Who Should Blog for the CEO?

June 28, 2010

Many public relations professionals view blogging as just another communications vehicle. As such, it makes perfect sense that today’s busy CEOs would assign that task to someone who works for them.

Others, however, seem to think a ghostwritten blog lacks authenticity. They say the CEO’s job is all about communicating with employees, customers and other key audiences — so, if the boss doesn’t have time to do it himself or herself, it shouldn’t be done.

A lively conversation on the topic, It’s Just Ridiculous to Argue About Ghost-Blogging, can be found on the Ragan.com website.

For the record, you can put The Concept Works in the camp that favors effective communications – ghostwritten or otherwise – over silence from the C-Suites any time.

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PressThink: The Politico Opens the Kimino. And Then Pretends in Never Happened.

June 24, 2010

PressThink opines today on The Politico’s unintentionally revealing piece about the inner working of the media in the wake of Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s dismissal. To read, “The Politico Opens the Kimono. And then Pretends it Never Happened,” click here.


Woodland Hills Golf Course Opens Driving Range with Full Week of Specials

June 21, 2010

DES MOINES – Woodland Hills Golf Course, a favorite public course with an 82-year history, today tees off a week of special activities to mark the opening of its new driving range.

Course manager Kathy Nichols noted that the new range has three strong assets to complement Woodland Hills, located at 620 NE 66th Ave.

“It’s conveniently located for golfers in Ankeny, north Des Moines and north Polk County, it’s affordable and, of course, it gives golfers another place to hone their skills,” she said. “Our frequent golfers have been looking forward to the range’s opening all spring and we’re confident that golfers who haven’t had the Woodland Hills experience yet will want to go right from the range to the course that’s one of the best in the state.”

The week begins today with a closest-to-the-target contest featuring prizes. On Tuesday, every fifth customer receives a free bucket of golf balls. Two leading golf firms will hold demonstration days during the week. Cleveland Golf, a leader in product innovation and the maker of the game’s top wedge, will be on the range Wednesday. On Thursday, Wilson Golf takes center stage.

“Friday, we’ll have golf pro Jack Richards on the driving range to coach golfers who are looking for a few tips to improve their long game,” Nichols said. “The weekend will include two terrific specials: a free bucket of balls on the driving range with paid green fees on Saturday and half-price buckets all day Sunday.”

At 4:30 p.m. Monday, June 28, Ankeny Chamber of Commerce members will join in ribbon-cutting festivities to cap off the week and officially christen the new range.

“We’re very excited about the opening of our new driving range at Woodland Hills Golf Course. We are always looking for ways to provide an outstanding golfing experience for our customers and believe this additional resource will add value not only to the golf course, but to our golfers as well,” said Kelly Sharp, Vice President of Retail Operations, Hubbell Realty Co.

Woodland Hills’ 18-hole rate is $22 Monday-Thursday and $26 Friday-Sunday. The rate for seniors – 60 and older – is $15 Monday-Thursday and $22 Friday-Sunday.

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Hansen House Founder Featured on “Newsleaders”

June 21, 2010

Rev. Bob Cook, founder of the Hansen House of Hospitality, is featured on Mediacom’s “Newsleaders” hosted by Elizabeth Klinge.

The segment airs on the Headline News Channel, which is on channel 30 in the Des Moines market. It will be broadcast frequently over the next four weeks.

“We’re delighted that Mediacom and Elizabeth would give us the opportunity to share the Hansen House story with a broader audience so more Iowans have an understanding of the much-needed services we provide,” said Hansen House executive director Doug Anderson. “Bob is a natural choice to tell that story because of his long history with the Hansen House and his enduring support for its mission for more than 30 years now.”

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Rasmussen Reports: Grassley Stretches Already Strong Lead Over Conlin in Senate Race

June 17, 2010

DES MOINES – U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley has stretched his lead over Democrat challenger Roxanne Conlin in the general election, according to the latest poll by Rasmussen Reports.

The poll, conducted on June 14 and released today, shows Grassley leading by a margin of 54 to 37 percent.

“Polling conducted in other states finds most candidates receiving bounces in support following a primary win. With Conlin, however, this doesn’t appear to be the case,” the poll states. “Prior surveys conducted since February show support for Grassley ranging from 53 percent to 55 percent while support for Conlin, a former U.S. attorney, ranges from 37 percent to 40 percent. In late April, Grassley led Conlin 53 percent to 40 percent.”

Grassley spokesman Eric Woolson noted President Obama’s favorable rating increased from 48 percent in late April to 50 percent at the same time Conlin’s support fell. He also noted that typical primary election bounce cited in the Rasmussen Reports poll is often magnified in Iowa campaigns.

“Terry Branstad’s primary victory in the three-way Republican gubernatorial primary has increased his lead over incumbent Chet Culver from 53-38 percent last month to 57-31 percent yesterday. Meanwhile, Roxanne Conlin’s numbers have fallen after last week’s primary,” Woolson said. “It’s certainly a huge strategic setback for that campaign, especially considering its aggressive advertising effort following the primary to try to magnify what ordinarily would have been a big post-primary bump. Some Iowans have noted that her campaign has failed to ignite. Today’s numbers show even the fuse seems to have gone out.”

The poll of 500 likely voters shows Grassley leading Conlin two-to-one among male voters and holding a slight lead with female voters. He also holds a double-digit lead among independent voters.

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Grassley Re-election Campaign Retains Woolson for 2010 Communications Role

June 15, 2010

DES MOINES – U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley’s re-election campaign has retained Iowa political veteran Eric Woolson as spokesman and to guide its communications activities through the general election.

“Eric has a unique working relationship with Chuck Grassley over more than 30 years. He was a newspaper reporter in the late 1970s when he first covered Grassley, wrote his biography in 1995 and has remained in touch during past 13-plus years that he has been a political professional,” campaign manager Bob Renaud said. “He has good understanding of who Chuck Grassley is and what he stands for. He knows Chuck Grassley has an outstanding message and record to communicate and he’s looking forward to getting that word out.”

Woolson managed Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s presidential campaign to victory in the 2008 precinct caucuses. He most recently managed the gubernatorial campaign of Sioux City businessman Bob Vander Plaats, moving from the role of communications consultant to lead the campaign when called upon to do so in January.

“Chuck Grassley has always been there when Iowans need him. He knows this state as few people ever will and he’s a respected voice in Washington who gets things done. That’s why he was just named the hardest-working lawmaker of the 535 senators and members of Congress and why Iowans hold Chuck Grassley in such high regard,” Woolson said. “And, that’s why I am so excited to work with him in this new role.”

Woolson was a member of the Iowa press corps for 20 years. He started his newspaper career in Boone in 1976 and worked for newspapers in Madrid, Guthrie Center, Webster City and Keokuk before joining United Press International in 1983. He wrote for the Waterloo Courier for 11 years, including nine as its political reporter/columnist and two years as its editorial page editor.
He was Gov. Terry Branstad’s communications director and press secretary during Branstad’s final term in office. He served as Iowa communications director to George W. Bush during the 2000 presidential campaign and was the communications director for the Doug Gross for Governor campaign in 2002.
In 2002, he founded The Concept Works, a West Des Moines firm that provides public and government relations counsel, marketing services and crisis management for corporate, political and individual clients.

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Woolson Quoted on Value of Candidate Likeability in Des Moines Register Article on 2012 Presidential Contenders

June 11, 2010

Register reporter Jason Clayworth writes today about the popularity of potential GOP presidential candidates and quotes The Concept Works owner Eric Woolson on the importance of likeability. To read Clayworth’s entire story, click “Iowa Poll: Exposure lifts 3 GOP presidential prospects: Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich.”