I am a PR practitioner and I love my trade. Nevertheless PR requires a reality check. We're about helping clients speak honestly, even robustly. People who run things have a lot of explaining to do in the next few years, so PR is crucial. I want a lively debate and I hope you’ll make it so. More »

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Categories: Culture Wars / Political spin / PR issues / Trust and reputations

27 July 2017

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The Culture Wars: a PR perspective

Societies in the 21st century are increasingly defined by rapidly fragmenting socio-cultural outlooks and competing ways of life. Personhood has been politicised and commodified: we have identity politics and firms track our tastes. Whether it is the words we utter, the clothes we wear, the food we eat, or our taste in holidays, music and sport, or how we demarcate our sexual, racial or national identity, cultural chasms and schisms divide us, even as we are supposed to empathise more intensely and widely. Read on ›

Categories: Crisis management / Culture Wars / Political spin / Trust and reputations

12 July 2017

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Bell Pottinger South Africa, a reality check

What unites all the major political parties in South Africa: the African National Congress (ANC), the Democratic Alliance (DA), the South African Communist Party (SACP) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF)? The answer is their determination to divide the country along pre-existing racial fault lines. Yet the DA, South Africa’s main opposition party, has had the audacity to lodge a misconduct claim against Bell Pottinger (BP) with the UK’s Public Relations Consultants Association, accusing it of “sow[ing] racial mistrust, hate and race-baiting, and [encouraging a] divided society”.  Read on ›