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Robert Johnson Documentary ‘Devil At The Crossroads’ Resurrects The Spirit Of A Real-Life Blues Myth [Review]

By on March 2, 2021

first_imgWhat do the Rolling Stones’ “Love in Vain,” Cream’s “Crossroads,” and the Blues Brothers’ “Sweet Home Chicago” have in common? Along with many more, these three blues standards were written by the most important musician whose name you might not recognize: Delta blues guitarist Robert Johnson.The latest in Netflix’s ReMastered series of original music documentaries, Devil at the Crossroads: A Robert Johnson Story, weaves the story of the mysterious bluesman together with the legacy of his influence. Brief but admirably thorough, the film is a must-see for rock fans searching to see how deep their genre really goes.Robert Johnson (1911-1938) was, by all accounts, a novice guitar player in early 1930s Mississippi—until he suddenly disappeared without a trace. A year later, he reappeared without explanation as an absolute blues prodigy, outplaying legends like Son House in juke joints around the Delta. The suspicious speed of Johnson’s improvement, mixed with the superstition that blues was the “Devil’s music,” led to the emergence of the now-famous legend: Johnson had gone down to a crossroads at midnight and sold his soul to the Devil in exchange for miraculous talent.During his short and tumultuous life, Johnson penned multiple blues standards, innovated a revolutionary guitar technique, and bent the Delta style by incorporating elements of vaudeville, ragtime, and folk music. Though he’s now considered one of the greatest blues musicians to ever live, Johnson remained quite unknown in his lifetime. He recorded only 29 distinct songs over two sessions in 1936 and 1937 before his murder in 1938 (he was allegedly poisoned by a jealous husband—what a way to go!). In the decades since, as documentation and subsequent reports emerged, researchers have been able to cobble together a partial account of Johnson and his life. This is the starting point for ReMastered: Devil at the Crossroads.Director Brian Oakes needed to take an old, gap-filled story and present it in an interesting and compelling way. To do this, the film leans heavily on animation, dramatized footage, and interview voiceovers. Initially, the animation appears an ill-fitted medium for a hundred-year-old story about the Delta blues, but it ends up doing a competent job of telling a story with few clear and credible details, much less actual video or photographic records. Among the interview subjects that the film uses to tell the story are Taj Mahal, Keith Richards, and a slew of cultural, musical, and historical academics. This is much to its benefit, as the use of a dramatic narrator might have cheapened the visual style. The animation and interview voiceover balance each other quite well in this way.In its focus on Johnson’s life story, the film falls short in its attention to the songs themselves, which remain tangential to the bluesman’s biography. Oakes does use several lyrics as jumping-off points to allow academics to give historical and cultural context, and top-notch audio engineering works overtime to push Johnson’s story forward and keep viewers engaged. Still, Oakes seems reluctant to allow any song to play for more than a few seconds before interrupting it. The result is that much of the music fades into a generic “Delta blues” soundtrack that misses opportunities to let certain songs breathe. It’s not always clear what you’re listening to, which would be a handicap on any music documentary. This complaint is largely preferential, as the film’s primary focus is on biographically exploring and conveying the life of Robert Johnson.Considering its short runtime of only 48 minutes, the film’s due emphasis on Johnson’s musical and cultural legacy is impressive. Supernatural or not, Johnson’s instrumental and songwriting talents revolutionized blues music and set the course for musical innovations that would ripple down through generations of musicians. Oakes traces Johnson’s legacy from Muddy Waters and the advent of electric blues to figures like Robert Plant, Jimi Hendrix, Bonnie Raitt, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, and other forebears of rock who cite Johnson’s influence.In the film, award-winning blues singer-songwriter Keb’ Mo’ says it best: “Robert Johnson wakes up the genius in everyone, and his music speaks to all of us.” Without Johnson’s music, it’s safe to say that rock music would likely be radically different today. But Johnson remains important culturally as well as musically: his tragic personal life, rambling ways, and prodigious talent epitomize many pillars of blues storytelling and form foundations for the narrative conventions of Beatnik and Americana culture. Ultimately, Johnson’s story continues through this dispersion, distortion, and evolution.With ReMastered: Devil at the Crossroads, Brian Oakes and Netflix deserve much credit for renewing public interest in Robert Johnson, as shown by an immediate spike of more than 300% in Google searches and a reinvigorated dialogue on social media. Netflix called upon Oakes to shed light on Johnson’s mysterious life, and his film does so with comprehension and style. Further, Oakes monumentalizes Johnson at the foot of a mountain of music made with his influence. This attention to the bluesman’s legacy means that Devil at the Crossroads will captivate fans of jazz, rock, country, pop, and beyond.It’s well known just how much music grew from the roots of the blues, but even origin stories need a beginning. For the blues, Robert Johnson is that beginning, and for his continuing influence, there’s no end in sight.Check out the trailer for the documentary below. You can watch ReMastered: Devil at the Crossroads: A Robert Johnson Story on Netflix here.ReMastered: Devil At The Crossroads – Official Trailer[Video: Netflix]last_img read more

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Hope for managing hospital admissions of COVID-19 cases

By on March 1, 2021

first_img ‘I thought: This is going to be interesting’ ‘Faster protection with less material’ Organized to fight the pandemic The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news. How a new vaccine adjuvant might eventually help to shorten the race to COVID-19 immunity One College student adjusts to life on a deserted campus and another to being unexpectedly home a continent away President Bacow, now recovered, shares own experience having COVID-19 Related This is part of our Coronavirus Update series in which Harvard specialists in epidemiology, infectious disease, economics, politics, and other disciplines offer insights into what the latest developments in the COVID-19 outbreak may bring.Projected COVID-19 caseloads at the state’s largest health care system indicate that social-distancing measures have worked well enough that Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) will be able to avoid the kind of harrowing situation Northern Italy faced when a surge of patients outstripped the region’s ability to respond, a top emergency-preparedness physician said Thursday.Paul Biddinger, medical director for emergency preparedness at Partners Healthcare and vice chairman for emergency preparedness in Mass General’s Emergency Medicine Department, said the most recent modeling indicates the epidemic’s peak will stretch but not overwhelm the 1,000-bed hospital’s beds, staff, and equipment — in particular its supply of ventilators for patients who need help breathing.“Roughly about a week to two after the implementation and then strengthening of social distancing — physical distancing — instructions from the governor, from multiple mayors here in Eastern Massachusetts, we now have seen that our curve of arriving patients, both with general illness and critical illness, has decreased,” said Biddinger, who is also associate professor of emergency medicine at Harvard Medical School and visiting senior preparedness fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.Biddinger said there are currently 220 to 230 COVID-19 patients at MGH, 110 of them in intensive care. The hospital has about 150 critical-care beds and the capacity to increase that to 300. Of the COVID-19 patients in those beds, more than 100 are on ventilators — all of the traditional devices the hospital has and roughly twice the number it regularly has in use. Biddinger said the hospital expects 200 critical-care patients at the epidemic’s peak, but has access to enough transport ventilators and anesthesia machines, which can perform the same function, to support the demand.“Now, for about a week or so, our data no longer looks as much as it did like a Northern Italian situation,” said BiddingerHe said modeling shows that the Boston region, where MGH and other Partners Healthcare facilities are located, is one to two weeks away from peak demand. The apex for intensive care would lag that by a few days, due to the extra time it takes for a case to become serious.Besides Mass. General, the Partners chain also includes Brigham and Women’s Hospital and several smaller and specialty facilities, such as McLean Hospital, Spaulding Rehab, Newton-Wellesley Hospital, and North Shore Medical Center.“We are cautiously optimistic that, with the numbers we are anticipating, we will have enough ventilators and we will have enough Intensive Care Unit spaces,” Biddinger said.Biddinger cautioned that anticipating a flattened peak does not mean the crisis is over. He said that MGH’s staff is holding up, though tired from the extraordinary effort. Some are anxious about the possibility of contracting the disease, but confidence in protective equipment and procedures will likely grow, barring a spike in health-care worker infections. Despite that anxiety, he said there’s also a sense of purpose that is apparent when he walks the halls and realizes how the facility and its people have responded to the challenge.“You can really feel the mission, especially on these floors that have been turned into ICU spaces,” Biddinger said. “You might think people are overwhelmed or scared, and it’s exactly the opposite. It’s extraordinary. A lot of people do feel proud to be able to take care of patients during this time.”The COVID preparations extend throughout the Partners Healthcare system, Biddinger said, including places like the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, which has loaned staff and bed space to MGH next door. If there are available beds in the Partners system, they will be made available to other hospitals should they reach capacity.“We’ve done an extraordinary amount of work. Hundreds and hundreds of people have done yeoman’s work to open up new ICU spaces, to move ventilators around, to come up with contingency plans, to work exceptionally hard … to help us be in the position we’re in,” Biddinger said. “There are many, many more weeks of hard work ahead of us.” To stem the coronavirus crisis, Harvard Medical School scientists forge ahead on six key fronts The way we live nowlast_img read more

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Au Bon Pain to open in library

By on January 26, 2021

first_imgHungry students will no longer make a “LaFun run” to refuel during late-night study marathons in the Hesburgh Library now that Au Bon Pain will open on the library’s first floor in November.   The café will supplant the vending machines in the first floor lounge, which have been relocated to the basement lobby. Associate Director of Retail and Food Services Administration Mark King said the addition of Au Bon Pain will satisfy the cravings of a large portion of the Notre Dame community. “Au Bon Pain is a bakery, fresh sandwiches, soups and salads place very similar to Panera Bread,” King said. “Au Bon Pain actually created Panera Bread … a lot of people on campus want Panera Bread but we aren’t a big enough market to warrant a Panera Bread – this way we are able to satisfy that group of people without duplicating anything we already had on campus.” The continual product development and variety at Au Bon Pain will add to the café’s appeal, King said.   “They have a coffee/barista station, a plain coffee station, a smoothie section, sandwich section, premade sandwiches and salads, breakfasts and oatmeal served in the morning, and different soups that are appealing and different,” King said. “The menu will change periodically as well, with seasonal salads and soups and fresh baked goods.” Michael Davy, Food Services administration continuous improvement manager and future manager of the library’s Au Bon Pain, said he suspects the café will receive a lot of foot traffic. “I think people will come and try what’s offered at the café because people want to experience something a little different,” Davy said. “We’ll hit traditional meal periods, and outside of traditional meal periods students that use the library will be able to stop by and get a sandwich, use our full espresso coffee or smoothie programs or get a late night snack.” Hesburgh Library Facilities Manager Ross Ferguson said a joint team of Food Services staff and Hesburgh Library staff concluded Au Bon Pain was the best option for the library. “A committee of five of us met with Food Services to discuss Au Bon Pain and other local and national options,” Ferguson said.  “Au Bon Pain we could get going by November, but the other options would push us back to 2013.” Davy said Food Services looked for a restaurant that would compliment the other eateries on campus, fit in the available physical space and satisfy consumers. “A few factors in the decision were the quality of the menu’s offerings, the corporate franchise support and uniqueness of the new café – there’s not one in the immediate area,” Davy said. “Primarily though, the biggest thing was the quality of the food.” The focus at Au Bon Pain is on producing fresh food, Davy said. “One of the interesting quality principles of Au Bon Pain Corporation is that any prepackaged item that’s made for sale in a to-go container is made for sale that day, on that day,” Davy said. “You can get made-to-order things, but nothing is held over to the next day… that speaks to the quality principles of the franchise.” The café will even make nutritional information readily accessible, Davy said. “We will have a nutritional kiosk where any customer can use a touch screen to find out the nutritional components of any of the menu items in the store,” hy said. King said Au Bon Pain’s structure will work well with the café’s planned schedule. “Au Bon Pain’s concept has the ability to expand and contract based on the [consumer] volume, which is very convenient,” King said.  “This enables the café to act as an accordion: there are going to be busy times and slow times, especially because we’re looking at being open for a very long time([7 a.m. to 1 a.m ]. At the times with less traffic fresh sandwiches probably won’t be offered.” Ferguson said he did some personal research to test how well-suited the first floor of the library would be for Au Bon Pain. “We wanted to see how many people were walking by that location in order to show that this was a viable place for the café,” Ferguson said.  “I watched the number of people passing one mornin, and counted 72 people coming in from the parking lot, most of them with coffee in their hands.” Many student concerns revolved around the accessibility of the future café, Ferguson said. “We feel that a large percentage of the students want places open, that they feel there are not enough places open on campus [that late]… the café going in, courtyard being finished and fishbowl renovation all go into the big picture plan,” Ferguson said. The affordable price point Au Bon Pain offers made it an attractive choice, Ferguson said. It doesn’t make sense to bring in a big fancy place that [students] can’t afford,” Ferguson said.  “DomersDollars, fresh food, healthy choices: that’s what the students asked for.” Senior Tyler Bartlow said he thinks students will appreciate the café’s accessibility.   “It will be great to have a food option within the library when I’m studying,” Bartlow said. Senior Ashlee Hunt said she is looking forward to the addition of an eatery to the library. “I don’t know what it is but I’m excited for food to be in the library, especially relatively inexpensive, healthy food,” Hunt said. King said the café will open in November. “We’re shooting for a November 12 opening date, but that’s contingent on construction getting done,” King said.   It will be interesting to open it up during a football week, but that will help us give it a big kick-off.”last_img read more

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Art display aims to bring positivity to campus

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first_imgAs the days get shorter and colder, the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures is trying to spread positivity around campus with a new creative art display between DeBartolo and O’Shaughnessy Halls. The exhibit is called “Romance Rocks” and consists of rocks decorated with words written in foreign languages of positivity and encouragement to students, faculty and other passersby. Emma Farnan | The Observer The “Romance Rocks” display, located between DeBartolo and O’Shaughnessy Halls. The display was organized by the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures and is meant to send a message of positivity to passing pedestrians.Sara Nunley, the undergraduate studies coordinator in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures and the person who organized the display, said “Romance Rocks” is meant to combat negativity in the community.“We basically are spreading kindness and encouragement across campus to all students,” Nunley said. “I feel like sometimes things can be so negative that we want positivity and stuff to be spread.”The rocks were created by about 500 students currently enrolled in beginning and intermediate level romance language courses. The rocks include words and phrases written in Italian, French, Spanish and Portuguese. In addition to the positive message, the display is also intended to be a creative way for passing pedestrians to engage with foreign languages.Shauna Williams, the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures’ director of undergraduate studies, helped orchestrate the display. Williams noted the religious aspect of the art. “It lines up really well, as a Catholic University, with our Catholic mission of inclusion and diversity and celebrating differences,” she said.The display is also designed to bring an artistic change of pace to students in language courses, Nunley explained.“I’ve heard a lot from faculty that most students really enjoyed it,” she said. “Just taking a break from their normal routine in class, to just have like a breather you know and just do something fun and creative.”“Romance Rocks” is now beginning its second week on display and is scheduled to be cleared by Friday. Community members and language students will help clean up the display. The display’s first week, Williams explained, was designed to draw attention to the art.“We wanted it on display for two weeks,” she said. “One week so people could just walk by and notice it, especially since this weekend we had a home football game, we had a home hockey game, a home women’s basketball game and a home women’s volleyball game.”During the display’s second week, Nunley said community members are encouraged to pick up the rocks and share them.“This is the week that you’re to take one for yourself or share one with a friend,” she said.  Though Nunley organized and brought the project to Notre Dame, “Romance Rocks” is inspired by the Kindness Rocks Project, founded by Megan Murphy. Murphy is a “Women’s Empowerment Coach, Business Mentor, Kindness Activist, Meditation Instructor and Lecturer,” according to the Project’s website.Williams said the rocks themselves also communicate an important message about the longevity of positive thinking.“What do rocks even symbolize? Its something thats a little, you know, enduring and lasting through centuries,” she said. “They kind of have this other meaning of durability and long-lasting perseverance.”Tags: Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, positivity, Romance Rockslast_img read more

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Audra’s Back on Broadway! Lady Day Begins Previews

By on January 18, 2021

first_imgWe wished on the moon, and it’s finally coming true. Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill begins performances on Broadway March 25, with five-time Tony winner Audra McDonald headlining as blues legend Billie Holiday. The show will play a limited ten-week engagement at the Circle in the Square Theatre with an official opening on April 13. The bio-show, written by Lanie Robertson and directed by Lonny Price, leaves audiences witness to one of the last performances of Holiday’s lifetime. Set in a small Philadelphia bar in 1959, Lady Day recounts Holiday’s life through the songs that made her famous. McDonald will perform 18 numbers as the late singer, including “What a Little Moonlight Can Do,” “Tain’t Nobody’s Biz-ness” and “God Bless the Child.” Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill debuted off-Broadway in 1986 starring Lonette McKee and has been produced around the country and internationally ever since. Tony and Grammy winner Dee Dee Bridgewater starred in another show, entitled just Lady Day, off-Broadway that closed earlier this year. Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill Audra McDonald Star Files View Comments Related Shows Show Closed This production ended its run on Oct. 5, 2014last_img read more

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Small gardens

By on January 17, 2021

first_imgOften people with limited or no acreage forgo planting a vegetable garden. This need not be the case, since many vegetable varieties can be planted in small spaces. Using proper cultural practices can also reduce the amount of space you need to grow your own vegetables.Tomatoes top of the list of Southerners’ favorite fruits, even though they are often referred to as vegetables. Many people think they need a lot of space to grow tomatoes. Certain types of tomatoes don’t need much space to grow. Often, size differences in tomato plants are distinguished by two terms: indeterminate and determinate.Indeterminate tomatoes grow and set flowers and fruit throughout the growing season. Determinate tomatoes grow to a certain size before they produce flowers and fruit. Strongly determinate tomatoes are often called patio tomatoes because they can grow in a pot on a patio or terrace. Some of these varieties will only grow 1 to 2 feet tall.Buy compact varietiesWatermelon and cantaloupe usually require a lot of space to grow. The vining nature of these plants will quickly cover precious garden real estate. Fortunately, both are available in “dwarf” varieties. These varieties require less room to grow so are perfect for small garden plots. Often these dwarf varieties are called bush or short internode types. The vines of these varieties don’t elongate like typical watermelon or cantaloupe varieties. With proper care and water, they will produce fruit the same size as standard or long internode types in a smaller amount of space.Beans and southern peas are also available in varieties that are bush types rather than vining types. They require less space and offer excellent yields.Grow plants up, not overWhen planting in a small space, another alternative for vining crops like cantaloupe and cucumber is to grow vertically. These vining crops can be trained on a trellis or wire frame. Use a cloth or net sling to support fruit on these plants. Cantaloupe, particularly, will slip from the vine when ripe and may be damaged if they are not supported while growing on a trellis.Of course, many vegetables can grow in small spaces without resorting to planting special varieties or using special cultural practices. These include lettuce, mustard, onions, radish and spinach. Any leaf vegetables, such as collards and kale, can also be grown in small spaces. The immature leaves are harvested before the plants become very large.For more tips on growing vegetable gardens in small spaces, call your local University of Georgia Cooperative Extension office at 1-800-ASK-UGA1.last_img read more

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Vermont Arts Council awards $250,000 to 10 artists

By on January 1, 2021

first_imgMontpelier, VT — Following a two-day marathon of presentations, ten artists have been chosen to receive nearly $250,000 in total commissions for The Art of Action: Shaping Vermont s Future Through Art . The finalists nine Vermonters and one from Massachusetts will receive commissions ranging from $10,000 to $30,000 to create projects that grapple with diverse issues facing our state, as identified over the past two years through the work of the Council on the Future of Vermont.  The project, coordinated by the Vermont Arts Council, is funded by visionary philanthropist Lyman Orton and his associates Craig Byrne and Janice Izzi.  The finalists were chosen from more than 300 applicants spanning the United States and three foreign countries.Artists will generate two-dimensional pieces of art in a variety of media, but the creative process will also involve extensive collaboration and public engagement on issues ranging from cultural diversity to infrastructure and the working landscape. The ten commissioned artists are:Susan Abbott, Marshfield VT Curtis Hale, Danville VTGail Boyajian, Cambridge MA Valerie Hird, Burlington VTDavid Brewster, Halifax VT Kathleen Kolb, Lincoln VTAnnemie Curlin, Charlotte VT Janet McKenzie, Island Pond VTPhillip Godenschwager, Randolph VT John Miller, Coventry VT”The challenge of winnowing worthy arts submissions from all over the country to the ten best applicants, and finding that the lion’s share of the winners were Vermonters only underscores Vermont’s long-standing reputation as an arts environment, said Project Review Committee member Bill Schubart. What a joy to spend two full days with such a broad and rich array of talent. I look forward greatly to seeing the result of the commissioned work.”  I’m really excited about the project , said commission recipient Kathleen Kolb.  I realize that I am ready in my career to combine making the paintings I’m so committed to with community advocacy.  This funding gives me permission to connect and interact with people about the work and its intention without it being about promoting myself.  It’s a great next step and I’m really grateful.When the ten commissioned suites of artwork are completed in September 2009, the Arts Council and Orton will produce a series of exhibitions and symposia around Vermont to showcase the art and encourage discussion on the issues. After the exhibits, a nationally promoted sale or auction event will offer an opportunity for everyone to own a piece of artwork from this landmark process. A portion of the sale proceeds will be returned to the artists, in addition to the original commission amounts. The bulk of the proceeds will be used to seed another round of commissioned work that strengthens the brand identity of Vermont as a state that supports artists and art inspired by citizen engagement. The intent of Art of Action is to use art to raise awareness and inspire citizen action around issues, challenges, and opportunities as identified by the Council on The Future of Vermont during a two year process of reaching out to Vermonters.  According to Orton, In addition to demonstrating that artists should have a seat at the table of planning and envisioning our future, Art of Action will promote a market for art that seeks to communicate challenging and vexing issues. Art expands the usual communicating mediums of the written and spoken word in a visually provocative way that we expect will cause many more Vermonters to step up and take actions that affect our future.The Art of Action is a self-sustaining arts-based program that presents enormous possibilities for creative problem solving. The Arts Council and Orton believe that demonstrating a viable market for this type of art will encourage more artists to develop socially-responsible themes and approaches to art-making.last_img read more

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Press interviews: How to not sound like a dummy

By on December 17, 2020

first_imgPress interviews are great – as long as you don’t say something stupid. The more prepared you are for an interview and the better you understand the interview process, the less likely you are to say something stupid. That’s where this article comes in. The first thing to consider when a reporter asks you for an interview is whether you’re really an expert on the topic. Sometimes a reporter will call just because he thinks you might have something to say about a particular topic. There’s no shame in telling the reporter that this particular topic is outside of your wheelhouse if that’s the case. Like the old saying goes, it’s better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you’re ignorant than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. That said, make sure you invite the reporter to call you back about other topics that may better fit your expertise.So you’ve agreed to an interview. Now what?Now you prepare. But how do you do that? The one thing you don’t want to do is waste a lot of time memorizing facts and figures. If a reporter is only looking for facts and figures, she’ll turn to Google, not you. What a reporter is looking for is a point of view. What do you, as an expert, think about those facts and figures? Unless you already have several interviews under your belt, you should take the time to talk to others in your organization, especially the person or persons responsible for your PR. Decide what your overall message is for the given topic, as well as what talking points you want to cover. Brainstorm questions you think the reporter will ask, but …An interview is one time you should definitely expect the unexpected. The unexpected question, that is. No matter how well you prepare, you’re going to get a question you didn’t anticipate. In fact, when I was a reporter, that’s when I knew I was doing a good job – when the interviewee paused, said, “Gee, that’s a good question,” and then paused again to think of the answer.The most important thing to remember during an interview is to stay relaxed. An interview is really just a conversation between someone who knows something (you) and someone who wants to know what you know (the reporter). Treat it as such and you should do fine. Of course, there are some reporters out there who like stirring the pot. They’re the exception, I promise you, but they seem intent on making you break the golden rule of don’t say something stupid. And when I say something stupid, I don’t necessarily mean something nonsensical. I mean something you’ll regret having said later.These jackwagons will try to trick you any number of ways. However, based on my own experience, the one you need to be most watchful of is the question about your competition. Briefly stated, don’t ever talk about your competitors to a reporter. I know it’s tempting. After all, your company is so much better than theirs. But don’t do it. In fact, don’t even mention them by name in any context. That way, your meaning can’t be misconstrued.Along these same lines, be careful of the reporter that comes across too chummy. Maybe he really is that friendly, or maybe he’s trying to get you to put your guard down and offer up that stupid comment. Better safe than sorry.Finally, don’t ever ask the reporter if you can see a copy of the article before it goes to print. The answer will be no 100 percent of the time and you’ll end up looking like a rank amateur. 8SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,John San Filippo John is the co-founder of OmniChannel Communications, Inc., a company that specializes in B2B marketing to community financial institutions. He started out in the savings and loan industry, but wisely … Web: www.omnichannelcommunications.com Detailslast_img read more

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Be Better: COVID-19 payment trends that allow credit unions to outshine big banks right now

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first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr As Americans hunker down in their homes, changing everything about where and how they spend money, credit unions are entering uncharted territory.  However, one thing is certain: credit unions must continue to be compassionate banking alternative: delivering the financial support that consumers and small businesses need now and in the face of an uncertain future.Big banks are going to do what they always do: put profit before people. Just this morning, for instance, thousands of small business owners voiced their anger on social media after being denied from Bank of America’s Paycheck Protection Loan Program. The bank stated it would only offer relief to customers that have an existing credit card or lending relationship with the bank.While Bank of America reversed its decision only after massive criticism, the initial policy demonstrates the clear connection they draw between the payments and lending side of their business and that, for them, these decisions are purely transactional. Credit unions can stand as the compassionate financial alternative, leveraging payments to support members’ immediate financial needs while building long-term relationships with them. continue reading »last_img read more

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Meet the 2020 Credit Union Rock Stars

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first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Thirty-nine credit union professionals and volunteers have been named as 2020 Credit Union Rock Stars by Credit Union Magazine.The Credit Union Rock Stars program, sponsored by Fiserv, recognizes outstanding credit union professionals and volunteers from a wide range of disciplines who use their unique strengths to advance the mission of their credit unions. This year’s winners, representing 27 states, were selected for their exceptional creativity, innovation, and passion.“We’ve been witnessing firsthand the impact that credit union employees are making during the coronavirus pandemic,” says Ann Hayes Peterson, vice president of publishing at CUNA and editor-in-chief of Credit Union Magazine. “This year’s class of Credit Union Rock Stars elevates their commitment and compassion to members, community, and their own staff during this trying year.” continue reading »last_img read more

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