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

  • Latest Thames Stunt shows that PR is floating down the toilet

    In turbulent times decision makers in any industry – be it CEOs, politicians, film directors or football managers- will fall back on tactics which served them well in the past, even if that past is growing distant and the tactic dating doublequick. The mechanism behind this decision is simple: the greater the desperation, the less […]

  • Shaun Bailey’s cake

    Shaun Bailey is in an interesting position. Standing for Mayor against an incumbent he is months out and 22 points behind in the polls with finances no doubt stretched to breaking point by the extended race. With no money or momentum – it’s now or never.Under this pressure, we get a glimpse of the true […]

  • Boris Johnson and headhunting hornets

    Is this a coronavirus fever dream or is Boris Johnson once again stumbling into a PR battle with Marcus ‘Leader of the Opposition’ Rashford?Johnson has just rejected Rashford’s campaign for school meals over half-term on the grounds that: “We’re in a different position now with schools back open to all pupils… It’s not for schools […]

  • The Government’s latest communications snafu is appalling because it is revealing

    Hot on the heels of the Chancellor patronisingly asking artists across the country to retrain in order to survive Covid – not taking the time to think that many struggling actors already hold part-time jobs.Just last week Fatima, the ballerina (actually a stock photo from the internet of a dancer from Atlanta) is told that […]

  • Burger King and the cultural appropriation of a working class town

    Burger King got rave reviews for its latest ad-campaign where it sponsored Stevenage FC in order to launch a challenge on FIFA. Hoping that the digital image of Sergio Ramos holding a cup above his head would grab attention, customers and headlines. Sports bible etc., predictably, loved it.Under even the barest scrutiny it fell apart […]

  • Extinction Rebellion – hubris and dissent

    Extinction Rebellion have accomplished an incredible thing. They have driven the discussion of environment collapse right into the mainstream. But just as political struggles all need to have passion in the streets and finesse in smoke filled rooms, XR blazed across the headlines to make the space for producers to create the recent Attenborough documentary. […]

  • Sasha Swire and the end of the Inner Circle

    I’ve been mulling the furore around Sasha Swire’s Diary of an MP’s Wife and it’s got me thinking about the mechanics which lead, firstly, to hangers-on attempting to heave their entire social circle under the bus for their 15 minutes, and secondly, to figures in power allowing this to happen through their own arrogance and […]

  • Reputation management in the age of Abdicated Princes & Netflix

    With the news that Meghan Markle and Harry Windsor are going to set up their own studio which will be making overtly political documentaries, it is worth considering the lessons that can be drawn from their closest contemporaries – the Obamas. Barack and Michelle have both done brilliant things in their post-Presidency, learning the appropriate […]

  • David Icke and the True Measure of Influence

    At a glance, this is terrifying. We talk and talk about purpose and authenticity but the ugly truth is that, with the right platform, a little style and some gumption, the conspiracy brigade is attracting a bigger audience than ever.It’s got me thinking about levels of influence. David Icke is a figure of fun but […]

  • Burger King and Ogilvy make gamers Twitch

    Screw the backlash. This is brilliant. With the advent of every new media comes the gold rush; the scramble for the advertising, comms and marketing industries to find a sweet spot in which commercial content can gain, or at least hijack an organic audience before the platform undergoes a Facebook style-hypercommercialisation. I’ve been a fan […]

  • Junk food peddlers have some of the biggest mouths in the media industry

    Ben & Jerry’s have always had activism at their heart but they need to be careful not to overreach and turn into BrewDog.A lot of our PR fables seem to be confectionary-based these days, but as I’ve said before, junk food peddlers have some of the biggest mouths in the media industry.The ice cream barons […]

  • 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 […]

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