Citizen Truths and Civic Principles: The Reformation of Public Relations

Citizen Truths and Civic Principles: The Reformation of Public Relations

At an event today, the great and the good in UK media discussed ‘where the truth lies’ in business and media today. Guests bristled through a lively conversation on a wide range of topics...
Milton Friedman is Dead

Milton Friedman is Dead

The Gordon Gekko mantra that ‘Greed is good’ is now oft-repeated in casual conversational references to an era passed, but those who still cling to the Friedman obsession with free markets and the doctrine that the social responsibility of business is to maximize its profits...
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Atonement

This Friday is Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement and the most solemn day in the Jewish calendar. I have long lost my faith and indeed struggle to understand how others find theirs. But religion still offers an important framework for ethical behaviour and quiet contemplation. A wise Rabbi once taught me that it is...
The Future of PR: Sleepwalker or Progressive?

The Future of PR: Sleepwalker or Progressive?

It may sound dramatic, but public relations is no longer fit for purpose. Profound changes in society and communications over the past decade determine this. Circumstances have undermined the credibility and relevance of a discipline that long-considered itself heir to advertising and first among equals. The expectation of a permanent presence at the boardroom table...
Ed's Radical Choice

Ed’s Radical Choice

It is easy to characterise Ed Milliband’s current spat with Unite as a putative “Clause 4 Moment” or, as he prefers to call it “an end to machine politics”. There is probably merit in both. But a braver leader is the one who calls for an end not just to machine politics, but to party...
Why CSR Makes Me Angry

Why CSR Makes Me Angry

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is an ugly discipline – a perfect example of a secondary market created through the failures of leadership and the shortcomings of the market society. Ethical behavior – what Aristotle would have called virtuous leadership – should never be sub-contracted to working committees or remote departments. Since its emergence towards the...
Do No Evil Lobbying

Do No Evil Lobbying

There is nothing wrong with lobbying. It is not evil. The ability of interest groups – of whatever persuasion – to make their representations to government is the sign of a healthy democracy. Even on matters of tax. The key issues are ones of transparency and democratic access; the remote leadership of those elected to...
Five Ways Business Leaders Can Embrace The Citizen State Within

Five Ways Business Leaders Can Embrace The Citizen State Within

Citizen-centric leadership in business asks that leaders embrace the citizen state within. This means co-creating ideas, strategies and programmes with networks of real people, increasingly active and vocal, and shaping the organisation around their needs and aspirations, to help better define common purpose. This may sound revolutionary, but it is an axiomatic consequence of the...
The future of business: what are the alternatives to capitalism?

The future of business: what are the alternatives to capitalism?

In this Guardian article Jules asks what the implications of limits to growth are for capitalist theory, the alternatives, and what it means for business Evidence shows its very clear we have reached the safe limits to growth in terms of the most pressing threat to human civilisation – that of a stable atmosphere. Therefore,...
Who Leads The State? (Part One)

Who Leads The State? (Part One)

The State has fallen from fashion and from grace. For many, it now encapsulates everything that is wrong in life: pointless bureaucracy; nannying interference; needless cost. The social democrats among us – too many falsely seduced by the Reagan/ Thatcher legacy – have failed to persuade, while market fundamentalists have filled the intellectual vacuum by...
Three Lessons from PR's Failure to Win on CSR, Social & Content

Three Lessons from PR’s Failure to Win on CSR, Social & Content

The footballing cliché runs that teams must score when they are dominating the game. PR consultancies often manage early possession, but then struggle to find the back of the net. It happened with CSR and with social and now with content, too – a failure to convert early-mover advantage into sustained leadership. We let others...