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The Flack

The Flack™ for Friday, Mar. 25, 2022

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.


Shame on You’: How President Zelensky Uses Speeches to Get What He NeedsWatching Russia’s invasion of Ukraine over the past month has been gut wrenching. Despite the tragedy, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s communication has been nothing less than a master class. His passion, clear messaging, tone, body language and even his attire have helped the world understand the gravity of the situation and helped Ukraine get the support it so desperately needs. Each of his addresses have been specifically tailored to the audience, and Zelensky gets to the point quickly and effectively. The BBC breaks down how Zelensky has done it.

Shaming Apple and Texting Musk, a Ukraine Minister Uses Novel War TacticsUkrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, has tapped Mykhailo Fedorov, 31, the youngest member of his cabinet, for a unique role. Mr. Fedorov, a former tech entrepreneur, has used a mix of social media, cryptocurrencies and other digital tools to pressure Apple, Google, Netflix, Intel, PayPal and others to stop doing business in Russia. The New York Times takes a look at how Mr. Fedorov is rewriting the playbook for military conflicts.

White House Briefed TikTok Influencers on Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine – It’s not just journalists getting White House briefings on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Press Secretary Jen Psaki and National Security Council adviser Matt Miller helped brief 30 TikTok influencers on the US approach to the war. With more people getting at least some of their news from outlets like TikTok, briefings like this may become more common. Engadget takes a look.

The Future of Local News Innovation is NoncommercialLocal news coverage is dying. Between 2008 and 2020, more than one thousand newspapers ceased printing, and the number of newsroom employees shrank by more than half. Many people assume the decline of local media outlets has been caused entirely by the rise of Silicon Valley companies like Facebook and Google, but there is more to the story. Free Press found more than 40% of the jobs lost in the newspaper industry since 1990 occurred prior to 2008 and the boom years for online advertising. Local dailies were shedding jobs long before a few tech platforms reported ad revenues in the tens of billions of dollars. Columbia Journalism Review digs into the painful data and looks at the future of local journalism.

Where Does Mainstream Media Go Wrong? – On a recent episode of The Problem with Jon Stewart on Apple TV+, Stewart looked at right-wing, left-wing and mainstream media and examined why the stories they cover often aren’t really news at all. The segment runs 20 minutes and is well worth your time.

The Real Reason We Hate Our Inboxes – We all get too much email, and most of us complain about it. The average professional spends roughly four hours a day dealing with email. Should you take a day off, the backlog can be overwhelming, stressful and yes, unhealthy. One study found email can cause heart rates, blood pressure and cortisol levels to increase. But there is hope. The Wall Street Journal offers four tips to help you take control of your inbox.


Feed Your Head:

7 Expressions That Kill Employees’ Trust in Managers




: 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.