Sunday, February 25, 2007, 2:44 AM // 2 comments

MP3 Blog-Reading Software program

Peel - Stay in the Loop

Peel - Stay in the LoopI found a Mac only MP3 Blog-reading software program called Peel.

The interface is very, very simple: put in your favorite MP3 blog URls and its iTunes-styled window will automatically list (and download if you so chose) all the available MP3s for each site. I played around with this tonight and was pretty impressed at the simplicity and ease of the program. The fact that you instantly see what new songs have been listed, plus stream a full-length preview (or DL) is very intuitive as are most of the other features (for example, you can easily open any blog into a web browser - though not by clicking on it - and adding or deleting blogs is quite easy too.

The program also doubles as a browser (you just have to tab over) so you can still read liner notes and the like (though I suspect, many will be tempted just to grab the music and run).

However, before ya'll rush out to peep, a few caveats:

1) If songs aren't properly formatted, then they won't list correctly in Peel. (This may not matter to people who listen first, ask questions later).

2) Peel can only work with blogs that host their songs on a direct server. It will not work with blogs that use zshare.net, yousendit.com, rapidshare.com, etc. That's not a shortcoming of the programming - but it does mean that many audioblogs (for example, all album-based blogs) won't work with how Peel is set up.

3) Peel does make it easier for people to strip music from context and personally, I think the context is actually pretty important. Of course, if you're really into a song, it's easy enough to tab over into the browser display and read whatever there is to read. However, if you'd likely go to the blog to see what's up but posts that contain no music - even if it's a major announcement - won't be reflected in Peel's "playlist" listing.

Download:
Peel

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Saturday, February 17, 2007, 9:03 PM // 3 comments

New Potential Baby Daddy Surfaces

Paul Altobelli is the Father of Anna Nicole Smith's Daughter


altobelli

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Friday, February 16, 2007, 3:35 PM // 1 comments

Harry Altobello Wonders Why?

Harry Altobello

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007, 9:09 PM // 0 comments

"...the greatest love post of the last fifty years?"

Thinking of Lisa


Lisa and Paul AltobelliLast year I submitted a post about what Frank Sinatra called the "greatest love song of the last fifty years." The song, of course, was George Harrison's "Something." It's a beautiful song written for his love, Patti Boyd Harrison, yet not one of my favorites. When I decided to write this post I thought about what I considered my favorite love song. Immediately I thought of the Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell Motown classic "Ain't No Mountain High Enough." I thought a little more and came up with the song my Lisa and I danced to at our wedding, Elvis Presley's "I Love You Because." Then I remembered "(We're Not) The Jet Set" by John Prine and Iris DeMent. I like their cover much more than the George Jones / Tammy Wynette original. And speaking of covers -- I LOVE Aimee Mann & Michael Penn's version of "Two of Us."

So, much in the way George Harrison thought about his wife to write "Something" I'm thinking about my wife as I write this post. Happy Valentine's Day Lisa. I love you.

Listen / Download:
Marvin & Tammi - Ain't No Mountain High Enough
Elvis Presley - I Love You Because
John and Iris - (We're Not) The Jet Set
Aimee and Michael - Two of Us

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Blink It

Tuesday, February 13, 2007, 1:02 PM // 0 comments

Philadelphia Investors Purchase Stone Harbor Golf Club

Philadelphia Investors Rich Masterson & Lee Fishman Purchase
Stone Harbor Golf Club



Philadelphia Investors Rich Masterson & Lee Fishman Purchase <br />Stone Harbor Golf ClubPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania – Thursday, February 8, 2007 – Stone Harbor Golf Club has been purchased by two local businessmen, Rich Masterson and Lee Fishman. The partners acquired the golf course and club from Crown Golf of Chicago, after Crown announced its intention to sell a portfolio of five golf courses in Florida and New Jersey. Terms of the purchase, which closed on January 30, were not disclosed.

“Lee and I both believe that Stone Harbor Golf Club is a jewel, the finest facility of its kind along the New Jersey coast line and we think it has enormous, untapped potential,” said Masterson.

Consistently ranked among the Top Ten private golf clubs in New Jersey since it opened in 1988, Stone Harbor Golf Club is a Desmond Muirhead signature course that offers 18 uniquely designed holes set on over 350 wooded acres. With its dramatic design, Stone Harbor has played host to a number of prestigious amateur events from both the Philadelphia and New Jersey Golf Associations. In addition, Stone Harbor features an award winning 16,000 square foot club house which was added in 1994 and offers an unparalleled private club experience for its members, many from the Philadelphia area.

“While the golf and dining are superb by any measure, we think there are greater opportunities to meet the needs of families,” Fishman said. “The staff and members are very passionate about this club, and both Rich and I are looking forward to broadening the offerings of the club as well as investing in its future.”

Masterson is a Philadelphia entrepreneur active in technology, real estate, hospitality, philanthropy and private equity. As an Internet entrepreneur, he was the founder of US Interactive, Inc. (King of Prussia, Pennsylvania). He has been actively developing resort real estate in recent years through his new venture, Masterson Development (Philadelphia, PA), a diversified management firm dedicated to commercial and residential real estate as well as select early stage private equity investments. The company’s projects include land development, a condo hotel and residences from Canada to Costa Rica.

Fishman, an Architectural Engineer, is also a Philadelphia entrepreneur with interests in both the printing/graphics industry as well as real estate development. Previously, he was the founder, chief executive officer and president of BPM Group (Merion Station, Pennsylvania), and guided that company for over 25 years, culminating in its February 1997 acquisition by IKON Office Solutions (Malvern, Pennsylvania), one of the world’s leading technology companies. He has partnered with Masterson on real estate development projects in Costa Rica. Fishman is also involved in other real estate ventures including residential and condominium projects along with selected early stage private equity investments.

Stone Harbor Golf Club operates year round and is home to numerous charitable golf outings, and offers an extensive social calendar of events for its members and guests. The club is located off the Garden State Parkway just minutes from the barrier island communities of Avalon and Stone Harbor, two of the most affluent communities at the Jersey shore.

For membership information, contact Carol Blum-Barnoski, Stone Harbor Golf Club’s General Manager, at 609-465-9270 extension 201. Additional information is available at www.mastersondevelopment.com or www.stoneharborgolf.com.

Media Contact:
Jim DeLorenzo, 215-564-1122
jim@jhdenterprises.com
www.jhdenterprises.com

Print Philadelphia Investors Rich Masterson & Lee Fishman Purchase
Stone Harbor Golf Club

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Monday, February 12, 2007, 7:01 PM // 0 comments

Best Practices in Public Relations

What Works Best in a Press Release



By Jim DeLorenzo, CEO, JHD Enterprises Public Relations


The most important thing to remember about a Press Release is that it is one tool in a successful Public Relations campaign. Some believe the words "Public Relations" and "Press Release" are one and the same in meaning; others realize that a press release is a very useful tool in the overall public relations arsenal.

In my 20+ years of working as an active public relations professional, with experience in a variety of industries, one of the things I enjoy the most is writing a press release. A press release should convey, in a concise manner, a message that is accessible to a wide variety of audiences. The press release in its best form can be read by a reporter or editor who then wants to write or broadcast about the subject to their audience, which then becomes your audience when it is published.

As an example, consider a press release I recently created for a software company. The software package they had created had a very specific purpose, and therefore a "niche" audience. In order to best convey their message, and create a press release that would build awareness of their product, I interviewed the company’s principles extensively, and also researched the media that served their intended audience. I then wrote a press release that targeted that audience through very specific media outlets.

Here’s a "checklist" that comes from my experiences – again, I’ve been writing press releases on an almost daily basis since I was a sophomore in college, so I believe I have it down to a science. But I am also actively researching new ideas, and new approaches, as the press release continues to evolve in use and purpose.

  • Why would the media be interested in this story? If it’s not of interest, it probably should be released. There are organizations that send out press releases about everything and the media no longer takes them seriously.

  • Research your subject – know everything you can learn about the product, the company, the spokesperson (or the person you may be quoting in the press release).

  • Research your audience – know which media outlets would be best for you to "pitch" to most effectively. Don’t write a press release about a sports event and send it to a Business writer!

  • Write, edit, revise – Put the ideas on paper (or on screen). Write a draft that expresses what you have learned about your subject; don’t worry about spelling or grammar at first. Be certain you have the message correct – don’t be afraid to ask your client or your subject follow-up questions. Edit for spelling and grammar, and share with your client or subject for additional input. Revise your draft accordingly, use your computer’s spell check program (it is your friend), keep a dictionary and a thesaurus near you at your desk, and be certain you understand fully what you are writing about – you may get a call from a reporter with a question based on what you wrote, and you don’t want to get caught unprepared.

  • In this phase of the writing, double-space your copy. It gives you greater room for editing (and writing in the margins).

  • Err on the side of being brief rather than verbose. The media are usually very busy, and they have a short attention span. Write a good headline, and a great first paragraph (or lead).

  • Your headline should be concise and compelling – remember, people scan quickly.

  • To find out what style is most acceptable to the media, consult a "Style Book." I have used the "Associated Press Style Manual" since 1981; it’s available in most book stores. I also recommend "The Wall Street Journal Guide to Business Style and Usage."

  • Always include a contact person’s name, e-mail address, telephone and/or cell phone number at either the top or the bottom of the press release.

  • Use a Press Release distribution service. Choose the distribution circuits most appropriate for your news. Business Wire (my personal preference) and PR Newswire are the two main distribution services for press releases. Visit their web sites, see what is being sent out over their wire services, and understand where your press release might fit. They are very reasonable price wise (for example, Business Wire charges for the first 400 words a flat rate based upon your selected distribution circuit, and then a rate for every 100 words over and above 400 words). You will be able to select distribution circuits – by geographic location, by industry or sector, and by specific trade groups or industry groups (i.e. Philadelphia – Health Wire – Advertising, Marketing, Professional Services, Consulting, Senior Citizens, and Software trades). With both, you will get optimal search engine placement, as well as free inclusion of your company logo and links to all appropriate web sites (i.e. corporate web page). Additional fees are involved for inclusion of photos and charts, but in many cases, it is worth the expense.

  • Avoid issuing a press release exactly on the hour or half-hour – you’ll be able to avoid a crowd of competing news.

  • Business Wire and PR Newswire require that you open an account (or membership) with them prior to sending out a press release through their service. I will use Business Wire as my example, as I am most familiar with them. For my clients, I have set up individual accounts, with a logo on file, a URL for their corporate web site, and a brief background (CEO’s name, company address, public or private, number of employees) that can be linked to each press release from that client. Using their Business Wire Connect web site, I am able to upload press releases from my PC to the Business Wire newsroom, and select the distribution channels through a click list on the site. Once the press release is submitted through Business Wire connect, I have a receipt on screen, as well as a receipt that is sent to me via e-mail. Once the press release has cleared the wire (in other words, been sent out to the distribution circuits I’ve selected) a second e-mail or a phone call follows letting me know what time it went out, and what code number is associated with the release for tracking. Within 24 hours of the press release distribution via Business Wire, I receive a "tracking report" from the company that lets me know who received it, who opened it, who posted it on their web site, etc.

  • Have your Press Release posted on your web site the day you “release” it! Nothing is worse than a company sending out a press release to the media, driving people to their corporate web site, and that corporate web site is out of date! Establish an "online press room" with current press releases. I recently met with a potential customer who asked me if I knew anything about his company; I said yes, that he hadn’t updated his press room on his web site since April 2002. Keep it current!

  • Be certain that all internal constituencies at your company receive the press release too! Whether it requires posting on an Intranet, sending an internal e-mail to all employees, or tacking it to a bulletin board in the break room, it is always important to keep everybody in the loop. You don’t want employees at a company to get calls from someone outside the company about a press release and have them express ignorance.

  • If you do include employees in the loop, be certain they also know that there is a public relations person at the company who should field all calls from reporters. You do not want the receptionist getting quoted, you want the spokesman for the company to respond or designate the "responder."

  • Find the media members that cover your industry – whether locally, regionally, nationally or just in a trade publication – and send them a personal e-mail with the press release as an attachment. Let them know who you are, and why you have sent it, and give them a resource if they have further questions.

As an example, let me share the process I recently used for my software client. The software product is intended as a payroll/accounting tool for baby boomers who are hiring and employing household care givers for the elderly (live in nurses, etc.). In one particular instance, I knew that the July 2006 issue of MONEY Magazine featured a cover story on "Your Family’s Wealth," and a feature on "Software that Makes Money Simple." One particular story was entitled “"When your parents need a hand." I reached out to Penelope Wang, the reporter whose byline appeared on the story, by calling the phone number listed in the MONEY Magazine masthead (listing of staff at the front of the magazine). I then left her a voicemail message that I was sending her a press release about my client, and gave her my contact information. I then e-mailed her the press release, again with my contact information and alluding to the voicemail message. When I called her the next day to follow-up, she was aware of the story, and expressed interest in including my client in a future article.

Finally, don’t forget to follow-up. The Press Release is only one tool – you can use it as "entry" to a relationship with a reporter, an investor, a customer – but that requires a phone call, a personal meeting, a personal letter or e-mail. A press release in a vacuum will not get you the attention you intended.

[Jim DeLorenzo started his public relations career in the early 1980s while he was still a student at Villanova University (outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania). He’s worked in a variety of industries, including sports and entertainment, technology, financial services and professional services. In 1999, he opened his own strategic public relations consulting practice (operating as JHD Enterprises, LLC). He can be reached by e-mail at jim@jhdenterprises.com. Additional information is available at his web site, www.JHDEnterprises.com.]

Print What Works Best in a Press Release

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Saturday, February 10, 2007, 11:50 AM // 1 comments

Harry Does the Classics of 70s Cinema!

Harry Mose Does the Classics of 70s Cinema!

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About Paul Altobelli

Paul Altobelli is a veteran Internet, marketing and technology professional with considerable expertise in search engine marketing, web site development, design, implementation and project management. [more]

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