Trust and reputations

We are supposed to be short of trust and reputations are certainly under constant and vicious attack. We need to see where trust really does lie, and whether we ought to recalibrate our assessment of reputations.

Categories: Crisis management / CSR reality check / PR issues / Trust and reputations

21 November 2017

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Lessons from Paperchase’s retreat: corporate cowardice predates social media

A few thousand tabloid-loathing ‘Stop Funding Hate‘ campaigners exercising their wrist action on Twitter and Facebook have persuaded Paperchase to abandon an advertising promotion, which offered readers of The Daily Mail two free sheets of Christmas wrapping paper. What should the advertising and PR community make of this debacle? Read on ›

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

28 July 2017

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German media scores own goal in the Culture Wars

A just published report from the Hamburg Media School, commissioned by the ‘Otter Brenner Stiftung, accuses the German media of succumbing to steamroller journalism in support of Angela Merkel’s refugee policy in 2015 and early 2016. The researchers looked at 35 000 articles published over a 20-week period. They found that the media ceased being professional regarding the refuge crisis, when they adopted an overwhelmingly emotionally-involved tone in favour of the government’s actions. Read on ›

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

27 July 2017

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PR manifesto for combatting the Culture Wars

21st Century PR Issues maintains that within PR circles there is a near-universal conformity governing the industry’s self-destructive, poorly thought-through response to the Culture Wars. In short: the PR business is currently leading clients in the wrong direction. So here is a PR manifesto that sets out how things could be turned around so that we can help our clients keep their end up in the 21st_century Culture Wars. Read on ›

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 ›

Categories: History of PR / PR issues / Trust and reputations

15 August 2015

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Contribution to “global conversation on global public relations standards”

Professor Anne Gregory and Jean Valin have asked readers of PR Conversations (PRC) to get involved in their project to produce a Global Body of Knowledge that defines the capabilities that proficient public relations practitioners should possess.  I am taking up that challenge here by critiquing their attempt to elevate public relations into a respected profession by defining the professional qualifications that PR pros must acquire. Read on ›