This article was first published by the New Zealand Public Service Association as part of its Progressive Thinking series. You can read other articles in the series here. And you can access webinars about each article - including my one - through the same link. Social marketing – the use of commercial marketing and… Continue reading The State and Social Marketing: can we embrace change?
This week, 150 prominent writers and academics put their names to a Letter on Justice and Open Debate, published in Harper’s Magazine. The letter bemoaned what the writers felt was a growing illiberalism in public discourse. It was a curious and strangely unenlightening contribution to an ongoing discussion about “cancel culture”, perhaps prompted by a… Continue reading Cancel culture and the pile on
A really good communication strategy is hard to think up, and sometimes even harder to write down. But a great strategy can be the difference between effective and ineffective communications, so it’s an essential, if challenging, part of communication practice. Although practitioners are rightly wary of strategy templates - because every strategy will be different,… Continue reading Can you template strategy?
I haven't written much these past eight months. My last post was in late July, and by early September two dear friends had died, within two days of each other. For those two, and then in February for another dear departed mentor, I wrote the stories of what I owe to the people we have… Continue reading Things I’ve learnt from those we’ve lost
Public Relations Institute of New Zealand Changing Mindsets Conference 2019: opening speech We’re gathered here today in the name of change. Each block of presentations in this conference is framed around a different aspect of change, and each presenter will offer their own observations on change. And for everyone here it’s an opportunity to think… Continue reading We can be the changemakers
I grew up with comedy, listening to and reciting Rowan Atkinson and Monty Python while doing the dishes with my brother in our suburban Palmerston North kitchen. We would invent and record or perform sketches, and put on shows for anyone who would watch – costumes, recorded music and all. At university, we wrote and… Continue reading Can’t you take a joke?
In his 2004 book, Don’t Think of An Elephant, American linguist George Lakoff described the power of “framing” – the use of commonly understood metaphors, or narrative constructs, to describe issues or events in a way that makes sense to people, and means they will be more easily convinved of a contrary world view. Thus,… Continue reading Framing and Free Speech: are we letting the alt-right win the battle of wits?
I'm nearly 50 years old, I've been playing netball on and off since I was 11, and recently on the netball court I learnt something about how to be good in the game. Like lots of lessons, it’s possible I already knew it. But I certainly wasn't applying it in my game. And because I think it… Continue reading Life lessons from the netball court
“Give me compliments, I said give me compliments” is the refrain from a strangely compulsive YouTube video (pictured above). No matter what the under-appreciated protagonist achieves - getting to work on time, loading the dishwasher - he gets no praise. His awesomeness is written off as if it were “of coursedness”. It’s good to learn to live… Continue reading Can you live without praise?
If you’ve ever been given bad news, you’ll know that the best way to hear it is straight. Facts, stated clearly and compassionately, allow you to process and act on the news, however unwelcome. Last week I got some bad news. I was partly expecting the bad news. What I didn’t expect was that it… Continue reading Tell it to me straight