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 ›
There are new moral, political and social fault lines emerging. Three explosive examples are TRUMP, BREXIT and the collapse of the post war consensus in Germany. But what does this mean for the PR industry’s clients? We need to rethink how we communicate and operate. Otherwise our clients risk becoming totally disconnected from mass public opinion, disorientated in the new conditions, and stuck in the past.
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 ›
The success of both BREXIT and Trump tells us that the world is changing. Their triumphs mark a transformation of the public’s mood, which is causing the rules governing media schmoozing and managing relations with the masses to be rewritten, as fast as the authority of existing elites evaporates. Read on ›