Past Issue

The Flack™ for Friday, April 23…

By April 23, 2021May 7th, 2021No Comments

The Flack highlights changes and trends in the news, examples of communications practices, and content we at BYRNE PR thought you might find useful.

We hope you enjoy, and we always welcome your feedback.


Inside the Fight for the Future of The Wall Street JournalThe Wall Street Journal is a rarity in 21st-century media: a newspaper that makes money. A lot of money. But at a time when the U.S. population is growing more racially diverse, older white men still make up the largest chunk of its readership, with retirees a close second. Now, a special innovation team and a group of nearly 300 newsroom employees are pushing for drastic changes. They say the paper must move away from subjects of interest to established business leaders and widen its scope if it wants to succeed in the years to come. The Journal of the future, they say, must pay more attention to social media trends and cover racial disparities in health care as aggressively as it pursues corporate mergers. That argument has yet to convince executives in the top ranks of the company. Grab a cup of coffee for this deep dive by The New York Times.

Messaging Mistakes in the Wake of the Derek Chauvin VerdictAfter jurors found Derek Chauvin guilty of all charges, some organizations and public figures jumped into the fray with ill-considered statements. While a verdict has been rendered, the issues that underpin the national conversation about the tragedy—including systemic racism and police misconduct—remain unresolved. While a guilty verdict might offer some solace to Floyd’s family, the rush by many organizations to celebrate a victory has felt inappropriate—and users on social media are voicing their displeasure. Ted Kitterman, editor of PR Daily, reviews the best and the worst statements made by politicians, corporations, celebrities, sports leagues and more.

How to Answer the ‘Trap Question’ — Being a CEO is a never-ending challenge. No matter how successful you are, you still get asked social-justice “trap questions” like, “What are you doing about inclusion and equity?” Just by answering, you’re assumed guilty. Some of these things might be important, but are they more important than growing the company to create inclusive jobs in the first place? This year’s Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research Summit included a fireside chat with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who was asked about the social responsibility of corporations. Take a look at how Mr. Nadella calmly answered this difficult question.

PowerPoint Can Now Help You Practice Presentations Almost Anywhere — No Humans Required Developing great presentations is hard. Effectively presenting your ideas in front of an audience can be much more difficult. To do it well you must rehearse, get objective feedback and rehearse some more. But now PowerPoint is here to help. PowerPoint Presenter Coach (installed as part of a recent update) listens to you while you practice a presentation out loud. It analyzes what you’re saying, and can warn you if you’re talking too fast or slow, using filler words like “um” or “ahh,” or just reading the words off the slide (a personal pet peeve of ours). Trying it out on both PowerPoint for Windows and iOS, it worked shockingly well, doing pretty much everything Microsoft says it should. At the end it gives you a report, telling you what you need to practice. Give it a try—your colleagues will thank you. 



Feed Your Head:  An Ode to the Whiteboard, Corporate America’s Least Appreciated Office Tool




: one who provides publicity



: to act as a press agent or promoter for something

The word flack was first used as a noun meaning “publicity agent” during the late 1930s. According to one rumor, the word was coined in tribute to a well-known movie publicist of the time, Gene Flack.