Friday, 19 December 2003

Newsletter Issue 72, December 2003

Sam Young Newsletter

Issue 72, December 2003
Hi guys,
Can you ensure the security of your business information? Be sure to check out Security in Word below.
And continuing our PR tips with part 2 of our series, in Getting the Media On-Side, Part 2
Don't forget, if you want to be taken off my mailing list, click here to send me a reply e-mail and I will remove your name.

Security in Word

There is a security hole in Word. Information ranging from every person in your organisation who has edited a document to the subject line of the email that a document was attached to is stored and often can be retrieved from the Word doc itself.
Unless you are using Office 2003 (due for release in NZ very shortly) you are vulnerable to this security hole.
Woody's Office Watch a few weeks ago said; 
"If you use Word 97 or 2000, Word maintains a detailed log of who has edited the document, and where it was located when it was opened - and there's nothing you can do about it. 
"If you use Office XP's version of Outlook, and you send a document by attaching it to an email message, Outlook brands the document with the email address, name, and a number that can be traced to the PC that was used to send the file. It also brands the document with the subject of the email message that carried the file. If you explicitly tell Word 2002 to remove personally identifiable information (Tools | Options | Security, check the box marked Remove Personal Information From File Properties on Save, and uncheck the box marked Store Random Number to Improve Merge Accuracy), and you send the document with Outlook 2002, Outlook still sticks the number that can be traced to your PC inside the file."
In Office 2003, you can tell Word to remove personally identifiable information (Tools | Options | Security, check the box marked Remove Personal Information From File Properties on Save).
Right. So what can we do about this?
If you are setting up a website, save Word docs as pdfs. Whenever you are emailing something widely, save and send your Word doc for review in pdf. Basically, until you get Office 2003, for anything that is going to be used on the internet, save it as an Adobe pdf file. Much safer and your personal information is no longer viewable.

Getting the Media On-Side, Part 2

And carrying on our two part series on how do we make sure that when the media comes to see us, we get into the "good news" category - or as close to it as we can. The final half of my PR tips are as follows;
  1. Help the media. Build relationships. Reporters often need sources for articles; so when you need a favour, you can pull quid pro quo
  2. Confidentiality: never assume that a journalist will ensure that something said to be "off the record" remains that way; not only do mistakes happen, but journalists aren't responsible for your company's sensitive information
  3. Be realistic. Sometimes it's a slow news day and for an hour's interview you might only have one paragraph in the media. Sometimes it's not, and you get nothing. Take it on the chin
  4. When to air: You have little control over when the media run your story - unless it is tied in with a timely event. If there is no urgency in running your story, the media may hold it for months until a slow news day comes along
  5. Leadtimes: understand media deadlines. While leadtimes will vary depending on editorial calendars, seasonal coverage and breaking news, the rough rule of thumb for coverage windows is;
    • Newspapers, radio and TV: one day to three months
    • Magazines: 2-3 months to 12 months 
  6. Relax when the media get it wrong. You have little control over what the media report - that’s the difference when you aren't paying for PR. The journalist or editor usually determine what angle to use, depending on their needs and the information you have provided; and it probably won’t be entirely accurate. If it's 90% accurate, then it's great
  7. Don't complain unless you have to. Sometimes you will be misquoted. Unless it is truly a libellous or slanderous comment, just live with it. If you complain about the reporter, you may not get much favourable coverage in future
  8. Any good PR is good PR: The US PR exposure rule of thumb is that people on average will be exposed six to eight times to a product or service before they will consider buying. So, more exposures equals more likely someone will be in buying mode. And repeated mention of your company positions you as a credible source of information in your field
  9. Top of Mind. The more exposure that you have, the more easily other media companies can find you
  10. Published copies; don't ask the journalist for a free copy - go out and buy copies of the publication or call their office to order copies
  11. Prepare PR materials to suit the media in which it will be used before you get the call. Prepare a CD media package with background on the company, good photography of key personnel, short briefs about key members of the organisation, stock video footage, copies of your annual report etc to hand out to journalists
  12. Ensure your PR materials are freshened up each year. If you re-brand, redo your PR materials as part of that process
  13. Research new target media organisations. If you plan on pitching to a new media group, research it first by reading, listening to or watching their publications. The better you understand the organisation, the more likely you are to create a great media angle for them
  14. Thank the journalist. All people enjoy a pat on the back for a good job. And to be remembered even more, put your appreciation in writing to their manager or editor
Just remember that by putting effort into developing media relationships, you’ll increase your chances of current and future public relations success.
Good luck!

Creating Your Own "e-cards"

If you want to create your own jpg file that can be emailed to everyone, you need the following;
  1. Software. I created my Christmas jpg using "MS Publisher" and then "Paintshop Pro". You could also use PowerPoint. You will generally need both a publication software and an image manipulating software (or you will need something like PageMaker or Quark Express where you can create a jpg as well as doing the layout). You need something where you can enter text and manipulate easily
  2. Design. Do your layout, but follow the rules of good design; keep it relatively simple, uncluttered and easy to read
  3. Format. Copy your layout into your graphics software (eg Paintshop Pro) and save as a .jpg. Make sure your file is not too big - resize until you get the file size well under 1/2 a meg (<500Kb)
  4. Send. Write your email, attach your jpg to it and send to your mail group
If you can't get your hands on the design software, you could go to one of those websites where you can select a free X-mas card & mail the link to people; such as

TLAs for SMEs

Here are this newsletter's TLAs for you;
  • CMOS, Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor. The technology used in transistors for most of today's computer microchips; CMOS transistors use almost no power when not needed.
  • BEDO DRAM, Burst Extended Data Output Dynamic Random Access Memory. Relatively recent technology, sending data back to the PC from one read operation at the same time it is reading in the address of the next data to be sent and able to send the data back in three successive clock cycles without clock coordination.
Please feel free to email me with any TLAs that you want to get the bottom (meaning!) of.

Short+Hot Keys... and now tips
All the Function keys for you again, but this time we are back-spacing or space-barring as well - all you can do with Alt and backspace or spacebar;
  • Access "To insert the default value for a field" Ctrl, Alt & Space 
  • Excel "To restore the window to its previous size and location. " Alt & Space, then R 
  • Excel "To enlarge the Help window to fill the screen" Alt & Space, then X 
  • Access, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Publisher, Windows, Word, "Display the active window title bar menu." Alt & Space 
  • Word, Outlook, Access "Undo" Alt & Backspace 
  • Word, FrontPage "Redo" Alt, Shift & Backspace
Hot Linx
Want some light and entertaining articles? Then check out - a Kiwi company who also has tech toys for sale at 
Bored? Want some serious brain-teasers at your PC? Then try this site, that has a real way with words, at  
For those of you who aren't German (ie Germans wear socks and sandals because it is impolite otherwise), take a cringe-worthy trip to this website and click the ensemble you feel most appalled by at
Buying texts or books internationally? Then while you are checking out Amazon, run a simultaneous order through Barnes & Noble. You may be surprised at the cost differences.

                                Catch you again soon!! E-mail your suggestions to me here