Profs use Four Moves model in classroom experiment Last week I shared with my class the story behind the bleeding Mexican cop meme that went viral in immigrant caravan conspiracy circles.  When I got to the punchline — that the photo of the bleeding officer was actually made six years ago in a Mexico City […]

My university class on Media and Influencer Relations paused the other day to consider: What public relations lessons can today’s political campaigns take from Donald Trump’s 2016 election? With David Meerman Scott’s book New Rules of Marketing and PR as a guide, we evaluated two high-profile U.S. Senate races on these criteria: Are the candidates communicating […]

  An organization that gets dragged into a tragedy needs to show heart. But Slide Fire Solutions, the prime source for “bump stock” accessories for semiautomatic rifles, has maintained silence since the Las Vegas massacre — except to say that it has not been able to keep up with demand since the shooting put their product […]

Listen up, class! I have good news and bad news: Today’s snack is chocolate chip cookies! Unfortunately, we have only 25, so you kids whose last names end in W, X, Y and Z will once again have to go without.  If I lived in Wiggins, Colorado, and listened to state leaders talk about the […]

If the knock on you is your tendency to point fingers and avoid personal responsibility for error, every explanation you offer for losing an election is going to be cast in that light. You can’t win. If I were Hillary Clinton’s PR counselor, I would have urged her NOT to write “What Happened,” and instead […]

  Can any brand be more in the dumps than that of Congress? As they returned to “work” last week, let’s pause and consider their sad state. First, the obvious: you have the reputation you earn. And Congress has sorely earned its reputation for ineffectiveness, pettiness and venality. It’s like all those snoots you hated […]

The decision not to evacuate Houston in advance of Hurricane Harvey had to be a tough one. But once the call was made, everyone had to sing from the same song sheet. It’s basic crisis communication, as taught by FEMA to hundreds of crisis planners each year. Gov. Greg Abbott didn’t get the training, apparently. […]

Sticks and stones Let’s talk about name-calling: Specifically, the label “racist.” We apply it too freely, and as a result, we harden the hearts of the very people we are trying to reach. One New Year’s morning, I assigned a young reporter the traditional “first baby of the year” story. As I sent her on […]

What would it be like if we treated presidential candidates like job applicants? All of us have been on one or both sides of the job interview table. Odds are, you’ve heard the “Tell me about a time …” questions. What if we asked those behavioral interview questions of the people applying for the highest […]

A Morning Consult poll out today says readers believe they should assume more authority from editors in deciding what news is shown on traditional media. The poll is an outgrowth of revelations that the Facebook “trending news” feed has been manipulated by people who have suppressed conservative opinions. It takes the issue a step further […]