Past Issue

The Flack™ for Friday, May 7…

By May 7, 2021May 21st, 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.


Why The New York Times Is Retiring the Term ‘Op-Ed’ — The first Op-Ed page in The New York Times greeted the world Sept. 21, 1970. It was so named because it appeared opposite the editorial page — not because it would offer views contrary to the paper’s. Inevitably, it would do that, too, since its founders were putting out a welcome mat for ideas and arguments to stimulate thought and provoke discussion of public problems. Today that important mission remains the same, but the editors decided it’s time to change the name. The reason is simple, there is no geographical “Op-Ed,” just as there is no geographical “Ed” for Op-Ed to be opposite to. It is a relic of an older age and an older, print-newspaper design.

Does Tesla Have a PR Problem? — It’s a debatable question. Tesla does not have a PR department or an outside agency. The company rarely responds to reporters, yet its founder, Elon Musk, seems to get upset about much of the media coverage the company receives. Consider the coverage of a fatal crash in Texas last month involving a Tesla that might have had the company’s driver assistance feature, dubbed Autopilot, engaged. Many auto makers offer similar features that help automatically regulate speed on highways and keep cars from drifting outside of lanes. After the accident, Musk lashed out at the media on Twitter and later during the company’s first-quarter investor call. But Musk isn’t sold on PR. He recently tweeted that Tesla should focus on the product, and that he trusts people will arrive at the right conclusions. The company’s stock is up more than 400% over the past year, so maybe Musk is right not to be concerned about PR. Barron’s looks at the issue.

Girl, Wash Your Timeline — It takes a long time to build a good reputation and just seconds to lose it. Rachel Hollis, the best-selling author and motivational speaker is finding out the words she chooses matter … a lot. In April, Ms. Hollis, the 38-year-old author of the New York Times best-selling books “Girl, Wash Your Face” and “Girl, Stop Apologizing,” posted a video to TikTok that jarred many of her devoted fans. She recounted that while speaking extemporaneously during a livestream, she mentioned her twice-weekly housekeeper who “cleans the toilets.” One commenter told Hollis she was “privileged” and “unrelatable.” That was bad. But Hollis then doubled down on her comments and compared herself to Harriet Tubman, Oprah Winfrey and others. That’s when things got worse.

How to Lead With Humanity Through Crises It’s been more than a year since America plummeted into a web of overlapping crises — health, economic, political, caregiving, racial justice. As a result, “stay at home” categories, such as connectivity platforms, streaming sites and online retailers, have boomed financially. Yet, certain companies rose above the rest even within these industries. More surprisingly, some businesses have seen significant growth in revenue and public reputation, despite having offerings unconnected to or even disrupted by these crises. Business performance, in good times and bad, comes down to more than product offerings. It comes down to great leadership. What can we learn from looking back at leadership over the past year? Across industries, leaders at companies that have thrived actually had a lot in common. Inc. looks at the 5 key concepts these companies leveraged to be successful.


Feed Your Head:  40 Ways to Improve Your Writin




: 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.