All posts by Noel Turnbull

Alarmed – with good reason

As Australia is heading for the mother of fear campaigns for the next election it is significant that in the USA – home of fear, loathing and negative campaigns – voters are becoming alarmed about the most fundamental threat (other than nuclear war precipitated by Trump sitting on the button) to the future of our world. read more

Catholic conspiracies and ‘intellectual poverty’

The blog and its PR company enjoyed some campaign successes over the years for governments, companies and organisations. But it must admit that the success of the Louise Adler media campaign in The Age, and the word of mouth Catholic conspiracy version of the controversy, is up with some of the most effective communication campaigns it has known – albeit with lots of help from the newspaper itself. read more

A climate of hope

Despite Donald Trump, Scott Morrison and others there is a significant change of opinion on climate change around much of the western world – particularly in the US of all places – for the better.

The evidence for this comes from a series of studies by Yale and George Mason universities’ climate change communications centres and other academics. A report based on findings from a nationally representative survey – Climate Change in the American Mind – conducted by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication is a prime example of this. read more

MUP – dubious assumptions and poor public policy

What is about Louise Adler? The blog asked the question about Louise Adler, then the MUP Publisher, back in 2016.

Now she is the subject of controversy again with the usual suspects arguing for her brilliance as a publisher while doubting voices struggle to be heard. But beyond the noise there are some important issues about academic publishing and public policy which are being missed in the debate – if the controversy can be dignified with that word. read more

Inside the Canberra ‘bubble’

Conservatives dismiss anything they don’t think relevant – or is perhaps too relevant – as occurring in the ‘bubble’- whether that bubble is in London, Washington or Canberra.

But they do have a point. With a few notable exceptions most Gallery journalists have to thrive on the droppings of political staff briefings or pre-releases of speeches or announcements which they only get if they accept the angle on which the briefings are based. read more

The greatest PR successes in the past 500 years

What are the greatest PR successes of the past 500 years?

Now one might jibe at writing back into history the concept of PR but we now know through the work many modern historians (much of which has been described by the blog in books and articles) the extent to which opinion was shaped in countries around the world by techniques which we could identity as analogous to the practices of contemporary communicators. read more

Odds and sods part 3

Adani and Indian banks

Australian politicians seem mesmerised by Adani and his proposal for a giant Queensland coal mine. Whether to do the obvious thing and protect the environment and our future by stopping it; going along with mythical claims of job creation; or, to just wait it out seems to perplex everyone except the coal zealots in the Federal Government. read more

Odds and sods part 2

‘Great’ Britain, the reckoning and the innovation

Brexit may be a tragedy for Britain but the blog finds it difficult to feel much sympathy for those who voted to follow Boris, Jacob Rees-Mogg (although in his case it is probably preferable to follow his politics than his style in attire), Nigel Farage et al. read more

Some holiday reading odds and sods – part one

Over the next few weeks the blog will provide some odds and sods – bits and pieces on a variety of things – which hopefully will provide some interesting, useful and/or amusing holiday reading.


The long history of adapting old words to new purposes is often useful, sometimes a bit precious and sometimes both pretentious and irritating. read more

Will some pr companies stop at nothing?

Over the years we have seen many US PR firms undertake campaigns which range from the unethical to the outright dishonest. In the UK Bell Pottinger, literally as well as metaphorically (just to show the blog is among the fuddy duddies who insist on the distinction between the two), saw its company and brand destroyed after its work for the Gupta brothers in SouthAfrica. read more