The name Gordon Macdonald probably doesn’t resonate today in the ranks of public relations practitioners. But it should. He was arguably the most influential press officer in the City of London during the 1980s. Read on ›
History of PR
When we understand the past we’ll stop reinventing the wheel and recognise original thinking when we see it. Here I examine the history and influences that have shaped modern public relations.
Here is the second in my series profiling important figures in PR. It is the first of a two-parter looking at Queen Elizabeth I of England (1558 – 1603). (I am working my back to the Romans and Greeks who got this whole game going.) Read on ›
Blimey, talk about the emperor’s wardrobe. Look around, and PR professionals will quickly come across a new-ish crop of pseudo-science which is supposed to guide them as to what their trade is and how to do it. They shouldn’t need the warning. But some, such as participants in The Holmes Report’s recent Global Public Relations Summit 2012 in Miami, who discussed ‘Persuasion, Empathy, and Neural Coupling‘ and ‘Unlocking the Brain’s Secrets About Creativity And Decision Making‘, seemingly need it stated plainly. This stuff is likely to be claptrap. Read on ›
This piece is one of my most-read blasts from the past. Its content remains vividly contemporary. Enjoy.
Richard Edelman’s Voodoo Academia replies to Professor Aneel Karnani of the University of Michigan’s Business School’s The Case Against Corporate Social Responsibility. But who’s voodooing whom? Read on ›
In the late 20th century PR had to manage an increasing number of controversial issues. It became part of the corporate story: the spotlight was turned on its own activities. Firms were invited – rather forcefully – to address their reputations the way they once addressed profits. Read on ›
The International History of Public Relations Conference 2012 is convening in Bournemouth, England, this week. I’m not going. But I thought I’d use it as a hook to explore the long-forgotten story of a barbaric British company that was eventually pursued to destruction by Sir Edward Grey, a leading Liberal and British Foreign Minister (1905 -1916). I think it marks the birth of modern corporate PR. Read on ›
I have noticed that there’s an increasing interest among PR pros in chaos theory. It might be because we’re in recession, the result of recent earthquakes and tsunamis, or even the new complexity that social media throws up. But whatever motivates them, here’s some insight into why they are misguided. Read on ›
On the night of Wednesday 8th June, Alastair Campbell issued a stark warning to British journalists. Speaking ‘in conversation’ with Bill Hagerty, editor of British Journalism Review, New Labour’s former spin doctor warned that journalism risks losing even more integrity by shifting its ‘centre of gravity’ further towards celebrity culture. Read on ›
Working at Chernobyl in 1995 was an amazing experience. I was the only westerner living in the new town of Slavutych that was built to replace the abandoned city of Pripyat. In addition, I was the only westerner working full time at the power station. This gave me an insight into a closed world that was as thrilling as it was unique. Read on ›