Back in 2005, I read a profile in the New York Times about Ted Wells, the high-powered Washington attorney retained by former Dick Cheney aide Scooter Libby to spearhead his defense against charges of obstruction of justice, among others.
My ability to communicate with those around me is something I’ve always taken for granted. Never have I appreciated that skill more than when I found myself in a foreign country being yelled at by a hotel housekeeper, getting more worked up by the moment as I struggled to translate what she was saying. My… Read more
Can you imagine wearing flip-flops and shorts around the office, or writing to colleagues, clients, or customers with “LOL” and “BRB?” A tad inappropriate and rather awkward…right? Maybe not, judging by much of the corporate writing seen on the Internet today. Many companies have turned to online mediums to engage their customers directly, bypassing traditional… Read more
I’m not a life-of-the-party kind of guy, which may explain why one of my simple pleasures on any given Friday night for many years was reading the latest issue of BusinessWeek while drinking a stiff martini. Under the 21-year tutelage of Steve Shepard, the magazine served up an impressive mix of news, features, and insightful… Read more
Mainstream media, the tech trades, and the blogosphere are agog covering the story of Burson-Marsteller’s (BM) clandestine anti-Google media pitches on behalf of undisclosed client Facebook, but I’m guessing BM’s John Mercurio still doesn’t get the fuss.
The maturation of the Internet should have been the golden era of the public relations industry. Prior to the widespread use of the Internet, PR firms had to inordinately rely on the mainstream media to communicate client messages to broad-based audiences. Relying on reporters was a dangerous and often difficult process; journalists controlled the bat and ball and they all too often were reckless and arrogant in how they wielded their power.
Taking on a professional internship is daunting enough for a college junior, but the pressure is no doubt magnified knowing that your intern predecessors left mighty large shoes to fill. Now imagine that one of those previous interns came back after graduation and was working at your sponsor company full time…and oversaw the internship program.… Read more
Having a clear code of ethics is important, but having a demonstrated propensity to actually enforce it is far more so. Corporate ethics cannot be mandated by words alone. The thought may seem obvious, but it seems nonetheless lost on many companies. Enron, for example, had a strongly worded code of ethics that proclaimed it… Read more
One of the biggest challenges facing a company under fire is to resist the temptation to downplay the severity of the crisis. And while there is no shortage of crisis communications advisors who may advocate telling white lies or less inflammatory half truths — a practice euphemistically known as “spin” – that approach almost invariably… Read more