To Cision, With Love

holding clouds in my handDear Cision, Healthcare shmealthcare, you totally stole the show this week with your B.I.G. N.E.W.S. You know… that not-so-little bolt from the blue that you’re going public. And that you’ll have “an anticipated initial enterprise value of approximately $2.4 billion.” That’s BIG! First of all, congrats. I’ve known you for a long time, and some of the hardest-working people in the industry call you “boss.” So I hope this turns out to be a great thing for them too.
What my colleagues and I are hoping, though, is that this also turns out to be a great thing for the PR industry… and us.
We haven’t had much of a chance to chat recently. So just in case you’ve been wondering what we’d like, here goes: 1. Innovation. As my friend Jodi Echakowitz said, “If Cision going public means that it will have
Jodi Echakowitz comment on Cision going public
Andy Russell comment on Cision going public
Rajean Blomquist comment on Cision going public
Shonali Burke
Continue reading "To Cision, With Love"

Science Crisis

There is a PR crisis in science.  It has to do with publishing.  There is now an abundance of fraudulent science journals on the market.  They are pay-to-play, charging scientists for getting their papers printed.  They are not peer-reviewed.  They have no credibility to the knowledgeable, and they are a trap for the less aware.  Scientists caught in the publish-or-perish cycle are using them to buff their resumes, and there is no way to know whether their data has been vetted.  There is a reason for examination of one's experiments by other scientists.  Science is hard, and there are many ways for experiments to go wrong.  There are also unscrupulous scientists who make up experiments and invent data solely for the purpose of getting published.  The cure for phony journals is transparency.  The scientific community should unmask them and expose them to ridicule.  Papers published in them should be Continue reading "Science Crisis"

Essential PR

Facebook is rolling out its fact checker to protect its members from fake news.  Among the first debunkings is a false story of Irish being brought to America as slaves. What Facebook is doing is essential PR.  It is deepening its relationship with its members through watching out for them.  It is not acting like a scolding nanny but simply informing its members that independent third party fact checkers have reason to believe that a story is false.  It then leaves it up to the member to accept the story or not.  Some might wish Facebook to go a step farther and remove the story from its site.  That might come some day but for now a warning should be enough for most readers.  Conspiracy theorists will accept a story as true and reject warnings, but there is little that can be done about them.

The day after Westminster, my morning commute

I’m sat on the 07:50 from Welwyn North to London Kings Cross. It’s the day after the Westminster attacks and if I wasn’t listening to Radio 4, I would hardly know anything has happened. The carriage is packed, people are glued to their smartphones: life goes on.  When I arrive at Kings Cross, it’s a […]

Apologies And Technology

Google is apologizing to advertisers for placing ads next to hate speech and other offensive material on the web.  It is important for the company to get ad placement right because most of its income and earnings comes from advertising.  Saying I'm sorry will not be enough, however.  Google has to police the web and to remove the material to protect advertisers.  This will take people and technology.  However, there is no way Google can watch every web site all of the time using humans.  It will require artificial intelligence to scan myriads of web sites where Google places advertising and a computer-based ability to recognize offensive speech.  This will be a test of the company's technical capabilities and of its PR. Apologies in the future will not be enough.  It has to fix the problem.  

A SLOG (short blog) on technology

Today we are fascinated by the dizzying pace of change. The Internet is the new Industrial Revolution. Wired is as influential as The Economist. Brands like Uber, Facebook, Ocado, Tinder, dominate our lives. Brilliantly innovative technology companies with cars, cat videos, groceries and casual sex attached. What we once read as niche, inky, badly spelled, loss-making newspapers are now 100m reader-strong (still loss-making) global media platforms. The new iPhone is celebrated with more excitement and media coverage than a groundbreaking new drug that will save millions (or, I suspect, the Second Coming). Cannes is as much a tech event as a creative awards showcase. IMG_0932 Yes we live at an exciting time, and we are very clever. But get this. In just three short years, 1895 to 1897, three groundbreaking discoveries occurred. X-rays, radioactivity and the electron. The second winning the first Nobel Prize for a woman, Marie Curie. Three years. Continue reading "A SLOG (short blog) on technology"