Sep 21

Survey Says: Paul Is Still the Cute One

By Guest Blogger, Julie Farin ( http://twitter.com/JulieFarin) PR pro and Beatlemaniac – not necessarily in that order.

EdSullivanbeatles64_2

Who is your favorite Beatle?  That seems like a question one might have been asked on February 10, 1964, the day after the four lads from Liverpool first performed on The Ed Sullivan Show to more than 70 million viewers across America, officially pulling the trigger on The British Invasion. 

But with months of multimedia marketing leading up to the 09/09/09 release of The Beatles Rock Band video game along with the release of digitally remastered “boxed sets” of the Fab 4’s historic music catalogue, it seems like just about everyone is climbing aboard the Beatlemania Reloaded bandwagon.

It comes as no surprise that Zogby International recently decided to poll Americans and ask them which of the Mop Tops – John, Paul, George or Ringo – they like best. “Paul was always more popular than the rest of us,” John Lennon once told Tom Snyder in a 1975 interview.  Well, Lennon would not be surprised to learn that Sir Paul McCartney continues his 45-year reign as the most popular Beatle with 27 percent naming him their favorite, Lennon taking a distant second at 16 percent, George Harrison coming in a dark horse at 10 percent, and Ringo Starr an even darker one at 9 percent.

What surprises me most about this seemingly unscientific survey is the admission that nearly a quarter of those polled said they didn’t even like the Beatles, while three percent said they weren’t familiar enough with the band’s music to make an informed decision.

“It must be the crazy love songs and ‘Yesterday’,” said John Zogby, the CEO of the firm that conducted the poll.  He attributed McCartney’s popularity to his looks (Paul was always considered The Cute One), and his longevity (he’s 67-years old and is still releasing albums and selling out concert tours).  Zogby adds, “Interestingly, John is the main answer for people who never go to church.”  That seems too convenient a statistic to associate with an outspoken man who once infamously proclaimed, “We’re more popular than Jesus” and who also considered himself “basically a Zen pagan.”

It also seems a little unfair to compare the two Beatles who are still living, performing, and releasing albums, with the two who have been dead for many years.  Therefore, it doesn’t surprise me how well McCartney topped this poll.  [Disclosure:  John Lennon has always been my favorite Beatle, and yes, I do go to church and consider myself a spiritual person.] 

Don’t get me wrong, I still think Paul is fab and quite gear after all these years.  In fact, my good friend Michael Starr (no relation to Ringo) has nicknamed me “Lady Macca” because I never miss a McCartney concert when he comes to my town (New York City).  The results of this survey seem as irrelevant and invalid as asking a card-carrying Beatlemaniac to name his or her favorite Beatles song.  That’s “Something” I can never “Imagine” doing.

May 14

Ask not who wrote the original draft

Ted Sorenson’s new book, ‘Counselor’ finally confirms what many suspected. He wrote most ‘…first draftsTed_sorensen_kennedy
of chapters’ in ‘Profiles in Courage’ and, along with Adlai Stevenson and John F. Kennedy, authored JFK’s memorable inaugural address.

Sorenson says the significant sum proffered by JFK for contributions to ‘Profile,’ ‘…diminished any interest I might otherwise have had in recognition of my role.’ Hmmm. That must have been some payday.

I’m a huge Camelot fan and continue to read anything and everything I can about JFK, RFK and all things Kennedy. But, this admission is a real image and reputation bummer. It not only confirms that Kennedy wasn’t the intellectual heavyweight many thought he was, but also shines the spotlight on a less-than-honest author.

Beyond his well documented recklessness, womanizing, drug ingesting and other curious lifestyle choices, it seems JFK was also quite content to take credit for someone else’s work.

Despite this latest bombshell, JFK will undoubtedly remain one of our all-time favorite presidents. After all, he’s forever frozen in time as a dashing, daring and direct chief executive who left us much too soon. But, if he hadn’t been assassinated, one wonders what sort of image and reputation he’d enjoy today. I have to believe that, instead of being at or near the top of most ‘favorability polls,’ Jack would find himself listed alongside Franklin Pierce, Warren G. Harding and the current incumbent at the bottom of the barrel.

Mar 18

I have to write off the new USPS/HBO campaign

I hate to say it, but letter writing is a dying, if not, dead form of communications. The youngerLetter
generation, in particular, has no interest in putting pen to paper.

That said, I was fascinated to see the US Postal Service partner with HBO and its most excellent new mini-series, ‘John Adams,’ to launch a letter-writing campaign. The ‘power of the letter’ initiative is aimed at high school students and is costing HBO a cool million dollars to underwrite.

USPS Spokesperson Sue Brennan, said, ‘In this era of e-mail and text messaging, there really is something to be said how about personal a letter is.’ I agree. But, unlike the American Revolution, this cause is doomed.

Kids simply don’t want to take the time or effort to send traditional letters or notes. I’m not alone in encouraging college kids to use letter writing as a differentiator in their job searches. It really does work. I’ll always open a personal letter, but will quickly delete most anonymous e-mails.

Written letters say something about a person’s desired image and reputation. It tells me he or she does care enough to take the time and effort to personalize a message in a way that text and e-mail never can. It’s also a refreshing, if antiquated, antidote to the anonymity and coarseness of the web.

So, here’s a challenge/request: tell me if you agree or disagree that letter writing is dead. But, put it in writing and mail it to me. Assuming I get any takers, I’ll do a follow-up blog (and mail a personalized, written version to the letter writers).