News and Insights

Choose a Category:

17 Nov 2023

Weakness is Strength in Propaganda Wars Substack

I saw an Instagram post of a young woman tearing down posters of Israeli children whom Hamas had kidnapped. She was identified as an attorney who represented abused women and children. I shared it with a few friends, pointing out the irony of an advocate for the vulnerable tearing down reminders babies were being held […]

23 Oct 2023

Pity is Power in PR Wars Substack

When I began writing novels in the 1990s, I studied the different types of stories that have been told throughout history. One of the most famous models is “Overcoming the Monster.” Think Disney films and Jaws. A shark terrorizes a beach community, and a brave but unsure police chief sets out on a high-seas adventure where […]

04 Oct 2023

Everybody’s Talking Substack

The authorities finally arrested a suspect in the 1996 murder of rapper Tupac Shakur. Key evidence includes the suspect’s having admitted to his involvement in the murder over the years in his memoir, in discussions with associates, and on YouTube. These things are what are known in the sleuthing trade as clues. Two teenagers were […]

21 Sep 2023

When Bad Things Happen to Good Intentions Substack

Being kind and good is becoming a real problem. It’s not genuine kindness and goodness that’s causing all the trouble. It’s the smarmy desperation of high-profile people and institutions to be seen as wonderful that’s leading to futile and stupid gestures, to quote Animal House’s Prince of Smarm, Otter. Take Sam Bankman-Fried. A recent Bloomberg […]

12 Sep 2023

Before You Pick a Fight, Beware the Ghost in the Machine Substack

Almost every person or institution under fire believes they have a good story to tell. Those are the exact words they use, too. “Good story to tell.” It’s only natural because we are hardwired to think the best of ourselves and the groups we belong to. The challenge is that the outside world rarely thinks […]

29 Aug 2023

The Investment Startups Can’t Afford to Miss

Startups are undeniably the driving force behind the American economy’s growth and dynamism. They’ve fueled job creation, fostered innovation, attracted international capital, imbued a culture of entrepreneurship that promises continued economic resilience and adaptability in the future, and introduced products and services into our lives we can’t imagine living without. Startups chart a distinct course […]

24 Aug 2023

How Are You Engaging with Your Enthusiasts? Substack

Last weekend, I took my niece and nephew to Cedar Point, the greatest amusement park in the United States and perhaps the world. As someone born and bred in Northwest Ohio, this park is a source of immense pride and joy; as much as I love the City of Sandusky, it’s not often a town […]

24 Aug 2023

Trump and His Allies Learn the Art of the Mug Shot, One Flag Pin and Scowl at a Time The Wall Street Journal

Is there an art to taking a mugshot?  Eric Dezenhall weighs in on mug shots and the message they may send. Read the article

22 Aug 2023

Damage Control Doesn’t Have to Be Made for Cinema Substack

In the mid-1980s, I worked on one of my first major corporate crises. It involved allegations that the Audi 5000 sedan took off like a rocket of its own volition, causing murder and mayhem. The syndrome — and a syndrome was needed to sell it — was called “sudden acceleration,” and it destroyed the Audi […]

16 Aug 2023

How To Master The Art Of Reputation Management

EVP Anne Marie Malecha in Forbes.  Reputation management is about controlling or shifting perception in a world where perception is at least nine tenths of reality. Given our cultural obsession with judging others’ choices, often by standards we don’t hold ourselves to, reputation management is one of the fastest growing disciplines in the communications field. […]