Journalism: “Critics Say” is a Curious Reporting Device

Critics say

In a conversation with an old journalism school classmate one time, we talked about some of our pet peeves when it comes to reporting. She has been a long-time serious journalist, and I’ve been in the PR profession for just as long. That’s why we found it amusing that one thing that bothered both of us is when reporters frame certain allegations in their coverage with, “Critics say.”… Read the rest

The Teddy Roosevelt Speech that Every PR Professional Should Know

Man in the Arena

After decades of working with and dealing with the media on a wide range of topics and matters, one of the more common patterns I’ve noticed is something that President Teddy Roosevelt spoke about in his famous “Man in the Arena” speech. We’ll get to that in a bit.

Before we do, it’s important to understand what this has to do with the public relations business.… Read the rest

Do We Have to Be Right to Lay Claim to Freedom of Speech?

free speech

There is a shell game being played by a number of politicians, Big Tech executives, news media executives and journalists, and well-known PR people that goes like this:

  • The First Amendment exists to protect the news media’s right to free speech. Nothing should be done to inhibit a free press.
  • When Big Tech censors and bans users, it’s a private company and so it does not fall under the jurisdiction of the First Amendment when it comes to giving users freedom of speech.
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Business Ethics: Should Religion Stay in Its Lane?

Business Ethics

I’ve known a few people who’ve made a living as business ethicists and two of my problems with their tendencies are: 1) They tend to adhere to the ethics of relativity (but not really); and 2) They work hard to completely disassociate any religious or traditional moral code from business ethics.

To be sure, in this diverse world where people of many faiths come together to work, it would be inappropriate to try to impose a single religious code on all.… Read the rest

Crisis Communications: Is it Time for Your Crisis PR Reset?

crisis readiness

One thing that gets talked about a lot in the public relations business is crisis communications. You read articles like this one, perhaps you go to conferences or participate in webinars on the topic. You follow people on social media who give you a steady diet of crisis PR tips and tricks. But what is the current state of your crisis management readiness?Read the rest

Inconsistency is the Death of Credibility

double standads

One of the mistakes people make when they point out someone else’s hypocrisy is that they assume that everyone understands that the inherent inconsistency undermines the credibility of the hypocrite.

Years ago, that may have been more practical but not today.

One of the more glaring examples of this is when a group of students who don’t like a visiting guest speaker, so they decide to shout down that speaker when he comes to campus.… Read the rest

Crisis Communications: How to Spot a Crisis Before It Happens

Crisis Management

You can’t predict the future, and with that in mind, you can’t predict every crisis before it may happen. But one of the things I’ve built into crisis planning over the years is an early-warning process for anticipating and identifying potential crises.

There’s no magic to it. Mostly, it’s a matter of constant vigilance and discipline in monitoring your own intelligence channels.… Read the rest

We’re Launching a Police Recruitment Marketing System to Help Police Departments Meet the Staffing Crisis

police recruitment

It’s hardly a secret that police departments at all levels are having trouble recruiting and retaining qualified and talented individuals.

Stellar police officers are opting to retire or just quit, frustrated over lack of resources or support they need to carry out their high-risk duties. Increasingly, good officers don’t want to chance doing what they’ve been trained to do, as they’ve been trained to do it, only to find themselves in the line of fire, literally and figuratively.… Read the rest

Communications Audits: Don’t Hire a PR Consultant to Tell You Only What You Want to Hear

communications audit

A while back, a client hired me to conduct a PR and brand audit of the organization. The process involved establishing a set of questions to be used in interviews with a cross-section of key stakeholders. This sort of research always serves to tell an organization how it’s perceived among those most important to it, how they process information, where they get it and more.… Read the rest