The Uber Files data leak and the chasm between ethics and lobbying

On July 11, the Guardian newspaper dropped a bombshell across the media and political landscapes with the first revelations about Uber and its law-breaking activities around the world, on an industrial scale, in the pursuit of profits. News about the Uber Files published by the Guardian and a global array of media partners was the visible first step in making use of a treasure trove of data leaked by a whistleblower to shine a bright spotlight on a company that…

Volkswagen pranks its tarnished reputation on April Fool’s Day

In a time where misinformation, disinformation and outright fake news are features of our online landscapes that diminish trust, you’d think that brands (and Volkswagen in particular) would think twice – at least, think carefully – about actively doing anything that can negatively impact their brand reputation and instead do everything that promotes a sense of trust in their brand. Given that what’s good, bad or ugly is often highly subjective it’s hard to pinpoint a specific prank done by…

FIR 203: Insurrection and Sea Shanties

‘Trust’ was the major theme for discussion in the January episode of The Hobson and Holtz Report podcast aka FIR 203 that Shel and I recorded last weekend and published on Monday. It underpinned all other topics we discussed as we started the episode reviewing the key analysis in the Edelman Trust Barometer 2021 – the report concludes that there is a ‘crisis of leadership’ with a growing trust gap and declines in trust worldwide; and without a trusted leadership…

FIR 192: The latest employee revolt

The February episode of “The Hobson & Holtz Report” features Neville and Shel discussing these topics: The Houston Astros’ owner hosts a clinic on how not to deliver an organizational apology Oracle workers are the latest to engage in employee activism Facebook has way more users than Instagram but Instagram is number one in some important metrics An IPO filing lists the company’s influencers as a potential threat How brands should handle communications during the coronavirus epidemic Twitter has changed…

FIR 183: Let’s get personal

The May 2019 edition of “The Hobson and Holtz Report,” aka For Immediate Release episode 183, features Neville Hobson and Shel Holtz talking about these stories: A trio of technologies — from Google, Amazon, and The New York Times — show how marketers will be able to get into your head, assess your emotional state, and manipulate your intent. GDPR is one year old. Has it succeeded in protecting Europeans’ privacy? PR professionals are relegating earned media to the dustbin.…

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