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Thursday, September 30, 2010

How to (almost) never end a sentence

I regularly read sentences that end with prepositions – words like “in” and “for,” which many of us remember being told never to end a sentence with.

Yes, I am officially a rule-breaker. “With” is another preposition, and whenever possible, I recommend reworking a sentence to avoid ending a sentence with one. This is part of what we do when editing or proofreading – both processes that we take very seriously at Goff & Howard.

However, ending a sentence with a preposition is not grammatically incorrect. The Gregg Reference Manual, Goff & Howard’s preferred style guide, tells us to “use good sense in deciding whether or not to end a sentence with a preposition.”

Sir Winston Churchill even left us with some common sense on the subject. In 1948, an editor supposedly reworked one of Churchill’s sentences to avoid ending it with a preposition. Churchill replied: “This is the sort of bloody nonsense up with which I will not put.”*

His point rings as true today as it did 62 year ago. If trying to avoid ending a sentence with a preposition makes the sentence awkward, keep the preposition at the end of the sentence.

*Some historians disagree on Churchill’s exact wording. A few variations of the quote exist, but they are similar to this one.

Monday, September 27, 2010

In case you missed it

This fall as the leaves change, so does the journalism industry. Here are a few changes from The GH Spin’s “In case you missed it” file.
Career inspiration? For those who think that news anchors sometimes look like Barbie Dolls, Mattel’s newest doll will likely make the holiday shopping list. According to its tagline, News Anchor Barbie has “a flair for journalism – and power pink!” If you don’t like it, blame yourself – Mattel conducted a survey via social media to choose the newest doll’s occupation. Read more here or buy it online here.

CNN’s new boss: The person who changed Headline News to more than just news will now be in charge of transforming America’s first 24-hour cable news network. This is a big job – CNN’s ratings now trail MSNBC and the Fox News Channel. Read more here.

New head for NBC: One of the last steps of Comcast’s merger with NBC is replacing the head of NBC. It will be interesting to see what, if any, changes we will notice as we watch “must-see TV” and breaking news shows. Read more here.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

News consumption increases

A recent PEW Research Center survey shows that Americans are spending less time reading newspapers, but more time consuming news (an average of 70 minutes per day). It’s no surprise that the growing number of digital news options caused the change.

The GH Spin wants to find out how you get the news. Please take our survey below:

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Rock Head PR Move: Proofing nightmare

An advertiser’s worst nightmare hit South Bend, Indiana, when a billboard promoting the city’s public schools urged people to look at the “15 best things about our pubic schools.” The oversight of mistaking “pubic” for “public” is even worse when it’s written in three-foot-tall letters near a busy intersection and for an educational institution.

A picture of the flawed billboard circulated around Facebook before Blue Waters Group, the company that created the billboard, claimed responsibility for the proofing error and fixed the billboard.

While the Blue Waters Group made the right PR move by admitting its fault, it is no doubt wishing it would have caught the error in the first place.

Read more from the South Bend Tribune.

(Photo courtesy of the South Bend Tribune)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

In case you missed it

Today’s world obviously moves fast, and technology seems to change every minute. It’s hard enough to keep up with the constant stream of breaking news stories, especially stories that don’t immediately affect you or your job. One of the things The GH Spin will do is help keep you up to speed on information that might have blipped past your already-full radar screen.

Here are a few of the more interesting technology developments that will significantly impact the Internet and social networking.
Google introduces new instant search function: Earlier this week, Google launched Google Instant, a new version of its search engine that displays results as you type. According to Google, instant searching will decrease search time by two to five seconds (to 19-22 seconds for a typical search). Read more from PC World.

Twitter rolls out new design: Over the next few weeks, Twitter will upgrade its interface and design to place almost every function on a single screen so you rarely have to navigate away from a page to get the full experience. The new Twitter will also allow users to embed photos and videos directly on the site. TechCrunch lays out all the new elements in this article.

Google to launch new social network: Google is planning to challenge Facebook’s dominance by incorporating new social networking features in its core products. Read more from the Guardian.

The Social Network invades movie theaters October 1: The Social Network chronicles the early days of Facebook and examines a generation’s obsession with social networking. The movie has been getting strong reviews from critics, including Rolling Stone. Watch the trailer here.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Lowertown: The Perfect Place for Saints Baseball

Goff & Howard is excited to be part of the St. Paul Saints’ team working to bring a new ballpark to Lowertown. The ballpark would be located two blocks away from our office. What a fun and energizing complement to the neighborhood! There are many compelling reasons why a new ballpark is needed and why Lowertown should be the location.

To learn more about the new ballpark, visit ballparkfansandfriends.org and follow the latest updates on Twitter. Show your support by “liking” Ballpark Fans and Friends on Facebook.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Facebook getting gray

A common excuse for not integrating social media into a company’s communications is that Facebook skews too young. The assumption is that kids text and tweet, but people 50 and older would rather talk and meet than update their status.

But things have changed. The power of Facebook has now reached into another demographic segment. According to a recent survey conducted by the PEW Research Center, social networking use among adults 50 and older has doubled over the past year.

Nearly half (47%) of Internet users ages 50-64 and more than a quarter (26%) of users age 65 and older use social networking sites, growth rates of 88% and 100% respectively. The survey also shows that social networking sites have become a large part of older adults’ daily Internet habits – 20% of adults ages 50-64 and 13% of adults age 65 and older log on to social networking sites on a typical day.

PEW researchers believe that older adults are attracted to social media because it bridges generational gaps and provides a connection to family and friends who live far away. Social networking sites have also become popular places for professional networking, continuing education, and political participation. It is also a resource for sharing information about health issues, much like people would do via traditional conversations.

Social networking sites have rapidly become one of the easiest and most beneficial ways for a business to create and maintain relationships with its key audiences. The new research builds on the already high level of use among people in their 30s and 40s. As these users age, they continue their connection to Facebook and social media. For businesses and others who need to reach people 50 and over, it’s time to make sure you have a social media component within your overall communication strategy.

If you need help navigating this premier communications platform, let us know.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Midway Chamber names new president

The Midway Chamber of Commerce today announced that Kari Canfield will be its new president effective September 27. Kari most recently served as the director of marketing and communications for Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest. Kari replaces Lori Fritts, who was president of the chamber for almost eight years.

Goff & Howard is an active member and strong supporter of the Midway Chamber, a group of hundreds of volunteers, representing more than 550 businesses and nonprofits in the Midway area of Saint Paul. The chamber actively supports the business community, influences economic development policies and projects, advocates for public and private investment in the Midway area, and more.

Mike Zipko is a board member and was a member of the search committee that interviewed candidates and nominated Kari for the position.

Congratulations to Kari and the Midway Chamber.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Saint Paul Chamber Gubernatorial Candidate Forum

Goff & Howard is sponsoring the Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce’s Gubernatorial Candidate Forum. The forum will be held at Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Saint Paul on Wednesday, September 8, from 5:30-8 p.m. Join us and other members of the business community to hear Mark Dayton, Tom Emmer, and Tom Horner give their perspectives on health care policy.

To register, contact Kay Baker at kbaker@healtheast.org.