the tube sticking out of his arm (sepsis being a real possibility) where he is hooked up to receive his chemo. It matters that I escalate and help seems imminent only to have some drone of an administrative staff person deflect and say it will take two weeks. It matters that appointments are made and cancelled due to software, and human errors and then the humans charged with delivering this news are devoid of humanity. It matters because the stress of dealing with getting healthy on your own (even with a supportive tribe) is enormous. It matters that his first oncologist failed to speak a single word to him in the nine weeks immediately following his diagnosis and never prescribed anti-nausea pills with the host of others which he did prescribe.  Jeffrey’s second oncologist is amazing. Despite the fact that I am a non-relation he has taken my call to problem solve aspects related to Jeffrey’s treatment from Sweden where I am currently.

Which brings me to two components of the health insurance storyline in the United States; employer supported efforts like those which “Matt” as an employee of Lowe’s enjoys (really amazing benefits which should prompt all of you reading this to vote with your wallet and shop at your local Lowe’s ‘just because’) and the idea of a single-payer system such as our Canadian neighbors and those in the Nordics enjoy. On this day, with TrumpCare effectively dead, the reality of a single-payer health care system in the United States has risen like Fawkes in Harry Potter.

Let me remove any ambiguity, I have a couple of issues with the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) but neither have to do with the fact that it came to fruition under our 44th President; the first is that it didn’t go far enough and the second being its mandate to be purchased under penalty.  If we have sufficient financial resources to wage seemingly endless war across the planet then Americans of every stripe should have universal healthcare on par with what our federally elected officials enjoy. And if that can’t be done then our elected officials should have that benefit voided.

How do we get to a single-payer health care system to the universal benefit of 330 million Americans and put the United States on par with other first world nations? Well, California, where my friend Jeffrey lives, ever the ‘test the water’ state for public policy adoption has a viable solution called The Healthy California Act. Evidently this legislation has broad support on both sides of the political aisle in La-La Land but one man has blocked it from advancing, and there is a reason for that. Actually there are about 475,000 reasons in the form of contributions from the Political Action Committees of health insurance companies and their executives to Speaker of the Assembly Anthony Redon re-election campaign.  Redon is a perfect example of the systemic violation of the masses by a corrupt politician bought and paid for by the highest bidders for his favor.

SB-562 The Healthy California Act.

The passage of a single-payer system in California, or nationally, wouldn’t put insurers out of business but the resulting shifts in the market would demand agility that insurance companies are not generally known to possess. A model which offers premium coverage in lieu of, or as a supplement to, a single-payer system would still provide considerable revenue – with a healthier demographic contributing to shareholder value.  Policies which would allow customers choices in taking advantage of medical tourism opportunities around the world should also be considered. The increasing perception of health insurers places them at odds with the humankind they are supposed to be serving – essentially sentencing their policy holders to death when costs become inconvenient and expensive. When we make a conscious choice to deny protection and participation by our most vulnerable we can no longer claim to be an advanced or civil society. The costs are too high when we lose our compassion and willingness to step forward and be part of the solution rather than remain part of the problem.

Critically we need to dislodge ourselves from the ‘us vs. them’ mindset that is so pervasive in any conversation about health insurance, healthcare and providing a path forward for all of our citizens. Universal peace of mind around the most fragile aspect of living our lives fully and completely should not even be a question in 2017.

If you enjoy my blog please consider ‘buying me a cup of tea’ in your currency via PayPal to livelikeadog@gmail.com and then, please do share the blog with your friends on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter – I am @TeresaFritschiTo order my book, please click on the cover art of my book below, thank you! 

 

 

Our goddess nature

embers-fireI do believe that we are all worthy of love, the kind of romance, commitment and true friendship which remains when the bright flame of ‘being in love’ is merely embers and only love in its purest essence remains.  This is something ancient and primal which we all seek and very few actually find or understand how to make it have the kind of substantial energy to nourish and thrive within us and our partner.

I am in the process of research for my second book, trying to understand exactly how to find and cultivate this very special kind of love (well, in truth, to also find it for myself and my future partner). I recognise that within myself I can’t simply ‘turn it on’ – my emotions, sense of humor and intelligence being stimulated all help to develop into something precious for me. I know I am getting ever closer to achieving this ideal but I am not ‘quite’ there yet!

Some women seem to naturally have a gift for making men to fall at their feet, bestowing their fidelity and adoration (and sometimes exquisitely thoughtful gifts) and other women experience the dearth of these blessings.  My reading materials and movie watching (also available on Hulu) spans many cultures and more than a thousand years of historic lovers as well as the more notable amongst Geisha and courtesans and oh, yes, goddesses.  I am particularly interested in what makes a woman appear goddess-like to the external world and yet accessible to a singular man who sees her truest nature and loves her for it. And, of course, how his being is transformed into something loftier in loving this one woman completely.

Throughout human history the female form has been revered in sculpture and ritual – in all of its permutations! And, quite frankly, as a woman with curves, I don’t buy into the whole anorexic mannequin look that the fashion industry would have us believe is ‘normal’ – it’s not, nor is it particularly healthy (mentally, emotionally or physically).  In the United States the average woman 5’4” in height weighs 166 pounds (by most definitions in the health and beauty industries she would sadly be considered obese with an ‘optimal range of 116-145’), in France it’s a bit more than 138 pounds for a 5’3” woman (which actually surprised me given the BMI of women and men around the world) and even puts the quintessentially sleek French woman at the high end of that range if you subtract the 1″ advantage in height her American sister has over her.  If you look at ancient world goddesses, as captured in various marble and stone, the feminine ideal was hardly a stick figure.

Nike_of_Samothrake_Louvre_Very likely my most favorite classical sculpture I have ever seen in person is the Winged Victory of Samothrace at the Louvre in Paris. To pay an entrance fee and be in the presence of one of the greatest pieces of art ever created is no small thing, to stand beneath this 2300 year old sculpture as she is has been so thoughtfully positioned by the Louvre’s curators is to feel insignificant as well as awed; I hold in my psyche to be some portion of this feminine magnificence. This is no skinny-mini woman, even as a winged goddess (minus her head) she is voluptuous in the extreme.

gangaikondacholapuram--lakshmi-sculptureWhen you view the relief sculptures of India, the feminine forms depicted (however stylistically different) are even more lush in their ‘assets’ – from the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Ellora to the Lakshmi (at left) in Gangaikonda the ancient city of Cholapuram.  Perhaps this has more to do with the ‘treatise of pleasure’ most commonly known as the Kama Sutra as compiled in the 3rd century by the Hindu philosopher Vātsyāyana – and the ideal of beauty in the East.  Men and women have both benefited from his efforts for thousands of years, attaining god and goddess-like state while engaged in the art of making love, and within the realm of trust so fostered they merge into one, and unite with the Divine in the process; is this too much to hope for? (I don’t think it would be a ankle braceletbad thing to have a pair of gold Lehnga ankle bracelets to wear as a talisman to channel that nature – the art of love certainly being very different from the act itself.)

In any case it is the mystery and what we hold as unattainable that inspires us to cherish and honour our lover once attained. My greatest wish for all reading this is to find your version of “to have and to hold”.

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An open letter to my stalker!

Dear Stalker, aka Jerry G –

Your letter arrived at my home yesterday; it remains unopened.  I am not amused.

That you have found me is unsettling to say the least – but you would already know this, counted in fact on the disruption of my life by your action. So, clearly you have spent more money on hiring another private detective as all of my social media and marketing efforts purposefully do not disclose where I am – BECAUSE OF YOU!

What’s next – a flight to my city? Sitting in a car in front of my building waiting for me? Trying to figure out which windows are mine and peering in? Accosting me as I walk to the local grocery store to get milk or my post office to mail a letter?

Congratulations! You have been successful in making me feel just like an animal being tracked – it’s a hateful, uncomfortable, horrible place to be and equally, (from my perspective), a thoroughly evil and reprehensible thing to do to anyone.  What if someone was doing this to one of your daughters? or grandchildren? Does my expressing this help to shift how you see your actions toward me? You have put me in a place that is in total contrast to the energy that I normally put out in the universe – sometimes disruptive energy is a positive thing, this “thing” you have dumped on me is not.

There, you wanted my attention, acknowledgment of your existence – you have it! Loudly and publicly.

What is in the letter? Would your wife be okay with its’ content? The Deer Park, NY or my local police? Which of these should receive it, unopened and in a carrier envelope so that fingerprints can be taken from it and you can be prosecuted?

I have never given you any encouragement, hope or belief that our acquaintance would ever be romantic or extend beyond our last meeting in 1991.

WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS? What is that you want? Is my hurt, anger and loathing really what you were trying to accomplish?

Are you aware that in the United States an estimated 3.4 million persons identified themselves as victims of stalking – and these statistics are nearly eight years old! And you have been following me 22 years putting me in the category found in the second paragraph of the above hyperlink – thanks, so, much!

“Nearly 75 percent of victims knew their stalker in some capacity, and about one-tenth of all victims were stalked by a stranger. Stalking victims most often identified the stalker as a former intimate (22 percent) or a friend, roommate, or neighbor (16 percent).

Depending upon the severity of the stalking, victims suffered a range of emotions as they experienced stalking. The most common fears cited by victims were not knowing what would happen next (46 percent) and being afraid the behavior would never stop (29 percent). Nine percent of stalking victims reported that their worst fear was death.”

ENOUGH, this stops NOW! You have 48 hours to respond to this blog post via the comment section (which will remain private unless you do not agree to cease and desist thereafter, otherwise this post and the others referencing you and the letter will head to the police – choose your words carefully).

Teresa

Post script:  The featured image above is the comment my stalker left late last night to my most recent post “I know you”  (my reply can be found in the comments on that post). For an expanded commentary and update please see: https://www.facebook.com/jennifer.sertl/posts/10204036084245142 In our social media rich landscape we now have the tools to “out” bad behavior, oh yes, on behalf of all the women who don’t know who their stalkers are please feel free to call him or email him and tell him that “not interested and leave me alone” should never have to come to exploding after 23 years!

YOU are NOT nice…

I had to sit on this post for a couple of weeks so it wasn’t so painful. I wanted to publish it to cleanse the karmic energy attached to it. I hope you find value in it – somehow.

—-

Online dating offers few parallels for truly deplorable human behavior in our ‘normal, everyday, lives’. Bad men exist as many women can testify in having an encounter with a truly violent man in the course of their lives, but nothing seems to open the door to rude, depraved, vitriol as the accessibility of IM and messaging systems provided by dating sites.  To date I have had some truly remarkable (and wonderful encounters) with men with no more hidden agenda that what you might encounter in the real world. That expressed I have also met the purported “open relationship” seekers, the “hey, I am looking to push the boundaries of human sexuality because I was married and we never had sex”, the “I am bi-curious but want a threesome” and the “baby, I am far too busy f*cking around to consider anything but casual sex” types.  But perhaps the most loathsome of the men hiding in plain sight is the “I will do and say anything to get my Green Card”.  I recently had the (ahem) pleasure of meeting the latter.

It’s my own fault – really – I take full responsibility. In taking note that a man had visited my profile, with a very high compatibility match of 86%, and who, sadly, was based in Aleppo, Syria I acknowledged him.  There was something about the avatar of “notbadSyrian” and the conflict in Syria which has displaced millions and killed tens of thousands which made my heart ache. The politics involved are way over my head – why any leader of a country would kill his own people when they nearly all worship the same God and pray to the same Prophet makes no sense to me. Innocent people just trying to live from day to day amidst this carnage are shaking their heads at Western ‘powers’ on why intervention is not forthcoming even as none want to relive what their Iraqi neighbors have; the West seems to have its panties in a bunch over making a decision and the rest of us are hoping that when they do they will not actually screw things up any worse than they already are.

So I dropped him a single sentence message wishing him well on his search for love – who doesn’t still look to find love when life is so fragile?  In the West I suppose this is no big deal – and I assumed based upon how many pictures of him existed on his profile with friends in bar scenes in Ireland and elsewhere with multiple women cuddling with him that not only was he a nice guy but also one with decidedly Western leaning tendencies (even though every picture came with a disclaimer that he didn’t drink).  ANYONE, regardless of the politics involved, would rightfully offer compassion when during an IM conversation there had been abrupt ending based upon shooting (we are not talking about drive-by stuff which would be scary enough).  I asked that when he could to simply let me know he was okay. Somehow this was encouragement. For the next morning I woke to find a (modest, and appropriate) picture of him accompanying an email expressing his gratitude for my “warm emotions”.  The nuance of “warm emotions” was not the message I was conveying, so I sent him a note, which attempted to clarify that my concern for his well being was as a fellow member of the human race and not an expressed interest in exploring romance, and naïvely, went onto say that I didn’t fancy men in beards (which is plain as day on my profile for this site), and was keen on making my home in Sweden.  I received a subsequent email asking me to explain further, and I did.

The completely unedited email train followed in rapid succession all with a subject line of-

Re: Listen to me cheap old whore

On 7/19/2013 6:21 AM, fdweq wequy wrote:

I swear i am willing to get married to you even if you were 100 year old , i dream to live in Eruope or USA , no problem i can fuck you 10 or 15 time , till i get my benefits . Bye old whore

On Fri, Jul 19, 2013 at 1:07 PM, fdweq wequy <arabianman39@gmail.com> wrote:

I have many pictures in my profile , you just wanted to take this picture as a pretext to tell me that .  I swear i have no beard , it is just picture . I swear i did not ask you to be Muslim . I swear to you i did not ask you to stop to drink or eat pork or smoke or sleep with that couple again for threesome . You are the one whore who contacted me , lol , i beg you just look at your body and your face . Bye old prostitute

My only reply: On Fri, Jul 19, 2013 at 1:27 PM, Teresa Fritschi wrote: WOW, I so never expected to read such ugliness from a man who I had come to respect.

On Fri, Jul 19, 2013 at 1:32 PM, fdweq wequy <arabianman39@gmail.com> wrote:

Just look at your face whore , you are just a bridge to get benefits .Bye old

On Fri, Jul 19, 2013 at 1:32 PM, fdweq wequy <arabianman39@gmail.com> wrote:

prostitute , you contacted me because the match was 86 %

On Fri, Jul 19, 2013 at 1:34 PM, fdweq wequy <arabianman39@gmail.com> wrote:

Once more , just fuck off animal whore , i swear to you , you are not more than a bridge to eat good food and get clean clothes and get green card and build wealth , i know you hate Saddam and support war on Iraq . I spit on your face , how many year will you live ? 7 ? you will be 60 . 17 you will 70 Lol Bye old whore

Needless to say I wish I had not extended kindness, that I had his last name for the CIA, FBI and US Immigration and probably Interpol as well. When the shock waves settled I blocked him, reported him to the dating site, forwarded the email string to a friend of mine in California and to an amazing man, born someplace on the Arabian peninsula who lived for an extended period in a refugee camp in Gaza who I also met through the same dating site, with whom I was developing a fondness.

Mohammed’s reaction

Wtf?!?!! Who is this guy? Why is he such a low person?

My response:

I am sobbing Mohammed, I have never been called such things nor been told I was ugly or old, I HATE EVERYTHING ABOUT BEING SINGLE and vulnerable like this. He’s a Syrian man from OKC (notbadsyrian) who I “level set” with that I wasn’t interested in pursuing anything romantic with – I have NO idea why he is such a low person I offered up prayers for his soul and then blocked him

Mohammed’s next email:

I’m really sorry and it’s just such ignorance, stupidity and lack of respect!

I put my arms around you and sending u healing energy.. You are a beautiful, sexy, mature and wonderful goddess.. Who cannot see that-still living in their darkness and have veils on their heart

And mine:

When I read the part about the Green Card and food — OH Mohammed — is this what desperation does to people caught in war zones? Turns them into the worst of humanity? That you came out of this with light in your heart and being is astonishing. Too much pain in me at this moment to physically feel your energy – but I appreciate it intellectually.

I took him the better part of the afternoon but through his Skype messages and the aforementioned emails he helped push my tears away, settle my hurt and get me back on track.  The point to all of this?  I don’t honestly know. It should be funny, but it isn’t.  It’s sad and not because I was insulted that was only hurt, outrage, and pride. It’s sad because of the human desperation and all the ugliness that comes about when people lose hope. For myself it has nothing to do with race or religion as any number of my very diverse friends can attest.  It’s sad that a military man – conveying strength and bravery – could write with such venom.  That despite what is clearly a loathing of America and (at least one of) its women, this 39 year old man living in Syria who wanted to live in the United States – to do what harm?  For the sake of my country I hope to God that never happens because he is a loose cannon and angry, hopeless people do crazy, desperate things.

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#WOOT!

Okay, the truth is I have a vague sense that #WOOT! is an exclamation of supreme online happiness but its use in this instance is completely relevant. I am going to #shoutout a remarkable personal branding social media achievement today – pay attention dear readers as everything I write below has consequences for B2B and B2C engagement as well.

I met my never-laid-eyes-on friend Ken over a phone call two years ago. We had the distinction of having both served as the Chief Marketing Officer for start-up social SaaS firm (I inherited the role from him, he was a co-founder of the company).  We are marketing and communications professionals of very different ilk but have enormous respect for the others’ skills, experience and achievements. Last night, by any social media metrics or conventional communications standards, he hit a pretty remarkable milestone – 60,000 followers on Twitter. Let me repeat, Ken has SIXTY -THOUSAND followers on a global basis on Twitter! 
ImageImagine, no real ‘product’ to sell (though besides being a C-level executive he also writes a weekly tech column, shares the microphone on Wednesday afternoons for a widely listened to Internet radio program and is an expert contributor on emerging social media technologies in books and other media outlets) yet possessing global reach and numbers enviable to any corporate entity.  What is his ‘personal brand’ that attracts so many to include and engage with him during their own online presence? That is it – he is many things to many people, but he is always INCLUSIVE!

He sends out THANK YOU tweets to everyone who replies to him, mentions him, and retweets him EVERY SINGLE MORNING.  He tweets during social media ‘rush hours’ (tied to United States’ eastern time zone even though he makes his home in California). He actively follows other tweeps who post about marketing and communications (putting them in manageable lists to keep track of them and their tweets) and adds to their social media influence by re-tweeting their best content. (“Best” content being highly subjective here as he has tweeted pictures of my various home baked good treats with the hashtag #FoodPorn.) He also recognises that just because Twitter allows for 140 characters that, like any messaging that is going to resonate with its constituent audience(s), the shorter the better, so he stays UNDER 120 characters which also encourages retweets.   These are baseline best practices for Twitter but the ideas behind them are universal in their application in creating cohesive, engaging, successful communications. 

I mention this (at all) because far too many companies are stepping into the realm of social media in hiring dedicated staff assuming digital nativity (a.k.a., youth!) infers competence.  Familiarity with a technology platform does not make anyone a skilled user of it – in creating resonance and amplification communications will always require heightened craft and strategic vision; this also why outsourcing online engagement is a very bad idea if you are intent on protecting the integrity of corporate identity, employer branding and internal morale.

What’s more, regardless of how big your brand may be, remember former Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill famous words “all politics is local” applies to all relationships.  If your brand is global, understand that localisation is still as important to embrace in social media as it (still) is in the creation of press releases, collateral material and websites.  “Just because” English is the dominant language for business does not mean that a brand can ignore their Asian, European, African or South American audiences. The flattening of our world demands more of the old adage ‘treat others as you would be treated’ so use their languages as part of your social media communications.

My TweetSo #WOOT! to Ken and all communicators everywhere whose responsibilities carry the weight of social media engagement and embrace Raymond Chandler’s words: “Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.”

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