THE FAME FORMULA or In Search Of The Sons Of Barnum

The research blog for my book out in August 2008

Maria Sharapova’s PR is perfect so far – now the hard work starts

She may be facing the biggest crisis of her career but Maria Sharapova gave a master-class in damage limitation when she announced she had failed a drugs test. For this story not to leak out beforehand is extraordinary in this era of innuendo, which shows the level of negotiating power that her management have. The […]


David Bowie – the reclusive master of self-promotion (The Drum)

It was this time three years ago when the release of a song sent shockwaves around the world, from Ibiza to the Norfolk broads. David Bowie marked his 66th birthday by giving his fans ‘Where are we now?’, a mysterious but somehow so familiar new single, his first in a decade…


PR in 2015: The Trouble with Authenticity

In 2015 we all loved authenticity, right? The ‘New Politics’ engaged and enraged in equal measure. Cannes Lions was all about purposeful brands. FleishmanHillard launched a new product to help companies drive an authenticity agenda. Whether you’re a boutique dentist or selling bleach being human was at the centre of everyone’s comms strategy.For PR this has been […]


The Tory in Shoreditch Clothing

Pondering the 1980s Stewart Lee observed that culture itself seemed to hate Thatcher. Musicians hated Thatcher. Comedians hated Thatcher. Writers hated Thatcher. There were even aliens from the future in 2000AD comic strips who hated Thatcher. And yet she still managed to get elected. Three times. On May 8th the left were again confronted by […]


Fame and the media game: What is fame now? And can you enjoy it without press intrusion

As you may have seen on The Drum here are my thoughts on Cheryl. Cheers have greeted the news that our 21st century Vera Lynn has wed! So? Well, what’s unusual about Cheryl Cole’s holy union announcement is the manner of its outing. The impressive tactics deployed to stay below the radar before breaking official […]


Isis and the propaganda war: How the social-savvy extremists are dominating the headlines

As you may have seen on The Drum  I shared my thoughts on Isis. They exist on the edge of our world in a very different one. They know how to inhabit our imaginations and are the antithesis of our 21st century west and instant celebrity, excess, mass information, Justin Bieber and a rapidly moving culture. […]


Let’s not try to piss off the will of the people

As you may have seen on The Drum I shared my thoughts on Betfair’s stunt, or misfortune, or whatever it was, it was misguided. It may have attracted a few columns and conversations on Twitter but it was of the wrong kind. The old cliched ‘any publicity is better than none’ meme. Well not any […]


The One (and only) Direction. Change.

“Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.”  Wise words from John Gooden and not ones followed closely by many. Mel Gibson, Charlie Sheen, Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears – over the last 10 years we’ve heard the sad cry of the poor celebrity seeking help after divorce, hard-partying, rehab trips, sex […]


Hashtags & Hate Campaigns: Did Social Media Contribute to David Moyes’ Sacking?

Ever since it was announced that David Moyes would be stepping into the Manchester United hot seat last summer, the vultures have been circling around Old Trafford – and finally, it’s feeding time. Following a miserable ten months at the helm, the ex-Everton boss has this week been hung out to dry by his employers, […]


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