This essay dedicated to Marshall McLuhan (1911 – 1980) was first published in 2011 to mark the 100th anniversary of his birth. It is both a critique and a celebration of McLuhan’s insightful thinking. Read on ›
I am pleased to announce the launch of the Zurich Salon. It advocates freedom of expression and rational discussion in the Enlightenment tradition. It promotes open-ended debate in an atmosphere of mutual respect. The Salon has a committee of six professionals including me. The first big debate on its agenda is the “limits and potential of neuroscience” on March 27. Read on ›
Recently I spoke at the Battle of Ideas festival in London about whether lobbying is a dirty business. On the panel with me were Peter Bingle and Christine Thompson, and the session was chaired by Kirk Leech. A few days later in Zurich I co-produced with Angus Kennedy a Battle of Ideas satellite debate. Read on ›
This second installment of a two-parter on Queen Elizabeth I describes how PR acts in support of leadership and authority using rhetoric’s persuasive powers. It tells the story of the emergence of modern PR practice and the modern world it shaped. (It is work in progress for my book: On Message: Propaganda, persuasion and the PR game.) Read on ›
I’m sitting lakeside near Zurich after a swim, and I surf on my friend’s handheld electronic thingamajig. It lands me on Paul Holmes’s eponymous Report. There I click on a video by Richard Levick, CEO of Levick Strategic Communications. He’s discussing three common mistakes that companies and countries make when faced with a crisis. Oops, and he then makes four classic PR errors himself. Read on ›
So, the scandal-ridden English FA accuses the scandal-ridden FIFA of corruption. The media are calling for Mr Blatter’s head on a platter. PR Week’s PR “experts” are urging FIFA to cringe and apologize, reform and move on. (What we call ARM PR.) Meanwhile, Mr Blatter asks, crisis, what crisis?
Public relations professionals don’t really do philosophy: we’re in the people business, and sound-bites suit us better than Immanuel Kant’s Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of Morals (1785). As for our clients, well, we’re bound to note their lust for the latest guru-speak getting lift-off from an airport bookshop. Read on ›
In commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the 1986 Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant explosion, here is a review of Voices From Chernobyl, The Oral History Of A Nuclear Disaster, by Svetlana Alexievich (translated by Keith Gessen) Dalkey Archive Press, 2005. Read on ›