Past Issue

The Flack for Friday, March 26 2021…

By March 26, 2021April 9th, 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.

Ellen DeGeneres Loses 1 Million Viewers After Apology for Toxic WorkplaceA toxic workplace is never a good thing, but a tone-deaf apology can make things much, much worse. Ever since Ellen DeGeneres’ toxic workplace scandal last year, her show has reportedly taken a significant hit in the ratings — losing more than one million viewers since September, when Ellen opened the new season with an apology over accusations of a toxic work environment. The decline has come at a time when workplace behavior, in Hollywood and elsewhere, has come under intense scrutiny against a backdrop of protest and social change. This story from The New York Times reviews Ellen’s apology and fall from grace.

Does Your Office Have a Jargon Problem? — Jargon is everywhere. It’s in every office, every Zoom and every business conversation. And it seems to be getting worse. Workplace jargon is a staple of the modern organization. People love to complain about jargon, saying it’s unnecessary, empty, pretentious or hard to understand. Many industry and government leaders criticize it or have even tried to regulate its use. Despite these complaints, jargon continues to thrive in most professions. But, if jargon is so disliked, why is it so common? Harvard Business Review takes a deep dive and explains ways to begin eliminating jargon in your workplace.

Public Speaking Advice You’ve Never Heard Before, From The ‘Anti-Speech Writer’Susie Ashfield is a trained actor and one of the U.K.’s youngest speech coaches for CEOs and brands all over the world. After years of waitressing, Ashfield entered the corporate world and noticed even top executives had a difficult time with public speaking, often making things uncomfortable for both them and their audience. Because of her background in acting, Ashfield would receive requests for help from execs ahead of speeches and presentations—and soon enough, she was making a living out of bridging the gap between performance art and the corporate environment. Here are her five best (and most unconventional) pieces of advice for anyone who wants to look good, feel good and sound good the next time they find themselves in front of an audience.

50-Cent Words Are No BargainLike jargon, 50-cent words and unnecessarily complicated language are everywhere. Sports announcers will refer to an 89-85 score as a 4-point “differential” when “difference” or “lead” would have done just fine. Journalists will use “replicate,” when “duplicate” or “copy” would have been as effective. The same people are also likely to reach for replicate’s hazy neighbor “recalibrate,” when what they have in mind is usually nothing more than “reconsider.” Why are people, especially many who make their living through the use of language, attracted by these and so many other hollow words? This quick read (or 6-minute listen) from The Wall Street Journal digs into the consequences of this trend.



Feed Your Head: 11 Common Grammar Mistakes That Make You Look Dumb


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.