Political spin

Political spin was more sophisticated than business spin for some time. (Business soon caught up.) Now, in Britain at least, it is likely that a straight-forward approach might work well. Will the change be real? Will it spread?

Categories: Political spin

21 August 2013

2 comments

UK PR trade bodies all at sea over lobby Bill

The Transparency of Lobbying, non-Party Campaigning, and Trade Union Administration Bill is soon to be debated in the UK’s houses of parliament. I am with Lord Bell in hating this proposal. But what foxes me is the way my great industry is so Guardianista. My every instinct tells me that this is a sophisticated case of shooting, or at least chaining, the messenger. Read on ›

Categories: History of PR / Political spin / PR issues / Reviews

12 March 2013

One comment

Queen Elizabeth I: PR Icon (part 2)

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 ›

Categories: Crisis management / Media issues / Political spin / PR issues / Richard D North

1 January 2013

No comments

The Beeb, Plod, HMG and PR

By Richard D North

The big picture

Anyone who cares about Britain, its government and its wider official culture is shaken and stirred by recent media storms. PR professionals ought to be a great position to understand what’s been going on. After all, they are media-obsessed, and narratives and messaging are at the heart of the problem faced by our institutions. Read on ›

Categories: Media issues / Political spin / PR issues

5 December 2012

6 comments

Open letter to CIPR on implications of Leveson’s report

Following my piece ‘PRs shouldn’t rush to welcome Leveson‘, Phil Morgan, Director of Policy and Communications at the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR), kindly responded. His comment and my reply were too detailed to leave in my comments. So here’s a post that starts with his remarks and ends with my response in the form of an open letter to CIPR that explores some more the challenges Leveson’s report poses for PR professionals in the UK.  Read on ›

Categories: Media issues / Political spin / Trust and reputations

2 December 2012

4 comments

PRs shouldn’t rush to welcome Leveson

PR professionals need to interrogate the Leveson report in great detail. That’s because there’s the possibility of another Dangerous Dogs-type Act coming on. In 1991 several high-profile outrages involving fighting dogs biting, maiming and killing babies and old folk were whipped up by the tabloids to create a moral panic. Then emotionally-incontinent parliamentarians rushed through draconian legislation. The result is now acknowledged to have been a disaster for public protection, dogs owners and justice (1). Read on ›

Categories: Energy issues / Political spin

17 November 2012

No comments

Energy independence: a misguided pipedream

[This essay by James Woudhuysen and Paul Seaman first appeared on spiked-online.] Barack Obama’s victory in the US presidential election looks unlikely to subdue the growing calls, throughout America, for national self-sufficiency in energy. Both candidates tried to sow illusions in what Obama dubbed ‘energy security’ and his opponent Mitt Romney called ‘energy independence’. However, these goals are neither desirable nor, in today’s integrated world economy, possible.  Read on ›

Categories: CSR reality check / Energy issues / Political spin

17 July 2012

One comment

The F-word in the new Cold War

How does a near-European monopolistic vertical supplier (upstream, downstream and in-between) of an expensive fossil fuel from a semi-democratic country convince politicians from proper democracies that competition and significantly lower prices are bad things? Play an emotive PR trump card, that’s how. Read on ›

Categories: CSR reality check / Energy issues / Political spin

2 July 2012

6 comments

Essay: Sustainability and WBCSD’s myopic Vision 2050

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s Vision 2050 says the corporate world must play a leadership role in solving mankind’s mounting problems. It outlines a new agenda for business: to work with government and society to transform global markets and competition to achieve a sustainable future. But here is a thought. Is Vision 2050 anything more than a PR survival plan for today’s big companies seeking a long-term and popular license to operate? Read on ›