By Steven Silvers, Partner & Senior Counsel
Hello fellow occupants. We're still experimenting with Week Links to ascertain what our fan base likes best.
Ok, maybe it's not a fan base in the typical sense of the word. But it's more than 12 people not counting us or our moms. So let us know what you think as you review these few noteworthy items from the trenches of influence:
That’s just so Chicago, isn’t it? – Protesters around the country demanded President Trump’s tax returns with the usual assortment of derogatory signs and march ditties. In at least one city, however, protestors took things up a notch by using The Magic Word.
New rakes for modern muck. -- This year’s Pulitzer Prizes for Journalism are the first since President Trump proclaimed that the news media “is the enemy of the American people.” (I hate to correct presidents and all, but "media" is plural, so it should be they "ARE the enemy of the American people.")
Actually, this sentiment is fueling a resurgence investigative reporting, which has become increasingly rare as the internet decimates local newsrooms. “Pulitzer prizes reminds us that we are not in a period of decline in journalism,” said one official. “Rather we are in the midst of a revolution."
But who will play him in the movie version? -- Will a book titled The case for impeaching President Donald J. Trump influence if, when and how it actually happens? Hard to say.
But it's worth noting that the author is the same American University professor who has correctly predicted every presidential election since 1983 – including the current leader of the free world.
Having a moving influence on voters. -- Perhaps inspired by how Donald Trump majestically rode an escalator down to announce his presidential candidacy, former Colorado state treasurer Cary Kennedy announced that she’s running for governor while driving her car.
Of course, the resulting new coverage focused on how she put citizens at risk by looking down at her notes instead of watching the road. Good to get that first campaign blunder over with early.
Sieg Hokum! – Maybe this trend of comparing political opponents to Hitler has finally jumped the shark: In North Carolina, a state lawmaker arguing for a ban on same-sex marriage pointed out that Abraham Lincoln was “the same sort of tyrant" as Der Fuhrer.
Where's your next brand black eye coming from? – Proving again that PR screw-ups are often born of the best intentions, someone at Adidas approved an email congratulating Boston Marathon runners “who survived” this year’s event -- despite the deadly bombings being only four years ago, despite a movie about the tragedy still being viewed by millions of people, despite the hyper-sensitivity that ostensibly permeates risk-averse mega-corporations.
And in case you missed it: United Airlines learned the hard way that its lofty goal to “make every flight a positive experience” isn't helped by dragging bloodied, screaming customers away from the product.
The self-afflicted PR crisis underscores some important truths that your own company should consider in preparing for and responding to bad news events. Read it here.
>PR's Place in Modern Warfare