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…

Why your communication goal must be smart and measurable

As every communicator knows you start your communication plan with a measurable goal, one that lets you demonstrate whether or not the outcome of executing on your plan achieved the goal you established. To be genuinely worthwhile, though, a goal needs to be much more than that. It also needs to be smart. Rather, SMART: Specific – target a specific area for improvement. Measurable – quantify or at least suggest an indicator of progress. Assignable – specify who will do…

FIR 208: A timely PR stunt at the G7

Shel and I had such a rich selection of topics to discuss in the June episode of The Hobson & Holtz Report podcast, aka FIR 208 – recorded during the weekend of the G7 meeting – that it was quite a job to assemble the order of discussion! As always each of us provides three topics, making six in total for discussion in each episode. Here’s the final list for June: Half of U.S. adults consider who publishes it as…

SDF 45: The vaccination mess in Europe

When Sam, Thomas and I recorded the 45th episode of our Small Data Forum podcast two weeks ago, who would have imagined that the major topic for us then – the EU’s COVID vaccination mess – would continue to be a major topic today, one that’s evolved and morphed into something even more alarming than it was then. We were pretty critical of the European Commission, how it is managing the vaccine rollout across the 27 member states, and its…

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…

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