Past Issue

The Flack for Friday, February 12, 2021…

By February 12, 2021March 2nd, 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.

What Not to Say After Trading Your Franchise Star — Being the general manager of a professional baseball team can be a stressful job, and it’s particularly tough when you trade your franchise player. You have to explain your rationale to the media and fans, and you don’t need to make it any harder than it has to be. Here’s a framework for how not to go about it—brought to you by Colorado Rockies owner Dick Monfort and GM Jeff Bridich on the recent trade of All-Star third-baseman Nolan Arenado.

The Case for Semicolons — The semicolon is the unsung hero of punctuation; it’s a period on top of a comma, and it works like both a period and a comma. You can use it to separate two independent clauses — two sentences that work on their own — or to separate items in a series that would be particularly unwieldy with only commas, often because the items contain commas. This article from The New York Times Magazine reminds us of the power and beauty of the semicolon.

New Amazon CEO’s Scary Meetings Make Sense — Andy Jassy, Amazon’s incoming CEO, has a conference room named “The Chop.” It’s where ideas, and sometimes employees, go to get chopped down to size. Despite the name, Jassy’s meeting management style isn’t anything to be feared. In fact, leaders could learn from it. Here’s the gist: if you’re going to meet with the boss, come prepared. Presenters draft an extensive memo in advance, and a lot of preparation goes into it. Attendees review the memo in the room, together, in real time. After reading and taking notes, attendees pepper the presenters with questions about their plan. The goal is to pressure-test the assumptions and data in the memo. This story from Bloomberg explains the benefits.

COVID-19 Has Caused a Spike in Book Sales, But Not All of These Books are Being Read — The pandemic has caused people around the world to spend more time at home, and that has caused increased demand for streaming services, board games, puzzles, books and more. That said, not all of these books have been purchased to read. Check out this quick story from BBC NEWS about why some people have decided to purchase books they will never read.

How Our Brains Process Speech — The average 20-year-old knows between 27,000 and 52,000 words. Spoken out loud, most of these words last less than a second. With every word, the brain has a quick decision to make: which of those thousands of options matches the signal? And about 98% of the time, the brain chooses the correct word. How is this possible? Gareth Gaskell digs into the complexities of speech comprehension. This four-minute lesson from TED explains how it works.

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How to Write an Obituary

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flack

noun

: one who provides publicity

flack

verb

: 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.