Past Issue

The Flack for Friday, September 24, 2020…

By September 25, 2020November 19th, 2020No 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.

A Call to Digital Arms, ‘The Social Dilemma’ Demands Change — Jeff Orlowski’s new documentary, The Social Dilemma, is a lot like its subject: social media. It’s fascinating, terrifying and hard to turn away from. The film, which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in January and is now available on Netflix, takes a comprehensive look at surveillance capitalism, the work that goes into getting you addicted and the unimaginable result it has had on society. Check out this review from the Los Angeles Times or click here to see the trailer.

Intelligent Minds Like Tim Cook and Jeff Bezos Embrace the Rule of Awkward Silence. You Should Too. — Tim Cook and Jeff Bezos run two of the most valuable and important companies in the world, and both practice the rule of awkward silence. The rule is simple. When faced with a challenging question, pause and think deeply for several seconds before answering. It has always been a valuable tool of emotional intelligence, but in today’s world of instant gratification, the rule of awkward silence is more valuable than ever. This brief story from Inc. explains the power of the pause.

Land of Free (and Unfettered) Speech — In this age of technological and social change, many Americans are struggling to figure out the new rules of political discussion. So why do many Americans feel it is getting harder to speak freely? According to a July poll by the Cato Institute, 62% of Americans agreed with the statement, “The political climate these days prevents me from saying things I believe because others might find them offensive.” That included 77% of self-identified conservatives, but also 52% of liberals. Check out this deep dive into the state of free speech by The Wall Street Journal.

Ellen Degeneres Sort of Apologizes — Ellen Degeneres started the 18th season of her daytime talk show this week with a lengthy apology about her behavior toward her staff and for creating a toxic work environment. While at times the apology seemed sincere, Degeneres filled the apology with jokes and mentioned several times how difficult this situation has been for her. This has led to some sharp responses from her staff and others affected by her behavior. If you are going to make a public apology (particularly on national TV), try to make sure you don’t upset the people you are apologizing to. You can watch the apology here.

Six Verbs That Make You Sound Weak — Words matter … a lot. Sometimes we don’t stop to think about it, but the words we use affect how others perceive us. And weak verbs can make us look and sound uncertain. For example, “I think our company is well positioned for growth,” vs. “Our company is well positioned for growth.” See the difference? Eliminating “I think” takes the sentence from weak and subjective to confident and declarative. Check out this article from Fast Company that lists common, weak verbs to avoid.


An Obit Worth Reading:

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court’s Feminist Icon, is Dead at 87




: 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.