MARK MY WORDS

Mark’s view

Whenever the news agenda hits hysteria point, Mark offers thoughtful analysis, a wry point of view and an insider’s insight
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Latest ‘MARK MY WORDS’ Blog Posts

  • Fast Food

    Fast Food is a fascinating industry for PR-watchers, one of the few where brands still allot budget and freedom to big, bombastic stunts. In the UK we rarely go a month without a (largely very effective) Greggs wheeze, while across the pond an escalating series of shenanigans (of questionable PR value) has recently included Popeye […]

  • Rashford and the Fame Revolution

      I will be talking publicly about the repurposing of celebrity as a theme over the coming weeks and why you should keep your eyes out for this new style of celebrity.   First of all, hats off to Marcus Rashford. He has managed to force as many U-turns out of this wobbling government as […]

  • Banning Fawlty Towers is the stunt of the year

    I will be judging the award for best PR campaigns at The Drum awards later this year, and there’s already a massive frontrunner in my mind. The anonymous executive with an eye for mischief who has banned Fawlty Towers has done something absolutely brilliant. Let me explain. Any great publicity stunt combines celebrity with controversy. I refuse […]

  • Don’t mistake a splash in the river for progress

    When I saw that Bristol had torn down the statue of Edward Colston, it was a powerful event. An evil man of his time who made his fortune and built a city, lying at the feet of ancestors of the lives he ruined. It was a potent image, but I thought it could have been […]

  • Dominic Cummings – good manners cost nothing

    The key for modern unscrupulous politicians is to get between their critics and the electorate. Trump, Corbyn and Cummings have all spent hours talking about how the media is fake, bias and sitting in ivory towers laughing at the little people. It’s a potent siren song for any voter and Cummings clearly counted on it […]

  • Leadership

    Unintended consequences are often the result when leaders communicate without a clear understanding of the media, the crowd and their own people. Leadership once associated and celebrated for being able to create order from chaos, will now be applauded for thriving in it, with policies, that back in February would have seemed unworkable, now the […]

  • At What Cost?

    Reputation is hard won and easily lost if you’re not careful. Today, as the judge dismissed multiple claims in Meghan Markle’s case against Associated Newspapers, her reputation is under the spotlight again and will be the subject of many headlines and debates, most of which will examine her motives and image and fuel the type […]

  • WHAT DO YOU MEAN?

    In crisis situations we tend to move faster. We react and defend and there’s nothing wrong with that until any lack of thinking and preparation alongside, comes back at us with force. We have all seen daily examples of hope and positivity from business and people as well as what happens when any combination of […]

  • MEASURE BY MEASURE

    This post is a very different musing on the news agenda. The Last thing anyone needs at the moment is another perspective or opinion. Instead, it’s a collection of this and that, hopefully, so we can glimpse views together and not just dissect the picture on the wall.  It’s certainly not a how-to-do-it nor does […]

  • Let’s Measure in units of trust

    Money, hard times and political wrangling are good news for the media (traditional and social) For several years vast teams have been writing algorithms and toxic headlines to ensure that everyone is as outraged as possible and as often as possible whilst mindsets, whatever they might be at any time, are reinforced. The rumour virus […]

  • Caroline Flack – We Are All Guilty

      We are all to blame for the death of Caroline Flack. Even those of us who choose not to enter into the toxic fuelling of clickbait narratives with their ravaged commentary and opinion, still often view from afar and with an opinion. Our cultural addiction begins with popular soaps like Coronation Street, and the […]

  • Why Do The Propagandists Keep Winning?

      News cycles have shrunk from days to minutes.   Where once the attention of the nation would convalesce around iconic events from the Blind Date, Coronation St, House Party, Dallas, the Lottery Draw to mega football clashes  and the News at Ten, today it splinters into a thousand fragments. The water cooler has been […]

  • More about PR and precedent

    The #SussexRoyal PR disaster which has gathered almost terminal momentum recently could have been avoided if they had heeded advice and precedent and had a plan from the beginning which took into account the rules and boundaries of Royal media relations. There is no doubt that being a top tier member of the Royals is […]

  • This isn’t Hollywood

    One thing is certain, if you don’t deal with hubris and ego it’s going to keep on biting you. So you’d think that Harry and Meghan would have learned that if they want to win the press war, they have to lead it, not fight every word with petulance, stand offs and impulsive statements. But […]

  • Predictions for 2020

    It’s January 3rd and I have already been emailed several ‘lists’ of PR and other predictions and Top Tens. Mostly they say the same thing in slightly different ways. Anyway, I thought I would join in with a slightly alternative list and here goes. I shall be rudely awakened at 5.50am on at least five occasions to […]

  • Thoughts on a shattered country

    For a long time, I’ve known that moderates across the country were in trouble, but I didn’t realise that it would get this bad, this fast.We have handed our country into the hands of people who are willing to stoop to unprecedented lows in the pursuit of success. In this campaign they made promises and […]

  • Purpose What Purpose?

    As the pressures of a looming global downturn, reckless deregulation and business culture of chasing short term growth at the cost of long-term stability converge, it’s no wonder that we see so many corporate crises in the news. VW, Whirlpool, Boeing, Grenfell a few names from a long list of companies using endless denials and […]

  • Muilenburg should have given us some hard truths – not just crocodile tears

      Dennis Muilenburg, CEO of Boeing, appeared before the US Congress yesterday in a performance that had the stench of overzealous media training. In an attempt to appear sad-eyed and apologetic, he ended up looking like he was stuck on death row without the reward of a last meal. Conservatively suited and booted, Muilenburg was […]

  • A Prince’s ‘War Cry’: having your case and eating it.

    You know the saying? Goes alright till it goes all wrong. Prince Harry would have done well to have heeded it before he issued his latest scathing statement attacking the press. Whilst the timing of this statement may well have been taken out of Harry’s hands to pre-empt a counter move, it shows that vigilance […]

  • The Economics of Bad Taste

    I write this as we emerge blinking from the events of the past week, a week marked by two articles that have reached depths of cruelty that are reminiscent of the dark days of the Evil Empire of the Red Tops. Yes, we’ve seen the demise of kiss and tells, but these were a brief […]

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