The Red Pen of Doom

Conventional wisdom about writing is conventionally wrong.

Other things I have written

This is a partial list that doesn’t include a few thousand stories I wrote for papers of news, magazines and other things I’m forgetting.

I’ll try to update this soon.

The New York Times

For two years or so, I blogged three times a week about publicity, speechwriting, public relations and scandals for The New York Times It was interesting. Also, I got checks every month from The New York-Frigging Times, which, as a journalism major, was hot stuff.

If you are an author, actor, director, politician, professional athlete, rock star, user of social media or otherwise in the public eye, THESE POSTS ARE USEFUL. If you live in an ice cave, you can safely ignore all this stuff and go back to tanning elk hides.

Later, the NYT sold to somebody else. All the contributing writers got laid-off, fired, right-sized or happy sized. So I can say “I cashed checks from The New York Times” plus, “Then I got fired by the NYT,” which is good fun whenever I run into other reformed journalists and we tell war stories about column inches, fights about subheds and copy desks that rewrite your perfect lede for no reasons whatsoever.

Publicity for authors and writers 

Bestseller Bob Mayer on PR for Authors in a Chaotic Publishing World

Public Relations for Authors – Barry Eisler

Book Buzz – Building Relationships is Key to Publicity for Authors

How the Web is Changing Publicity for Authors

Tips from the Field: Heather Drucker, Book Publicist

Job Profile – Book Publicist

How to Get a Job as a Book Publicist

Top 10 Myths about Publicity and Public Relations

Top 10 Myths about Public Relations

Myth 1: Any Press is Good Press

Myth 2: PR is All about Press Releases and Press Conferences

Myth 3: Once You Break Through with Publicity, You’re Golden

Myth 4: Publicity is Free and Easy

Myth 5: You Need to Hire an Expensive PR Firm

Myth 6: Good Products Don’t Need Publicity – – Only Bad Products Do

Myth 7: Public Relations Can’t be Measured and is Therefore Worthless

Myth 8: PR Means Schmoozing and Controlling the Press

Myth 9: Only Ex-Reporters Can Do It

Myth 10: Public Relations is Spin, Slogans and Propaganda

The basics, which is were all NOOBS MUST START

What’s the Most Effective Form of Media Coverage? Print vs. the Internet vs. Television

Informing And Persuading

What is Public Relations, and How Do You Do It?

Using Narrative Tools in PR – Why the Inverted Pyramid MUST DIE

How to Catch the Eye of the Press and Public

Don’t Do It By the Numbers: Word Counts and Time Budgets Can Fool You

Timing Is Everything: What Is The News Cycle, And How Does It Work?

News Cycle – Typical Day At A Newspaper: The Time Of Day – And Day Of The Week – Matters

Off The Record, On Background And Not For Attribution: What These Phrases Mean And Why It Matters

Time, Money and Words: How Long Does It Take, And How Much Does it Cost?

Why You Need a Media Plan: Big or Small, You Need a Media Plan

Trends are important, people

Trends in Public Relations

Don’t Believe the Hype: Newspapers Are Alive and Kicking

Media May Be in Flux – But PR Business is Booming Again

Social media and social networking ARE NOT THE SAME THING

Word of Mouth and Viral Public Relations: If Your Images Are Strong Enough, You Don’t Need Words

How to Maximize Social Media for Public Relations

Social Media 101: A Revolution in Public Relations

Social Media 201: Different Tools for Different PR Jobs

Are Bloggers Parasites on the Mainstream Media?

How Many Followers and Fans Do You Need?

How to Publish a Daily E-newspaper — Effortlessly

Social Networking Synergy for PR

The Trouble with Twitter

Click and Share — Is it a Smart Idea for Public Relations?

The Shift Toward News on Portable Devices

Mobile News Consumers Are Opinion Leaders

The Shift to Hyper-Local Media

All Public Relations Is Local: Hyper-Local News Is Changing Everything

News Collectors Are Turning Into News Gatherers

What Are News Aggregators, and How Will They Change Public Relations?

How Should PR pros Deal with News Aggregators?

Not-so-basic publicity stuff

Handling Bad News and Scandals

How Effective Is Your Message? Achieving Stickiness

The Yin and Yang of Word Counts

Dialogue Versus Monologue in Public Relations

How to ID and Reach All of Your Audiences: Audience Analysis 101

Avoiding the Biggest Last-Minute Mistake in Public Relations: Scheduling Can Destroy the Best-Laid Plans

How to Find the Right Media Mix: Reaching a Mass Audience in Public Relations

3 Ways to Check Your Clips

4 Ways to Respond to Bad Press

Five Reasons to Monitor Your Media

The Care and Feeding of Media Lists: Building Different Lists for Different Purposes

How to Use Charts and Graphs in PR Presentations

How to Work a Room

How To Use a Story Kit

Taking Your Lumps in the Press: Not Every Bad Story Can Be Fixed, and That’s a Good Thing

The Media Prefers Raw Meat

How to Interpret and Use Polls in Public Relations

Who are Opinion Leaders, and Why Do They Matter? Shaping Public Opinion at the Grass Roots

Putting Opinion Leaders to Work: Opinion Leaders Can Be Vital to Any Public Relations Effort

What Do You Want Your Quote to Be? Soundbites Are Getting Shorter

Tips From The Field: Public Information Officer

Job Profile – Press Secretary

Why reporters HATE press releases

How To Write a Press Release

‘I Want a Press Release’ is Often Wrong

Why Reaching Your Audience Takes More than a Single Press Release

Why A Story Kit Is Often Smarter Than A Single Media Product

Why you should avoid holding press conferences FOREVER AND EVER

When To Hold A Press Conference – And When Not To

Avoiding Big Problems with Press Conferences

Preparing For A Successful Press Conference: Planning And Practice, Location And Length

Writing stuff that ACTUALLY WORKS

Why Most PR Products Get Ignored: How to Avoid the Slush Pile

How To Write A Fact Sheet

How To Write A Statement

How To Write A Letter To The Editor

How To Write An Oped

Three Kinds of Opeds

Before You Start Writing An Oped

Reaching Your Audience with Public Service Announcements

How to write and wield TALKING POINTS

Three Blueprints for Talking Points

Talking Points Need Structure and Discipline

Curing the PR Disease of Talking Paragraphs

Using Talking Points

How to write KILLER headlines and hooks

Killer Headlines and Hooks: Headlines and Intros 101

Hit Them With a Hard Headline and a Soft Hook: Headlines and Intros 201

Cut Your Headlines and Paragraphs In Half: Headlines and Intros 301

Writing Hard Headlines and Intros: Headlines and Intros 401

Soft Intros Aren’t for Sissies: Headlines and Intros 402

Writing Advanced Intros: Headlines and intros 403

Photos and video, they are your FRIENDS

The Eyes Rule the Brain

If you’re not on TV, you don’t exist

What To Wear For The Cameras

Three mug Shot Mistakes and How to Fix Them

How to Write Photo Cutlines

How to Stage and Use Group Photos: Avoiding the Dreaded Staged Photo

How To Take and Use Action Photos: Readers Are Attracted to Motion

How to Turn Mug Shots and Group Photos into Action Shots

Doing battle with rumors, lies and propaganda, which are EVIL

Defending Against Rumors, Lies and Propaganda: Defense Against the Dark Arts

How to Fight Rumors, Lies and Propaganda

Why Rumors are So Viral and Damaging

Rumors Can Plant False Memories

Examples of Rumors and Public Relations

How to Fight Rumors

How Lies Work

Fighting Back Against Lies

What is Propaganda, and How Does It Work?

How You Can Defeat Propaganda

British World War 2 posters

Planning for AMAZING media events

Organizing Media Events

The Purpose And History of Town Hall Meetings: Thousands Of Years Old, Still Relevant Today

Types Of Town Hall Meetings: They’re Not Just For Politicians – – And There Are New Electronic Options

Setting Up A Town Hall Meeting: Scheduling, Publicizing And Staffing

Following Up After A Town Hall Meeting

How To Organize A Debate: Types Of Debates And Tips For Holding Them

How To Organize A Listening Tour

How To Organize A Media Availability

How To Organize A Panel

How To Organize A Photo Op: Location, Lighting And Action

How To Organize A Speaking Tour: Persuading The Public In Person

How To Organize An Editorial Board Tour: Dialogues And Debates

Rules of the Road – 6 Key Tips for Going on Tour

Name recognition is KING

Why Name Recognition is Key in Public Relations: Name recognition 101

How Name Recognition Works: Name recognition 201

Four Ways to Boost Name Recognition: Name Recognition 301

Giving killer speeches, just because you CAN

Using the Tools of Rhetoric in Public Relations

Rhetoric 101: Three Parts Of Rhetoric And Three Types Of Debates

Rhetoric 102: The Right Kind Of Persuasion

Rhetoric 103: Avoiding Fallacies

Rhetoric 104: Know Your Audience

Rhetoric 201: Ethos

Rhetoric 202: Ethos Boosters

Rhetoric 301: Pathos

Rhetoric 401: Logos

Rhetoric 501: How to Write a Short Speech

Rhetoric 502: Putting A Short Speech On An Index Card

Rhetoric 503: How To Practice Short Speeches

Rhetoric 601: How To Write A Keynote Speech

Rhetoric 602: Writing A Keynote Speech For A Client

Rhetoric 603: How To Write A Keynote Speech For Yourself

Rhetoric 604: Seven Ways to Prepare For A Keynote Speech

What You Can Learn From Great Speeches

Rhetoric 610: Learning From Lincoln: Less Is More

Rhetoric 611: Learning From Churchill: Passion and Resolve

Rhetoric 612: Learning from Reagan: Specifics and Real People

How To Prepare For Different Speeches

The Promise and Perils of Presentations

Why You Must Cross-Train Public Speaking Muscles

Speeches Are Seen, Not Heard

The State of the Union Speech

How President Obama Announced Osama Bin Laden’s Death to the World

Case studies – You’re doing it WRONG

3 Key Lessons from the Charlie Sheen PR Debacle

Facebook Gets Caught in PR Scandal: A Whisper Campaign vs Google Boomerangs on Facebook

The Gallagher Brothers Go to Court – Against Each Other

Pay No Attention to the Clown Holding a Shaving-Cream Pie

Hacking and Bribery Scandal Destroys The News of the World

Case studies – OK, you’re doing it right

Betty White Named Most Trusted Public Figure in U.S.

How PETA Targets A Global Audience

How PETA Uses Publicity Stunts to Spread Their Message

PETA.XXX – Brilliant Move or Insanely Dangerous PR Stunt?

Thank You for Suing Us

NFL Draft Picks Live and Die by Publicity

The Synergy of the Super Bowl

Case studies about the POLITICS

Arnold Schwarzenegger Terminates His Good Public Image

The Arizona Shootings: Reacting to a National Tragedy

How a Press Conference Finally Killed the Birthers

Trump for President: a PR Stunt that Backfired

Walking Off a Live TV Show: Terrible Gaffe or Brilliant PR Move?

The Kerfluffle Over Newt Gingrich and His Allegedly Fake Twitter Followers

When Coming in Third is Worse than Finishing Last

The Public Relations Battle About the U.S. Debt Limit

Political PR: Race for the White House

Weinergate: The Fall of a Promising Politician

How Rep. Weiner Lost Control of His Own Press Conference

Palin Goes Rogue on Paul Revere’s Ride

Case studies about millionaires who PLAY CHILDHOOD GAMES

Jorge Posada: Why Pro Athletes Can’t Be Seen as Quitters

The LeBron James PR Disaster

Lessons Learned from LeBron James and the Miami Heat

Case studies from AROUND THE WORLD

Egypt: The First Twitter Revolution?

The PR Battle for Libya

Rescue of the Chilean Miners

China’s PR blunder with the Nobel Peace Prize

Will Al-Queda Die with Osama Bin Laden?



Click here with your mousity mouse to read my profile of NYT bestselling thriller author Vicki Pettersson, who gets bonus points for the Scandanavian last name.

Author Vicki Pettersson

NYT bestselling thriller author Vicki Pettersson. Photo by JeffersonApplegate. |

Criminal Element is a great mystery/thriller blog, done by professional peoples in the Manhattan.

The Ten Least-Thrilling Thriller Clichés

The Top Ten Action Mystery Clichés

Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse: A Play in Three Acts

Death Brackets: The Contest and The Contestants



This is Guy Bergstrom the writer, not the Guy Bergstrom in Stockholm or the guy in Minnesota who sells real estate or whatever. Separate guys. Kthxbai.

Guy Bergstrom. Photo by Suhyoon Cho.

Reformed journalist. Scribbler of speeches and whatnot. Represented by Jill Marr of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.

5 comments on “Other things I have written

  1. Dexter, really, Jeff Lindsey. If I ever read another one of his alliteration riddled… Well, I’m sorry. I just don’t have anything good to say about the Dexter novels…


  2. mkdanaher
    April 22, 2012

    at risk of prompting an as yet unknown response – where is agatha? just discovered and devouring your splendid blog


  3. Lilia Patricia Nieto
    December 19, 2011

    Um… WOW!
    Yeah, that’s all I have to say.


Leave a witty comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: