Archive for the ‘Kassy’s Corner Blog’ Category

Dorinson: What Would Churchill Do?

Posted: Jan 7, 2019 | Posted by Kassy Perry | Comments Off on Dorinson: What Would Churchill Do?

By Patrick Dorinson
The Cowboy Libertarian
January 6, 2019

Now that the Democrats have taken the Speaker’s gavel in the House, the media is filled with predictions from the pundit class as to what will happen. They don’t know any more than you and me but when you need to fill 24 hour cable news this is what passes for informed political commentary.

Here in California the Democrats have tightened their grip on state government to the point that Republicans hold no statewide offices and in the state legislature they barely have enough members to serve on committees.

The once dynamic Republican Party in California that gave us Ronald Reagan and regularly could be counted on to deliver its large haul of Electoral College votes to Republican presidential candidates, is on life support and in danger of becoming as extinct as the dinosaurs.

While the media write the obituaries on the California Republican Party, some Republicans are writing newspaper columns opining on what needs to be done to resuscitate the party and make it viable again.

Mind you the ones writing all these columns are the same ones who are responsible for its demise. That’s like having the autopsy performed by the same doctors who killed the patient.

They want to hire consultants to analyze the data from the last election and convene focus groups to find out why they lost and why their party is shrinking to the point they are outnumbered by voters who decline to state party preference.

And more importantly, they blame President Trump for all their electoral woes conveniently forgetting that their party’s political health has been declining long before Donald Trump arrived on the scene.

But politics isn’t just about analyzing data and folks ain’t lab rats to be viewed by consultants behind one-way glass in a focus group.

Politics is visceral and comes from the gut and the heart- something Democrats have known and been using effectively for years.

Trump tapped into that in a way they never have and never could. The Never Trump GOP consultants in California have been exposed as frauds that have been selling the same snake oil to the Republican faithful for years and losing elections.

California Republicans don’t stand for anything. They have no real message or messengers who can deliver it if there was one.

Led by Arnold Schwarzenegger, squishy Never Trump Republicans have come up with something called New Way California which is nothing more than a diet cola version of Democrats.

Arnold and his crew say Republicans need to be open to compromise.

What makes him think Democrats want to compromise? Why should they?

Democrat’s idea of compromise is like the old Soviet Union’s idea of compromising on nuclear weapons during the Cold War. “What’s mine is mine. What’s yours we’ll compromise.”

The New Way crowd says nothing about cutting back on California’s bloated government and the army of bureaucrats whose future pensions will eventually bankrupt the state.

And by the way when he was Governor what did Arnold do to help build a better Republican Party?

Not a damn thing. In fact he proved the only thing he cared about was saving his own skin for re-election in 2006 when he joined forces with Democrats and signed AB 32 sucking up to the climate change crowd.

He now travels the world in his private jet telling the rest of us to drive electric cars while he burns carbon by the ton.

Like Democrats the New Way Republicans say they are for the little guy but as Ronald Reagan said, “You can’t be for big government, big taxes and big bureaucracy and still be for the little guy.

The California Republican Party will never rise from the ashes by listening to Arnold Schwarzenegger and his band of elitists who think they know best.

Nor will they become relevant again by emulating the Republican Party in more conservative regions of the country.

Republicans must return to becoming a party of Westerners.

Since the days of the pioneers Westerners have traditionally distrusted big government like the kind California now has.

Republicans need to preach self-reliance as the key to opportunity.

Republicans need to understand that playing catch-up on identity politics and surrendering to the lazy tired analysis that “demographics is destiny”  is no substitute for putting more money in everyone’s pocket.

Republicans need to remind folks that with rights comes responsibility and people are free to do as they please as long as it ain’t illegal and don’t scare the horses.

Republicans will need to articulate policies that will grow the base of middle class voters not simply replace the ones who are voting with their feet and leaving California.

Republicans will need to tell every hard working Californian regardless of race, creed, color or sexual orientation that there ain’t enough money to pay for all the grandiose plans of the Democrats.

Even if they taxed rich folks 100% there ain’t enough of them to pay for their schemes either.

Republicans should warn all Californians that eventually-when they have squeezed all they dare out of those same rich folks-Democrats will come for them and bleed them of all their hard earned money.

And since middle income voters believed they were exempt when Democrats said they were only going to soak the rich with tax hikes, nobody will be left to speak for them when their taxes are inevitably raised.

When Adolf Hitler was rising to power in Germany in the 1930s, Winston Churchill was in the political wilderness having lost his position in the government. He seemed out of touch to some and many wrote his political obituary-much like California Republicans today.

He returned to Parliament as a back bencher with no real power. And it was there Churchill became a lone voice warning his countrymen that Herr Hitler had bad intentions and they must be prepared for another war.

History shows that Churchill was right and when war did come, his country turned to him to lead them to victory.

California Republicans need to be like Churchill warning their fellow citizens of the coming fiscal storm.

At every opportunity when Democrats propose new spending they should ask where is the money coming from?

They should remind their fellow Californians that nothing is free no matter what the Democrats say.

And when the bills come due for the spendthrift ways of the Democrats at least they can say…We told you so.

Lewis: A responsible strategy to address the needs of the homeless

Posted: Jan 4, 2019 | Posted by Kassy Perry | Comments Off on Lewis: A responsible strategy to address the needs of the homeless

By Jeffrey Lewis
Turlock Journal
January 4, 2019

Turlock and its surrounding communities need to address our growing homeless population.  The needs are great, and the challenge is significant, but not impossible.

No one wants to be homeless, cold or sick.  Many homeless individuals are women and men who got lost in a depersonalized healthcare and mental health system; people whose lives changed when the economy took a dive and they lost their jobs.  Others became part of a drug culture that has and continues to devastate their lives and the lives of their families and friends. Turlock has a handful of nonprofit organizations that have taken the lead in addressing the needs of the homeless.  The City of Turlock has offered its assistance, too.  The core of the problem? There is no plan.

No single nonprofit agency or government agency has taken the lead in developing and implementing a strategy.  Without a leader and a strategy, discussions continue to be circular, frustrations of downtown business owners grow, community members continue to raise safety concerns and homeless women and men do not know where to turn. Acting without research wastes resources and time that the homeless and the members of our community do not have to spare. Our success as a community will be insured by our ability to integrate long-term and short-term planning and to maximize available funding and services.

What is in place?

We Care provides nighttime shelter for homeless men and housing solutions.  The Turlock Gospel Mission has focused on caring for homeless women and families. The Salvation Army is taking care of whoever walks through their door. United Samaritans Foundation feeds people lunch, provides showers, outreach and food boxes; and the Turlock Gospel Mission offers free breakfast and perhaps additional meals.  Haven Women’s Center provides care for homeless domestic abuse survivors and their children.  Prodigal Sons and Daughters focuses on teenagers who may be homeless, using drugs or alcohol and treating adults for their addictions.

These are all functioning organizations that are providing worthwhile services. Our community and the community’s homeless individuals, need them all.  However, let’s look for a moment beyond the homeless community’s basic needs for food, shelter and safety. Are there training programs that some homeless individuals may qualify for?  Are there housing programs to begin to help bring a sense of normality to the lives of homeless women, children, families and men?  What is the role of Stanislaus County, and what have they done to help Turlock?

The questions are endless.  The frustrations continue to mount across government, business, nonprofits and those legitimately in need.  Compounding these problems is the need for access to medical care and mental health services.

While each of these steps is important and valuable, no one has stepped forward to take ownership of the issue and build a strategy to address the multiple problems faced by various stakeholders (or take ownership). It’s a new year.  Let’s begin 2019 with a plan called, “Building A Better Turlock” which is outlined, below.

Step One:  Who is Serving the Homeless?

If the Mayor and City Council want our help,  Legacy Health Endowment wants to step up.  To begin, we will lead an effort to survey the major programs serving the homeless.  The survey will consider the services provided, the fundraising needs, the gaps in care and a recommended path forward.  The survey would be transparent by working with a handful of leaders of homeless programs, the City, the Turlock Journal Editor and downtown business owners.  This would help ensure that we are focusing on the issues that matter, the questions and answers that are being raised and considered and conclusions about how best to address the challenges we face.

Step Two:  Addressing the Health and Mental Health Needs of the Homeless

Recently, Legacy Health Endowment provided funding to the Castle Family Health Center and UCSF Fresno School of Medicine to launch a mobile healthcare clinic.  Physician residents from the UCSF Fresno program are providing physicals, flu shots and other primary care services to ensure that people who need healthcare services have access.  The EMC Health Foundation has funded a full-time mental health clinician to work with the homeless to begin to understand the kinds of mental health issues involved.  Throughout the next few months, we will report to the Mayor and City Council on whether, and to what extent, there is a healthcare crisis for the homeless, as well as how it is being addressed today and tomorrow.

Step Three:  Articulating a Plan

In 60 days,  LHE  will present elected officials, business leaders, homeless advocates and the community with a report on our findings and very specific recommendations.

Step Four:  Important Interim Steps

Throughout the next 60 days, we propose the following:

  1. The Turlock Gospel Mission or United Samaritans utilize its meals programs and food bank to serve the homeless;
  2. We urge the Salvation Army and the Turlock Gospel Mission Homeless Assistance Ministry (H.A.M. Day Center) to open their doors for people to a have a warm place to rest at night since We Care is usually at capacity these days.  Imagine lining up cots on the gymnasium floor of the Salvation Army Building to offer a homeless individual  a warm bed;
  3. The City Executives, led by Maryn Pitt, (who is knowledgable and passionate about solving these problems locally) will work with the County to identify funds to help the Gospel Mission fund the operation of the warming center;
  4. We Care to dedicate two beds in its shelter to provide shelter for homeless men being released from EMC Hospital, with Covenant Care at Home providing the follow up medical care for not more than 10 days to help get these men back on their feet and into the community;
  5. Golden Valley Health Centers continue its mobile nurse program helping treat homeless women and men with immediate healthcare needs.  The program has and continues to be a great success; and
  6. It is long overdue to have a centralized food distribution strategy where individual nonprofits are not picking up the donated food and then being charged for it.

This is a 60-day plan.  Not perfect, but a plan, nevertheless.  It allows all the stakeholders in our community to participate and it promotes and embraces transparency as we begin to move forward.  Once the report is finished, we will offer to present the findings to the Mayor, City Council, City Manager and staff.

There are no quick or easy solutions to addressing the needs of the homeless, but we can, we must, stop the finger pointing and build a solution.  The need is great and the challenge enormous, but not impossible.  My email is  — let me know if you want to ‘Help Build A Better Turlock.’

— Jeffrey Lewis is the President and CEO of Legacy Health Endowment.  The views expressed are his own.

The Benefits of Joining a Non-Profit Board as a YP

Posted: Dec 1, 2017 | Posted by Kassy Perry | No Comments

By Katelyn Downey

Katelyn DowneyLooking to expand your career, meet new people AND give back to your community? Look no further than joining a nonprofit board. A nonprofit’s Board of Directors is the governing body of a nonprofit, and responsible for many things including general oversight of the organization and ensuring the nonprofit has adequate resources to advance its mission.

Joining a board is both personally and professionally rewarding. Here are five reasons why YP’s should consider joining a board:

Diversify your skill set

Yes, you’ll be able to showcase your specialized skill set as a board member, but you’ll also be required to do more. Board members are required to review financial statements, fundraise, communicate the organization’s message, manage volunteers and provide general oversight for the nonprofit. Serving on a board allows you to be well-rounded in all the areas needed to make a successful organization run.

Learn how to ask for money – or at least a favor

Yes, asking people for money can be intimidating at first. Unless you’re in sales, you might not be well-versed in the art of closing a deal. Serving on a board allows you to share all the wonderful things the organization is doing for the community, and how others can help. Step out of your comfort zone and learn how to build relationships, make the ask and get the donation or the favor for the betterment of your community.

Expose yourself to people in different industries

You all share one common interest based on the fact you’re on the board of this organization, but you might share little else. Serving on a board is the perfect chance to expand your network beyond your industry. You’ll also get to mix and mingle with community leaders, CEOs of companies, and people in the upper level of their careers, gaining valuable insight into what it takes to get there (and potentially meeting a future employer).

Opportunity to REALLY take a leadership role

Depending on the board you’ll be a part of, it may be an unpaid opportunity. In this case, you’ll be able to use the asset you have the most of: Time. Take the opportunity to chair a committee, lead an event, or prep the organization for an audit. Nonprofits are often looking for all the help they can get, and you can lend a hand in a way you might not be able to at your job.

Do good for your community

It feels good to do good. And maybe you don’t get enough of that feeling at your day job – or any at all. Nonprofit experience allows you to create tangible change in your community. And nothing can beat that!

Bonus: You’re a Millennial!

We get it, being a millennial isn’t always the label you look forward to adhering to most. However, joining a nonprofit board is an opportunity to lean into it. Take the time to help organizations add a young, diverse population to their board membership. Your opinions are valuable, and will more often than not take them to the next level.

Sound like something you’re interested in? The next step is finding an organization whose mission you believe in. Got one? Great. Reach out to them and see if they have openings on their board. Interested in serving on a board, but don’t have one in mind? Check available board positions online, connect with a board recruiter, or ask around your network.

When researching opportunities, make sure to ask about financial commitments, time commitments, and what type of skill set they’re looking for. Similar to finding the perfect job, make sure the group you join is a good fit for you. Once you join, make it count!

Katelyn Downey sits on the communications committee for Metro Edge and is an account manager at Perry Communications Group.

The Three Fs of Crisis Communications

Posted: Aug 30, 2016 | Posted by Kassy Perry | Comments Off on The Three Fs of Crisis Communications

U.S. Olympic swimmers like Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte are at the center of attention during the Summer Olympic Games, but their future net worth depends on corporate sponsors and speaking gigs once the chlorinated pool water on their speedos has dried. By now everyone on the planet has heard of Ryan Lochte’s actions in Rio after a night of celebrating with his teammates, and the fallout could have been handled in a way that did not impact the $16 million worth of Speedo and Ralph Lauren paychecks in his near future. What should have been an immature, youthful act of stupidity turned into a full scale Fukushima-style meltdown when Ryan not only “over-exaggerated” the events of the evening, in (I am hoping) his words, but he went out of his way to tell NBC’s Billy Bush a concocted “made for TV story” and then doubled down in an interview with Matt Lauer. At that point, he apparently got scared with the magnitude of his “over-exaggeration” and got out of town leaving his teammates to clean up the mess with the media, the IOC and the Brazilian police. What a teammate. Seriously?

His PR team and lawyers back home clearly advised Lochte to engage in the 3 Fs of Crisis Management: If you Foul up, Fess up and then Fix it. They told him to die his hair back to a normal Happy Days “boy next door” color and scheduled an interview with a friendly reporter, Matt Lauer, once his teammates had paid the bill for the destruction of private property and were safely on their way home. All good. Yet, Lochte couldn’t just fess up and make it right and then donate to an appropriate charity to heal the cracked public perception. He had to Fonzie-like, stutter repeatedly, unable to simply say, “I’m wrong.” His term was he “over-exaggerated” the actions of the evening. Not only did he butcher the English language, but he didn’t exaggerate, he fabricated. And that F is NOT part of a successful World Wide Apology Tour.

America loves a comeback. We embrace celebrities who trip and fall, and then make good and rise again. Look at Phelps, who had a series of very public stumbles four years ago. But this swimmer either isn’t listening to his PR team or is unwilling to do so. And there really is only so much you can do as a crisis expert if the client isn’t willing to make good when he’s done wrong. Young Ryan Lochte will remain in Olympic Gold Medal Icon Michael Phelps’ shadow for eternity if he insists on swimming upstream, refusing to listen to those who have expertise he doesn’t have. Arrogance is a dangerous thing.

Think Like a Reporter: Eight Ways to Improve Media Relations

Posted: Oct 27, 2015 | Posted by Kassy Perry | Comments Off on Think Like a Reporter: Eight Ways to Improve Media Relations

In today’s changing media landscape, building rapport with reporters is a major component of day-to-day work at PCG. With fewer reporters and fuller inboxes, it is important to approach media relations knowing everything possible about a reporter and their audience.

For us, this means thinking like a journalist. On a day-to-day basis, reporters are working to meet deadlines, be fair and just in their reporting, tell good stories and maybe go home at a reasonable hour.

So how can PR professionals help journalist perform their job better?

1. Be a storyteller
When “cold calling” a new reporter, there is no need to be nervous if you have a strong story with compelling voices and an interesting conflict. Journalists are working day-in and day-out to find the conflicts emerging in different industries. You will be remembered and valued if you don’t bombard journalists with mediocre marketing pieces and push real, valuable and interesting stories.

2. Introduce yourself before you “want” something
Meet without an agenda, pitch or complaint. Seek out the new reporters entering the scene and take them to coffee. Broadly mention the issues you work on or clients you serve but think about building a foundation before asking for stories. Get to know a reporter’s interest area and offer to help for stories that do not directly benefit current clients. Continue to follow-up at reasonable intervals to remind them you are a resource they can tap into.

3. Research, research, research
Read everything on a reporter’s Twitter feed. Peruse past articles. Look at what they wrote about before their current position. Try to find out everything you can so you come to a reporter knowing they will be interested in your story, not just hoping they will be interested in your story.

4. Respond immediately to questions (and be honest)
The best people in PR respond to phone calls or emails quickly and completely. Even if you are still coordinating with spokespeople or adjusting schedules, let reporters know you are working on getting them the information or contacts they need to move their story forward and meet their deadline. Responding rapidly ensures you maintain control of the timing of a developing story. When coordinating with a producer on a time sensitive radio or TV interview, don’t continue to follow-up for logistical details. Let them coordinate their entire show and then follow-up with information. If they say they want to talk to your client, trust them and let them perform their job on their own timeline, not yours.

5. Seize opportunities (that you aren’t getting paid for)
Often over coffee or on Twitter, a reporter will mention they are looking for a specific type of consumer, patient or expert to finish out a story on a topic unrelated to any of your client accounts. If you know someone who would fit their needs, connect them. They will remember you as a resource.

6. Read and praise
When researching journalists or following up after a coffee meeting, remember to praise them for the work you liked. Steer clear of false accolades, but honestly and genuinely express your interest and attention to their work. This ensures they know you aren’t just sending emails; you are invested in finding them stories that meet their beat/interest/expertise. In addition, when a reporter writes a story for you – even if it highlights the opposition or you think your client should have had a quote closer to the top – thank the journalist for the attention, for speaking with you or your client and carefully reporting on the issue.

7. Don’t always go for the biggest name in the room
Make friends with the new journalists, the recent college graduate at your local paper covering local sports, or the new-in-town reporter trying to get a feel for the lay of the land. Help them understand where to go for what resources, how to reach you and what you can provide. By assisting them early and often, you will be in have a strong relationship as they are promoted or move around in the media world.

8. Be professional
“Reporters are not your friends” is an old adage that still rings true. A relationship with a reporter is a professional one and should be respected. Despite having mutual friends or running into each other outside of work hours, do not assume that they are “off” work and never try to ask for coverage “as a friend,” ask them to violate ethical code or give you favorable treatment. This not only disrespects the role journalists play in our society, it belittles the professional relationship you have worked to build.

Journalists provide an invaluable resource for any PR professional, most often without writing anything. They can be the voice that tells you your story is biased, your pitch needs to be tweaked or your message doesn’t resonate. They can also be the voice, in a crisis, that tells your side of the story.

For more tips on media relations and communications, follow Kassy Perry on Twitter at @KassyPerry.

Raising the Bar on “Awareness”

Posted: Jul 1, 2015 | Posted by Kassy Perry | Comments Off on Raising the Bar on “Awareness”

By Kassy Perry

Nearly 200 days each year are designated as official “health awareness days,” but is this growing “awareness” making anyone healthier?

In 2010, people’s social media feeds were filled with one-word statuses naming a color.

In 2013, Facebook profile pictures were filled with equal signs.

In 2014, the “Ice Bucket Challenge” went viral across every social platform.

In each of these campaigns, “awareness” was a key goal for breast cancer, gay rights and ALS respectively. In this case, “awareness” seems to mean getting attention and starting conversations. For the “Ice Bucket Challenge,” funding was a secondary goal – the action Facebook users had to take if they didn’t participate in the sharing and “awareness” function of the campaign.