All posts by Noel Turnbull

Connected – really???

If you counted the number of times the word connected was used in common communication you would almost reach the number of connections us human are supposed to have these days.

Thanks to the FAANGs we are all allegedly linked wherever we go and Dunbar’s number – the suggestion by the British anthropologist, Robin Dunbar, that 150 is about the limit of stable relationships an individual can have with other people – has theoretically been rendered null. read more

Cromwell and Australia

The blog was asked to write a piece for the Protector’s Pen the magazine of the Cromwell Association of which the blog is a Life Member – not of course because of any eminence in 17th Century history but because it was easier than transferring money to the UK in the decades ago when the blog joined. As few  blog readers probably read the magazine and some might be interested here ’tis……. read more

A few political axioms

There is one overwhelming reality, confirmed yet again by the four Australian by-elections on July 28, about political media commentary – it is axiomatic that the conventional wisdom in the Press Gallery is almost always wrong.

One can imagine that, after studying Australian political media,  Aristotle and Euclid might have come up with some new axioms which we could use as a basis for deriving various proofs and conclusions. Unfortunately they are not around so the blog, with some immodesty, would like to suggest some they might have developed. read more

What do words about probability actually mean?

Every day the political, sporting and other media, along with lots of other Australians, use words about probability – how likely is rain, when’s the best time, perhaps, pretty likely, a dead set certainty. Yet the words are often less a form of prediction or probability assessment but more ways of providing a sense of safety to those who speak them. read more

A few odds and sods on PR

It is reassuring to find that publicists can still get blatant puff pieces into quality newspapers – even when the content is nonsense.

The Saturday Age (7 July 2018) included a My Career piece in the business pages headlined: “In a league of his own” – a story about a former journalist “using the art of storytelling to turn the public relations industry on its ear.” read more

What are the hottest issues and crisis management topics?

Probably everyone in PR has celebrated an anniversary of some sort or other. The blog’s old firm even successfully celebrated a 57th – for Vegemite – some years ago. After all it’s often a quick way to generate some coverage.

This year – not so much in PR but rather the world – there have been lots of significant 200th anniversaries including those for Karl Marx and Emily Bronte’s birth as well as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. But in PR there has been an anniversary – not quite so significant as these perhaps – but definitely instructive and of interest to practitioners. read more

Communications, ‘creativity’, and some basic checks

The City of Port Phillip’s communications, issues management strategies and community consultation processes are always instructive guides for communicators on what not to do.

The blog is almost reluctant to draw attention to the latest effort – a new cultural policy called Art & Soul – after it has used so many Council communications as case studies in what not to do so often. But this latest effort is both careless and potentially contentious. read more

Let’s have some freedom from religion

Just imagine the situation for a moment…… marauding bands of black robed zealots emerging from the desert to attack Palmyra. And when they did they destroyed temples, statues half a millennium old, murdering innocents, decapitating the huge statue to Athena one of the wonders of Greco-Roman culture and a monumental rebuke to the believers’ monotheism. read more

Counter-productive corporate advertising

When companies are in trouble there is always the urge to ‘do something’ and there is always an advertising agency prepared to roll out some full page print, social media and other ads to meet the need.

But what if that’s the worst possible response? The blog thought this while waiting for the main feature in a cinema and being subjected to an nbn Australia corporate ad with the tagline “Australia we’re taking action” and stating that 3.8 million premises had been connected to NBN already with 95,000 just last month. Given that the blog lives a few kilometres from the centre of the city; might get NBN in 2019; will get a sub-standard version at a grossly inflated community cost; and, will need to employ and closely supervise a non-NBN contractor to prevent the usual connection contractors from vandalising it’s property – the ad didn’t warm it’s heart nor convince it of much. Indeed, in contrast it just made it angrier than normal about nbn Australia (far above and beyond even the blog’s irritation at the faux lower case corporate name) read more