The COVID-19 crisis is a gift for savvy politicians

Trudeau, for example, has learned that just standing in front of a mic and sounding sincere is about all he needs to do to emerge a political winner

The COVID-19 crisis is a gift for savvy politiciansA lot of us are finding we have the luxury of unexpected spare time while we wait to bust out of COVID jail. I am happily using some of my newfound time to slog my way through Churchill: Walking with Destiny, Andrew Roberts’ brilliant and exhaustive examination of one of the greatest leaders of the…

Only Trudeau could cause a PR nightmare while joining a relief effort

What would possess the ‘selfie PM’ to smile for the cameras at a flood zone with people’s lives hanging in the balance?

Only Trudeau could cause a PR nightmare while joining a relief effortThere are pros and cons to a national leader appearing at a natural disaster. For every act of goodwill, someone will question the motive behind this visit. For every bead of sweat on the brow, someone will wonder if he or she wouldn’t rather be somewhere else. By and large, the positives far outweigh the…

The increasing – and disturbing – militarization of U.S. sports

The NFL and other pro sports leagues don't celebrate the military as gestures of patriotism. The only motivating factor is money

The increasing – and disturbing – militarization of U.S. sportsAmerica’s major professional sports leagues – most notably the National Football League – have increasingly teamed with the military and corporations to serve up ugly forms of paid and forced patriotism. “The melding of sports and the military should be seen as inappropriate, if not insidious,” says William Astore, a retired U.S. Air Force lieutenant-colonel…

Professional sports turning grieving into a PR scam

The great divide in sports is spurred by phoney patriotism and over-commercialization

Professional sports turning grieving into a PR scamWhen President George W. Bush took the mound at Yankee Stadium to throw out the first pitch following the horrific 9/11 attacks, sports helped bring the United States together as a country. As Howard Bryant recently wrote, sports were a “healing balm” for a hurting nation. But since then, pro sports owners and big-time college…

10 steps to losing in the court of public opinion

How you can easily stumble in the world of politics, public relations and the law

10 steps to losing in the court of public opinionThere are lots of rules to remember about politics, public relations and the law. Here are 10: Don’t brag about hiring private investigators.  For example, in the middle of a #MeToo-type full-blown crisis, don’t have one of your people go on a radio program and say you’ve hired private detectives to do a “forensic” investigation.…

The western media’s appalling embrace of North Korea

The international media is so blind in its disdain for Trump that they are whitewashing the crimes of one of the world’s most repressive regimes

The western media’s appalling embrace of North KoreaThe government of Kim Jong-un is one of the world’s most repressive, holding North Korea’s 25 million people in a virtual slave state. A third or more of North Koreans suffer from malnutrition. The regime’s penal camps are among the harshest on Earth, with a reported 20 per cent of inmates dying within 12 months…

The genius of Loblaws’ $25 gift card campaign

This PR masterstroke by Loblaws has allowed the company to take control of the narrative and dodge, for now, consumer mistrust

The genius of Loblaws’ $25 gift card campaignLoblaws’ gift of $25 to all Canadians is really just part of a smoke-and-mirrors campaign. In December, Loblaws confessed to running a price-fixing scheme on bread with supplier Weston Bakeries, a sister company. As of Jan. 8, anyone can go online and register for a $25 gift card, to be redeemed at any Loblaw Companies Ltd.-owned stores.…

Loblaw, Weston bake the numbers, burn consumers

As shocking as it was, most of us will eventually forget Loblaw‘s admission of price-fixing. Let’s hope the industry doesn’t

Loblaw, Weston bake the numbers, burn consumersMost Canadians were stunned and dismayed to learn that the country’s leading grocer was caught up in a price-fixing scheme with bread-maker George Weston Ltd., which is owned by the same company. The scheme lasted from 2001 to 2015. As a result, Loblaw Companies Ltd. fired several people and gave $25 gift certificates to millions…

Cameras in tow, Trudeau is a polarizing figure

Conservative partisans detest the prime minister because he’s really good at visuals. And conservative politicians generally aren’t

Cameras in tow, Trudeau is a polarizing figureConservatives really, really don’t like Justin Trudeau. I’m a regular on Evan Solomon’s CFRA radio show with Alise Mills and Karl Belanger. My friends Mills and Belanger are articulate and thoughtful advocates (unlike me), and they’re prepared to criticize their own political party when it is warranted (like me). Solomon invites us onto his much-listened-to…