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10 Jul 2023

The Impact of AI: Iron Sharpens Iron Substack

Before diving into this piece, I recommend checking out the first article in our Digital AI series, “Ghosts of Crisis Management Past and Future.” In today’s business landscape, the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) is a hot topic, dominating podcast discussions and happy hours across America. The opinions surrounding AI generally fall into two camps: […]

07 Jul 2023

Could Bud Light Do Anything Better After the Blow-up? Substack

Anheuser-Busch has taken a lot of hits lately since its debacle with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney went supernova. Reports abound of stock plunges, sales drops, and Bud Light’s dethroning as the top-selling beer in the U.S. Nevertheless, there has been a development worth noting: news reports that Kid Rock, who was filmed shooting cases of […]

21 Jun 2023

There’s Always a Telltale Email Beneath the Surface Substack

A deep-sea submersible, OceanGate’s Titan, is presently lost at the bottom of the Atlantic in an attempt to explore the wreckage of the Titanic. The vessel is projected to run out of air tomorrow morning. Some wealthy people are on board, which we know is critical to the interest in this story because the word […]

13 Jun 2023

Beer and Trump Indictments Substack

“I truly believe it’s the survival of the unfittest these days,” growled Yellowstone’s ranch boss, John Dutton, portrayed by Kevin Costner. TV’s Dutton sees his family’s birthright being absorbed by a world he doesn’t understand — or want to understand. When running for governor of Montana, Dutton campaigns, “I am the opposite of progress. I am the wall it bashes against.” This may […]

07 Jun 2023

Shattering the Glass Cliff. Is Twitter Next? Substack

I still remember life before Twitter and Facebook. Though an early adopter of both, I long for the days of less tweetier times. Despite, or perhaps because of, its intersections with my line of work, I despise Twitter. There I said it. Due to my underlying disdain for the platform and self-righteous billionaire types, when […]

01 Jun 2023

The Ghosts of Crisis Management Past and Future Substack

In the 35 years since I took a gamble and built a firm around the crisis management discipline, I have seen several major shifts in how corporations, celebrities, and other brands confront reputational attacks. Not only are the challenges we face today vastly different from those of the 1980s but there are also more tactics […]

30 May 2023

Are the Accused Obligated to Blow Themselves Up? Substack

In my life outside of crisis management, I write about crime. Crime writers are also crime readers, and my latest obsession has been the unsolved 2017 murders of Toronto billionaires Barry and Honey Sherman. Barry founded the generic drugmaker Apotex. Setting aside the whodunit aspects, the crisis manager in me is focused on another sub-drama: […]

24 May 2023

Epstein’s Scheme Substack

The Wall Street Journal reported this week that the late pedophile Jeffrey Epstein may have suggested to Bill Gates that he would expose an extramarital relationship if he didn’t reimburse him for a particular expense or perhaps some other provocation. Because I like trying to figure out the mechanics of what’s going on with crises […]

18 May 2023

Spoiler Alert: Shiv Will Win Substack

Spoiler Alert: This analysis includes information about the show Succession, Season 4, Episode 8. It includes many spoilers, and you should not read it if you aren’t caught up. I’m as obsessed with HBO’s Succession as much as the next guy. The show is a gigantic series of micro-negotiations where the most important currency is leverage. After […]

01 Mar 2023

Economy-size Redemption is Enough Substack

My friend directed me to a story in the New York Times about Elizabeth Koch, daughter of billionaire Charles Koch. After suffering considerable personal distress as a result of her extraordinary life circumstances, Koch founded an organization devoted to helping others through “self-investigation.” It looks interesting and good for her. There are many forms of anguish in […]