How the McDonalds Coffee Spill Story Grew Bigger and Smaller at the Same Time

One thing crisis PR professionals deal with constantly is the intense distortion that happens as a complex story blows up into a huge media phenomenon. More coverage doesn’t mean better coverage. Rather, it’s usually reductionist coverage. Like taking a movie and breaking it back down into a treatment. This NYT mini-documentary does a wonderful job looking … More How the McDonalds Coffee Spill Story Grew Bigger and Smaller at the Same Time

Dept. of Brilliant Marketing: Kim Jong Un to star in rumor with James Franco and Seth Rogen

First off, the new Seth Rogen-James Franco film “The Interview” looks like a hoot. It’s a comedic-thriller set in North Korea, in which two talk show hosts are co-opted by the CIA in a plot to kill Kim Jong Un. When I saw the trailer last weekend my first thought was “why didn’t I think … More Dept. of Brilliant Marketing: Kim Jong Un to star in rumor with James Franco and Seth Rogen

Anatomy of a Charm Campaign: Venture Capitalist Vinod Khosla Tries Making Good News to Bury Bad News

Billionaire tech investor Vin Khosla is known for playing his cards pretty close to the vest. In a business filed with big egos and big mouths, he’s not one known for courting public attention. This explains his desire to keep his name out of the dispute over Martin’s Beach, an oceanfront property south of San … More Anatomy of a Charm Campaign: Venture Capitalist Vinod Khosla Tries Making Good News to Bury Bad News

NYT Op-Ed Misses the Point on Teacher Tenure Debate

NYT Op-Ed Misses the Point on Teacher Tenure Debate This op-ed by UC Berkeley Associate Professor Jesse Rothstein builds its argument around a single bad assumption, namely, that job SECURITY is what attracts the best candidates to a profession. Specifically, he claims, “One of the few things that helps recruit good people into teaching is … More NYT Op-Ed Misses the Point on Teacher Tenure Debate

Judge Deals a Serious Blow to State Rules that Protect Deadbeat Teachers from Firing

Several times over the years I’ve been asked to work on behalf of the United Teachers Los Angeles, better known as the Los Angeles Teachers Union, during political campaigns and various labor negotiations. I’m a friend of many teachers and I come from a family of teachers, so it’s understandable that they would ask. But … More Judge Deals a Serious Blow to State Rules that Protect Deadbeat Teachers from Firing

House Republicans Suddenly Shifting Gears on Medical Marijuana

There are two political issues that for the last 10 years I’ve been predicting would reach a sudden tipping point. The first is gay marriage and within the last couple years we’ve seen it go from a controversial issue to, now, 17 or 18 states making it legal. The second is legalization of marijuana. It’s … More House Republicans Suddenly Shifting Gears on Medical Marijuana

Shelly Sterling Needs to Say “I’ll Sell!” right away.

The fast unravelling of Donald Sterling has been a fascinating train wreck to watch but there’s really not a lot to say about it other than, in a similar situation, just do the opposite of everything he did. He seriously didn’t do a single thing right. The NBA wants Sterling’s head on a pike and … More Shelly Sterling Needs to Say “I’ll Sell!” right away.

How to Snatch Defeat out of the Mouth of Victory.

Nevada cattle rancher Cliven Bundy has been in a standoff with the US Government for more than a decade that recently came to a head. Bundy, who has been running his cattle illegally on public lands without paying the grazing fees, currently owes the Federal Government about $1.2 million in back fees. That’s a lot … More How to Snatch Defeat out of the Mouth of Victory.