Entries by Lindsay Williams

The marketing basic that most serious execs ignore

Storm Imogen is grabbing headlines in the UK this week, following storm Henry last week and reminding us all of the experiment being run by the UK and Irish Met Office to name storms. It began in September last year and since then we have had eight named storms including Abigail, Desmond and Gertrude. The […]

Note to self: Remember the Power of Stories

In Time magazine at the end of 2015 James Murdoch wrote about the importance of stories. He lists examples of transformative story-telling both in the US and in Bollywood. But on a darker note he mentions how the ISIS (Daesh) story of blood-soaked vengeance against western oppressors has motivated individuals all over the world to unspeakable […]

Seven things every press officer should have to hand

The lull of New Year is a good time to take stock and get organised for the months ahead. We work with many large multi-faceted press offices which have systems and procedures galore. But we also often come across the odd poor marketing person who has had PR added to their job description without ceremony, […]

A great speech dissected

The speech of the week in the UK was without doubt the one by the shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn in parliament in favour of air strikes in Syria. He spoke for just under 15 minutes:  here is a sample of the reaction to what he said: Reaction The Telegraph called it ‘spine-tingling’ and ‘inspiring’. […]

Choosing the words: the language of fear and grief

Regular readers of this blog know that we comment on the communication lessons of public events, rather than the events themselves. The terrorist attacks in Paris and Bamako, and the threats in Brussels are horrific and a challenge to modern societies on many fronts. The communication challenge One of those challenges falls to the political […]

A lesson in the need to prepare for obvious questions

Nine minutes into a 12-minute interview on Remembrance Sunday this short bit of dialogue sparked an apparently unplanned controversy. The interview is between Andrew Marr, on the Sunday Morning current affairs programme The Marr Show and General Sir Nicholas Houghton, Chief of the Defence Staff. (Sorry but the link will only work until mid December […]

How to manage a Flip-Flop

A new phrase has crept into the British political reporters’ lexicon – to Flip-Flop. The phrase has come from the US and it means to say one thing one week and something different the next. Flip-Flops and U-Turns   This used to be called a U-turn, a phrase that regularly made the headlines in the […]

The cost of negative bias: when good news is not newsworthy

Every now and then someone wants to hijack a media training session with a detailed discussion about why journalists are as they are; why newspapers and broadcasters obsess about celebrity and the royal family, for example, when there are more important things to be writing about. Another often-heard complaint is that so much journalism is […]

Corbyn, Authenticity and the New Mood

Whatever the outcome of the Labour leadership debate, Jeremy Corbyn, the rank outsider, a Labour type familiar from the 1970s and 1980s, has grabbed all the headlines and given the socialist left an unlikely hero to rally around. Firstly and crucially Corbyn scores off-the-scale on authenticity. He is a vegetarian and teetotaller and has been […]

How to dress for a television interview

People are always overly worried about what to wear if they are to be interviewed on television so here are a few simple guidelines. Don’t let the image distract The overarching principle is don’t let your image distract from your message. We train business people to do media interviews so in our world punk hairstyles, […]