Who Gets to Judge “Civility?”

Comedian Steve Martin had a great line early in his career when he talked about the secret to becoming a millionaire. “First,” he said, “you get a million dollars…”

Isn’t that so true? How many self-help books or gurus are just like that? They skip right to the result but are scant on details of how to actually get there.… Read the rest

Make Sure Your PR Counsel Knows Its Loyalties

For as long as I can remember, one of the challenges as a communications counselor to clients has been a general mistrust some managers and a few lawyers have had when it comes to discretion and the potential for news media leaks of proprietary information.

More to the point, I’ve seen instances where managers and attorneys tend to hold on to vital information until that last possible moments before public disclosure because they fear that if they provide that information to the communications function too soon it will find its way into the news media before its time.… Read the rest

Should Your Company Take a Position on a Highly Charged Social or Political Issue?

We have to get real on this. If you’re wondering why you’re seeing major corporations or brands take stances on highly charged social and political issues, it’s unlikely that they’ve all simultaneously discovered their socially aware or politically activist convictions that no one knew existed before.

The crisis and issues manager in me that’s been around for a few decades tells me something else.… Read the rest

Civility: One Person’s Honest Opinion is Another Person’s “Disinformation”…and the Story of How Galileo Got Cancelled

One of the hot new terms you may see bandied about in 2021 is “disinformation.”

Its users see it as a label for calling out deceptive speech, oftentimes to discredit and sometimes to censor that speech. Critics see the increasing use of the term as a propagandist strategy used to marginalize anyone who might dissent from a general narrative.… Read the rest

What was Said in 2020 Stays in 2020

Are you ready for 2021? I am. There is no small list of things that I won’t miss about 2020, including some words and terms that are cringey reminders of what we’ve all just been through.

So, in 2021 I vow not to waste time on a few of them. These are a few words and terms I intend to leave behind me in 2020:

The New Normal – Let’s face it, the “new normal” is abnormal and will always be abnormal.… Read the rest

The Reason Media Relations is Not Transactional, It’s a Process

For people who haven’t managed public relations programs much, one of the more common points of confusion is over how much control we have in the media relations process, and ultimately how some stories get into the news and some do not. It’s the age-old issue of newsworthiness.

In my experience, the root of the confusion often traces back to the notion that PR is a transactional process.… Read the rest

It’s 2020: Time to Take Charge of Your Narrative

If you want a snapshot of the state of the media today, consider this. Kylie Jenner has 181 million Instagram followers. Her sister Kim Kardashian-West has 176 million Instagram followers. Their sister Kendall Jenner has 132 million Instagram followers. Three sisters who are famous for being famous – just three – have a combined 489 million Instagram followers.… Read the rest

Having Trouble Sleeping These Nights? Same here. That’s why I’m trying 10 o’clock office hours

This is going to be a short blog post.

This is not for everyone, but it may be for you. Given all of the challenges of late, there is a good chance that something is keeping you up at night with regard to your business.

We know how you feel. The people I partner with and I have had numerous conversations about the current challenges our clients face and the ones we all face together.… Read the rest