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Storytelling Through a Business Prism

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Time for Communicators to Deviate from the Status Quo

I’ll be in Portland on April 12 talking at an IABC Oregon luncheon. I plan to use the occasion to explore whether communicators are changing fast enough. The velocity of change in today’s world can be unnerving. Cars that drive themselves. Bursts of 140-character missives that impact the Presidential election. A startup trying to invent …more

One Action That Automatically Makes You a Better Listener

I recognize the value of multi-tasking. In today’s business environment, the staccato nature of incoming requests requires one to toggle back and forth across many tasks at once. Maybe the Boy Scouts should offer a merit badge for handling Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram while cooking freeze-dried mashed potatoes. Yet, one of the inevitable downsides of …more

A Case for Uber’s No. 2 Executive Coming from the PR Ranks

Uber’s CEO, Travis Kalanick, posted on the company’s website last week that the hunt is on for a No. 2 executive: “We’re actively looking for a Chief Operating Officer: a peer who can partner with me to write the next chapter in our journey.” While hiring a No. 2 doesn’t guarantee a change in a …more

Risk-taking and Starting a Company Don’t Always Go Together

The Agency celebrates its 30th anniversary later this year. Drawing attention to this milestone, I plan to periodically write about the adventure — journey is such a calm noun — starting with the launch of the Agency. Most people tend to think of those who start a company as risk-takers. So what does it mean …more

CliffsNotes on the Silicon Valley Index

The Silicon Valley Index from Joint Venture Silicon Valley leaves no byte unturned. For those who don’t have the time to wade through 100 action-packed pages, I offer the CliffsNotes, filtered by 25+ years of living of in Silicon Valley. Silicon Valley is Larger Than Rhode Island Taking in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, …more

Leadership and Zigging When Everyone Else is Zagging

I will always remember November 14, 2014, and it has nothing to do with my birthday. That was the day that Mike Sottak called to say he was accepting our job offer to run our European operation. Since we entered the European market in the late 1990s, the Agency’s experience had resembled a roller-coaster ride …more

Fake News is Not a Threat to Democracy

Can we all take a breath? The latest uproar on fake news comes compliments of 20th Century Fox when it created fake news sites as part of a marketing campaign for an upcoming movie. A New York Times story on the topic quoted Susan Credle, global creative officer of the ad agency FCB: “Fake news …more

Similar to PR, Journalism Comes in Different Grades

The Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the number of people working in PR at 218,910 (as of May 2015). Some of these folks are extraordinary. Others communicate with the finesse of a carnival barker. Most fall somewhere in between. For the sake of discussion, let’s say that 3 percent of the PR population falls into …more