NOLA BarCamp – Caution Soapbox to follow

The below is from VoodooVentures. This is impressive as hell. I was introduced to these guys by the Swamble folks, and am being impressed by their thinking.

Like many people, my family made made contributions to the American Red Cross in the time around Hurricane Katrina. That contribution was for immediate assistance. Now is the time when people can make a REAL contribution. Help create jobs in New Orleans. Support entrepreneurship. Help New Orleans create a new economy.

Thinking and actions like this is going to make a difference. I’m going to try and be there.

Announcing BarCamp NOLA
September 13, 2007 10:13 am

<!–

Chris Schultz

–>

written by
Chris Schultz

I’m very excited to announce BarCamp NOLA to be held in New Orleans January 5-6, 2008. Brian Oberkirch and I were rapping this morning, and we decided to nail down the date for January. Blake Haney is excited about it too, and we’re even hoping to get Tara Hunt and Chris Messina there.

We’re going to be hosting the BarCamp right here in the Voodoo Ventures offices. For anybody interested here’s some pics of the layout. ( I’m also going to try to recruit the guys at Blutique next door to throw in their space).

Brian has the great idea of making the first day a traditional BarCamp day, and the second day a hack day, where we put together some piece of web goodness for deserving local charitable organization. Anybody interested, sign up on the wiki.

I’d like to find a struggling small business we could help immediately with a new site or enhanced Web services. Spend a weekend cranking as a team and launch the thing at the end of the weekend. We can get help from our friends everywhere with regard to code, design, ideas. Brains, we have them at the ready.

The New Orleans Brainjams event a year and a half ago was a fantastic experience, and I’m really excited to be rallying the troops for a bigger, better, badder BarCamp experience.

So put January 5th and 6th on your calendar, and go put your name on the wiki. For you out-of-towners, why not make a weekend of it. Come the BarCamp so you can write off your trip, stay for the Sugar Bowl, which will be the BCS National Championship game in New Orleans on January 8th.

Congrats to Hlinko!

Hlinko takes reins at Grassroots

WASHINGTON: John Hlinko has been promoted to president and CEO of Grassroots Enterprises, which specializes in grassroots outreach. Previously the firm’s VP of marketing and creative engagement, Hlinko succeeds president and CEO Arvind Rajan, who will now serve as chairman. Previous chairman Reid Hoffman will continue to be on the company’s board as well as serve as a senior advisor. In addition, VP of public affairs Bill McIntryre has been named EVP.

From PR Week.

John Hlinko is yet one more Alexander Communications alum who has gone on to do great things. He also continues to be one of the funniest guys in PR.

SEO – Search Engine Optimization for PR – don’t leave it to other marketing groups

I have a passing knowledge of SEO, search engine optimization, and am by no means an expert. I need to learn more. Everyone in PR needs to learn more. “Search” is how people find information. If you aren’t making it easy for people to find information about you and your clients, you aren’t doing your job.

I need to learn more.

Here’s a bit of an intro to the topic from Danny Sullivan who is pretty much ‘the man’ on the topic.

Call for presenters! Startups looking to get in front of potential investors


If you’re in Northern California, or Northern Nevada, or if you’re not, but run a startup that is looking for funding, check out the upcoming Silver & Gold Conference from Golden Capital and NCET.

The submission deadline for presenting companies was this week but don’t let that stop you.

There’s always great speakers and lots to learn.

PS – I’m presenting there 😉

SacStarts Dinner

This week I went to the latest SacStarts dinner. For this one, I had to venture to Cafe Bernardo in downtown, we’ve really got to have one of these in the EDH, especially since half the crowd, OK 20% are from here.

I was at the other end of the long table from Adam Kalsey, so it was a remarkably quiet dinner, but I had a great conversation with Layton and we talked about his most recent venture.

These dinners are a great way to be involved with people who care passionately about what they are doing, are on the cutting edge of technology and are a lot of fun.

I think we had about 15 people at this month’s dinner. Would love to see more at the next.

The first rule of Fight Club is…

don’t talk about Fight Club. The same holds true for most PR campaigns. Don’t tell people that a PR consultant said that you need to be more active in the community, just do it. People will notice and focus on that and not on the “PR Campaign.”

I like the Maloofs. I like their passion in everything they do. To paraphrase the late great “West Wing,” they’re going to, “let Bartlett be Bartlett.” Be themselves, that’s what Sacramentans fell in love with.

Ailene Voisin: Maloofs alter their game in court of public opinion

By Ailene Voisin – Bee Columnist

Last Updated 12:40 am PDT Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Story appeared in SPORTS section, Page C1

It wasn’t exactly an epiphany. More like a gut check. But at some point during the offseason, Joe Maloof decided he had sulked, seethed and stressed enough following last season’s double-dip defeat — the failed arena ballot measure and the team’s playoff absence — and what he really needed to do was slip on his sneakers and jump back into the game.

Back to doing what the Maloofs do best — selling themselves. Convincing people to buy into their act and purchase their products. Cementing community roots that extend into the psyche, most importantly, here in Sacramento.

They want an arena? They want to be beloved?

Thus, and though about three years overdue — this isn’t C.C. Myers, folks — the repair work resumes. Having already asked NBA Commissioner David Stern to assume control of arena discussions currently involving Cal Expo, the Maloofs more recently began soliciting advice on how to become community darlings all over again.

And the first thing public relations consultant Donna Lucas told Joe and Gavin was to stop hiding. And the second thing she told Joe and Gavin was … to stop hiding.

“It’s pretty simple,” said Lucas, a former staff member for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. “It’s an old-fashioned, get out and talk to people. We found that no matter what went on before, with all the arena stuff, people really like Joe and Gavin. Their best asset is themselves.”

Though Joe Maloof probably believes he absorbed the worst of the arena/publicity/political pummeling of the recent past, he never should have cut and run. Frankly, he should have maintained a stubborn, persistent presence at the City Council chambers as well as at the downtown pub.

Local celebrities have to be seen around town to be gossiped about. Prime-time players earn kudos for resolve and resilience when the math gets fuzzy, when politicians hide behind the latest poll numbers, when the team tumbles into a funk.

“It’s hard, man,” continued Joe Maloof, with a half-laugh. “A lot of emotional swings. But that (election) taught us a few lessons, most importantly, that you have to get your message across. It was never about moving the team. We’re here. We’re not going anywhere. But we couldn’t get that across. That was the thing that maybe upset us the most.”

Of all the Maloofs, Joe takes the public hits the hardest. He is the most emotional and impulsive of his siblings, the Maloof most attached to Sacramento. Before his feelings were bruised during a City Council meeting in July 2004, he lived and died with every Kings outcome but bled purple right here in the restaurants, in the malls, at the games. Invariably there was Joe, shaking hands, signing autographs, enjoying his newfound celebrity.

Eventually, of course, he discovered what all owners do, that running a professional sports franchise requires deep pockets and a thick skin. New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner has been tabloid fodder for decades. Jerry Colangelo saved one franchise (Suns) and purchased a World Series championship for another (Diamondbacks) yet eventually sold out under duress. Jerry Buss has presided over two Lakers dynasties and, through no fault of his own, except perhaps his gene pool, is getting scorched because one of his sons is painfully inept.

“We had a tremendous run,” continued Joe Maloof, “and we’ve had great disappointments. Last year, it was such a downer. But I tried to think back, and I asked myself, What did we used to do that the fans appreciated so much? And it was this: Take the team to the fans. They’re always coming to the arena to watch us. I said: ‘Let’s get back in there, do what we did before. Take the team to the community. Let the fans see and touch the players.’ We’ve got to get back to that.”

It was his idea to hold the Kevin Martin news conference and fan rally downtown at the Esquire Grill, with Lucas’ endorsement and with more to come. More downtown rallies. More events in the suburbs. More of the personal touch. Eight years into their ownership, in fact, this much certainly can be said of the Maloofs: They might not be as visible, but the team still stands. It isn’t leaving. Stern’s involvement virtually ensures that.

“The thing is,” said Joe Maloof, his voice reflecting his excitement, “we always connected with the guy on the street. Because we are the guy on the street. We grew up working in a warehouse and piling beer onto trucks.

“People are comfortable with us. They know we’re trying. Now, with the team we have, with Stern helping with the Cal Expo stuff … we just have to temper our expectations a little bit.”

Laughing, he added: “We’re trying to buy a racehorse, and we want to name it Sacramento King. We’re going to get another championship for Sac if it kills us.”