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10 Aug 2022

As America Heats Up, Other Stuff Gets Get Bland Substack

A few things have converged in my mind in the past few weeks as I count down to my sixtieth birthday. They involve shopping malls, the impending finale of Better Call Saul, and comedy. Saul’s purgatory for his Breaking Bad-era crimes is working at a Cinnabon at a shopping mall in Omaha, Nebraska. Saul’s mall […]

05 Aug 2022

Polarization and Public Relations, Part II Substack

Last month, I wrote a piece for World Trademark Review on polarization and its implications for brand managers and corporate leaders. I republished the first half here, Polarization and Public Relations. The second half is below. The full column examines four truths to consider when assessing one’s reputation: The median consumer is more likely to […]

29 Jul 2022

Stream This: Political Ads and the Coming Battlegrounds Substack

Hulu has decided to run political ads after Democrats protested the Disney-owned streaming service had rejected its issue-oriented commercials. Political ads have been around for a long time, but the public collision between big companies and social issues is just getting started, as I discussed recently on CNBC’s Squawk Box. Eric Dezenhall, Squawk Box WED, […]

21 Jul 2022

Social Media and its False Perception Substack

Invariably the first thing that our clients and potential new clients ask us when they first call is, “how do we use social media to mitigate our issue?” Or they come to us panicked because a few troubling users on Twitter are constantly posting about their issue, which they believe is akin to the villagers […]

15 Jul 2022

Look at My Confidential Strategic Plan, Ma! Substack

I had a reaction to the release of Uber’s internal lobbying documents this week that was probably…unconventional. While it certainly appears that Uber crossed some lines in its advocacy efforts, something else struck me in a way that would only bother someone who made his living in crisis management: The reckless indiscretion of Uber’s operatives. […]

12 Jul 2022

Polarization and Public Relations Substack

GUEST POST FROM DEZENHALL RESOURCES, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, JOSH CULLING In 2016, I wrote a piece for World Trademark Review in which I examined the components of corporate reputation and offered some advice to brand managers on how best to prioritize these when restoring a company’s reputation after a crisis. One key takeaway: C-suites are […]

21 Jun 2022

The Business – Republican Cold War Substack

The rap has always been pretty simple: Republicans were the party of big business and Democrats were all about the little guy. While this was never completely true, it was once a lot truer than it is now. The old assumptions don’t work anymore. As the Republicans have gone populist, bashing big companies is now […]

07 Jun 2022

The White House Does Not Have a Messaging Problem Substack

As the narrator said at the beginning of Peter Pan, “All of this has happened before, and it will all happen again.” I refer to the instinct of those under public siege to declare their dire straits to be “a message problem.” The Biden White House is said to be facing such a challenge right now. […]

01 Jun 2022

Disgraceful Paralysis in the Face of Tragedy Substack

Like so many of us, I have been obsessing about the mass murder at the Robb Elementary School in Texas. I have frustratingly very little insight, with one possible exception that I humbly offer up for consideration: The question of why the police, based upon current reports, didn’t enter the school sooner to confront the […]

27 May 2022

What Polls on Corporations and Social Issues Don’t Tell Us Substack

Another poll was recently released on how the reputations of certain companies had slipped in the proverbial rankings. One of the companies named was Disney. I was less concerned about the rankings themselves than I was about the commentary of a pollster who concluded that Disney’s reputation had fallen because the company appeared “calculating” in […]