A respected academic posts a blog titled, “Spotlight on Ethics: Not Every Business Decision Can Be an Ethical One — So Where Do You Draw the Line?” Right off the bat he writes, “no one can go around living like Socrates, doing only what is ethical, moral and just.” I don’t know about Socrates, but if Diogenes saw or heard that line he’d grab his lantern and run.
Relax. This is not another holier-than-thou sermon on ethics. Rather, it’s a plea to stand for something more than just earning a buck, and to believe in what you do. Continue reading →
The other day a client forwarded an email call-to-arms from his president urging Marketing, PR – and by extension us, I guess – to develop a nugget that best described the company’s “differentiators,” to win customers’ hearts and minds. “I have a better idea,” I fired back. “Let’s ask him. He’s the leader of this outfit and ought to know.”
I’m fairly certain that no member in good standing of a professional PR organization or advocate of the Stockholm Accords – you know, people with finely tuned sensitivities –would ever talk to a client like that, certainly not in response to a request from the CEO. Only an ex-journalist would be so brash. Having spent much of our careers wading through the guff churned out by government agencies, corporate PR departments, marketing dweebs and the leaders of both the free and less-than-free worlds, journalists have a low BS threshold and get down to business quickly. Continue reading →
“I’m like God — I can do and say whatever I want.” Thus spake the tech columnist for a large print daily. It was the mid-1990s. I’d called to ask why he’d flagrantly quoted someone out of context. Fortunately there are fewer of these byline clowns in operation today. And that’s the real value of the online revolution displacing traditional media. The Gaddafis of media are holding out a bit longer, but ultimately they’re marked men.
‘Twas a time when, merely by accession to the throne of an important print or broadcast media outlet, a journalist exercised God-like powers. Still happens, but less so. Continue reading →