There has always been a very effective way of reaching and convincing audiences of your messages – find a trusted third party to deliver them.
Despite the advent of fake news and social media the principle still holds. If anyone doubts it think about who you listen to when buying a major item – advertisers, social media or some person in your office or family who knows everything there is to know about cars, TVs, computers or whatever.read more
Since Morgan Phillips coined the phrase that Labour owed “more to Methodism than Marx” it has been repeated by many others – from Harold Wilson to Barry Jones. But what if the catchy alliteration is wrong?
Race Mathews’ new book, Of Labour and Liberty, shifts the focus from Methodism back to the co-operative or distributist ideas of Robert Owen and a long Catholic tradition starting with the Papal encyclicals Rerum Novarum and Quadragesimo through to the work and words of Cardinals Manning in England and Moran in Australia.read more
Speech celebrating the naming of the Alan Whittaker Gatehouse November 2 2017
On behalf of the Whittaker Memorial Committee I would like to welcome everyone here – especially the Albert Park College students who have been making a film about the events of 1928 and written a commemorative poem which they will read shortly.read more
There are two very encouraging developments on the fake news front. The first is the emergence of a fail-safe system of evaluating the truth about a claim. It works very simply – if a politician or anyone else immediately brands any claim, accusation or information ‘fake news’ one can automatically conclude that the claim, accusation or information is true and correct.read more
The blog is taking a break – not for maintenance this time – but while it’s away here are some odds and sods which have caught its attention lately.
Given the controversy over the PR company Bell Pottinger’s issues it is worth noting that the UK Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) set up an ethics hotline some two years ago to provide advice to members on ethical questions. So far it has received nine calls. It should be said that Bell Pottinger was a member of the UK industry body, not the CIPR, although individual employees may be CIPR members.read more
No one will ever convince the US Environmental Protection Agency Administrator, Scott Pruitt, of the reality of climate change. Well at least while he stays in the pocket of the Koch brothers and the administration as a whole continues to be staffed by former lobbyists who have gone from spreading climate change denial propaganda to being put in charge of decisions on the problem.read more
The Bully Pulpit has been a US term for presidential speeches which seek to influence, define or shape public policy.
The phrase was coined by Teddy Roosevelt to describe an excellent platform for his reform agenda. At the time the word ‘bully’, one often used by Roosevelt, conveyed the sense of superb or wonderful rather than something which might describe a Trump tweet.read more
The blog’s neighbour, friend and former client manages to get lots of letters published in The Age along with a number of other regulars who obviously strike a chord with whoever is left on the outsourced letters page subs desk.
He sent the blog copy of his latest, not expecting it to get a run in The Age, but the blog thought it was worth a mention particularly given that the ‘little lying rodent’ – as one of his colleagues called him – is re-emerging like a creature from the Black Lagoon to join his acolyte, Tony Abbot (sic), on the same sex marriage campaign trail.read more
The last blog post focussed on the resilience of facts and how online search can generally uncover them. However, a distinction needs to be drawn between searching for facts and how facts and news are received.
The distinction is important when it comes to how people respond to online news feeds, how they select them, and how effective the various fact checking services attached to some of the services actually are. Arguably, however, while these issues are important they are neither new nor are they simply the product of the proliferation of online media.read more
Facts, despite all the talk about ‘fake news’, are still remarkably robust.
Surprisingly, perhaps even counter-intuitively, part of the evidence for this can be derived from Wikipedia. While Wikipedia is the bane of academics and the delight of firms making plagiarism detection software it provides a consistent fact base for online searchers.read more
An insider’s view of how public relations really works