The day the ceiling fell in

The media training session in Silicon Valley was going well; the half dozen men around the table, representing the top tiers of the tech company’s sales and marketing wings, were half-way through their practice interviews. The questions had to do with their product lines, their reseller network and their end customers. No generic stuff here! Then, a guy we will call Harry came up to … Continue reading The day the ceiling fell in

“Hey. Good question”

Even if you believe the interviewer really did ask a good question, keep it to yourself.  Maybe it was the very question you hoped would be asked so you could deliver your important message. But journalists can be a suspicious lot.  The greener ones will take the compliment about the ‘good question’ and feel more kindly toward the interviewee.  Maybe.  The craggier ones will think … Continue reading “Hey. Good question”

Fake news

It’s the latest invective political pundits and political morons throw at each other during those live panel debates on TV.   Fake news is big news.  Google it and you get more than 14 million hits.  Donald Trump (who knows a thing or two about faking) didn’t invent fake news but his behaviour and prevarications produce an internet manure that helps fake news grow big and … Continue reading Fake news

A near-perfect crisis plan

When a large company absorbs another large enterprise, usually, stock prices rise, investors get excited, top management rejoices and customers look for improvements across the board. But all those positives vibes can mask a big problem that can lead to a whoppingly expensive crisis. Behind the scenes, it is common for the buyer to take over the properties of the seller. An outsider might think … Continue reading A near-perfect crisis plan

Means and ends

The government wouldn’t listen. The company was being savaged in the media. Its local plant was shut  and several hundred workers were at the mercy of bureaucrats including inspectors of their food products. The PR people were frustrated. Suddenly, the PR team became excited and was able to see some light at the end of the really dark and scary tunnel. A ‘source’ told us … Continue reading Means and ends

Before you hit ‘send’

Many executives may be tempted to give personal opinions today following the surprising victory of Donald Trump. Some CEOs already publicly have deplored the fact Trump will shortly become President of the U.S.A. while others have praised The Donald. Both sides are making what could become large mistakes. Executives and others should be extremely cautious when making any political comment on social media or through … Continue reading Before you hit ‘send’

When protest becomes a crisis

An organization can find itself in crisis mode quickly when any sizable group is alienated by the actions or even the intent of the organization. This group can morph into a protest group and then go public at electric speed because of the power of social media. The traditional way for organizations to deal with such public protest groups gone public is to oppose the … Continue reading When protest becomes a crisis

Journalism tech is new but rules aren’t

Journalism has changed a great deal over the past few years and will continue to change as social media replaces so much of our traditional viewing and reading sources. What hasn’t changed, however, are the rules of journalism. The difference between getting your news from professionals or from the local gossips is the motivation of the teller of the tale.  A professional journalist looks upon … Continue reading Journalism tech is new but rules aren’t

Public speaking; conquering the fear

Speaking in public is one of the things most people fear almost more than being thrown, in their birthday suits, into pits of spiders, scorpions and wriggling snakes. This fear can be overcome or, better still, used to propel the public speaker to success. One of the best ways to overcome much of the sheer terror of speaking in public is simply to interact with … Continue reading Public speaking; conquering the fear