Friday, December 02, 2016
Oil exploration companies have pumped wastewater into deep wells in order to dispose of it. This has caused earthquakes in states like Oklahoma and Kansas. The tremors were not large but they were frequent and they did damage to buildings. Once Oklahoma and Kansas put regulations on wastewater disposal, the quakes began to drop. While correlation is not causation, the link between regulations and declining tremors is too large to ignore. This is why exploration companies should show good PR and find other ways to get rid of oil/gas well water. It won't be easy, but it is necessary. Continuation of earthquakes could easily put the energy companies out of business in both states. Citizens won't stand for continuous rattling of their houses, wall and foundation cracks and brick falls. A new and safe method of wastewater disposal would be a PR coup for the company that comes up with it.
Thursday, December 01, 2016
NASA and rocket vendors like SpaceX are beating publicity drums for travel to Mars. Never mind colonizing the moon. What America needs is an 18-month round trip to the red planet. The problem with the hype is that it ignores mental and physical challenges, such as astronauts losing vision during extended periods in space. The lack of gravity and exposure to electromagnetic rays do bad things to the body. NASA knows this but assumes it will be an engineering challenge to be overcome. Another issue is cost. It will take tens of billions of dollars to build a rocket, a capsule and deep space propulsion. Then it will take millions more to design and build suits suitable for excursions on Mars. Finally, NASA will have to figure out how to keep astronauts healthy physically and mentally. In light of these challenges one wonders why NASA isn't satisfied with the current robotic program that is examining Mars. Deep space is meant for machines that can go where humans can't. Hype doesn't change physical facts.
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Cold fusion is the laughingstock of the scientific world. Researchers who pursue studies into the mystery need strong hides to deflect criticism. Yet, some continue because there is something that causes excess heat to be created in electrolysis. Why do scientists risk their careers by pursuing such an out-of-favor technology? Some think they are delusional and see what isn't there. Others are dispatched as charlatans like those who propose so-called perpetual motion machines. I've witnessed this kind of science. Years ago, I was introduced to a researcher who believed nickel was the future of fuel cells. He would brook no opposition to his thinking or questions for that matter. The fellow was an established scientist who had convinced himself of the validity of his approach. Thus far, his view has not gained universal favor and his company continues to putter. Nickel-based fuel cells do work, but the technology hasn't broken through. Cold fusion is steps below the nickel fuel cell. Anyone attempting to do PR for Cold fusion is instantly branded as a crackpot, and perhaps, that is as it should be until there is hard evidence backed by theory for the process.
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
This is both smart PR and smart publicity. Domino's Pizza is using reindeer and sleighs in Japan when the snow is too deep for other types of delivery. It is smart PR because the company has figured out how to serve customers during adverse weather. It is smart publicity because the idea has sparked reporting and stories worldwide. One wonders if the idea can be replicated elsewhere and off hand, it seems possible in Northern Europe. The challenge of the idea is getting the reindeer to cooperate. How does one steer a reindeer and get it to stop?
Monday, November 28, 2016
Lies like this are sad, and it is hard to take them from the President-elect. Trump is a PR practitioners nightmare. Using lies to make a point is not what PR does. It bases persuasion on facts rather than falsehoods. There is little worse in PR than an untruth because the media will inevitably discover it and will attack the individual or organization that has promulgated it. It is fatal to correct inaccuracies by spreading more. The result is a lack of credibility for the message sender that renders him useless to PR. There are only three rules to the PR business - accuracy, client service and deadlines. Accuracy is essential because the media believe we lie, and we need to guard our credibility at all times. Client service is of two kinds -- service to the paying client and service to the media that needs correct information. Deadlines are essential to meet the demand for accurate information in a timely fashion. Trump has failed on two out of three of these rules. He is timely but he lies and has no credibility with the media.
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
This news story shows that anyone can be a victim of fake news circulating the internet. PR practitioners should be concerned. What they need is comprehensive monitoring of both legitimate and fake news sites. Much of this can be done through search engines, but the goal is to stop fake news before it goes viral. Once it transports to the larger internet, there is little one can do to block it. Like a weed, it is best to uproot it before it propagates. There isn't much that victims of fake news can do other than to sue, but that costs money and time and a business has to keep running to pay for litigation. Corporate targets can strike back, and should. It is unlikely that a progenitor of fake news has resources to pay a judgement against him, but the publicity will help alleviate the fraud. The First Amendment doesn't protect deliberate lies.
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
The media are biased against president-elect Trump. They don't like him and the feeling is mutual. This is affecting their reporting about him, especially when it comes to the transition. There have been stories that the transition team is in disarray and unable to announce cabinet picks on time. A look at history shows this to be false. Trump brought this kind of reporting onto himself with his ongoing attacks on journalists. He has motivated them to look for mistakes, whether true or not. This has created a pattern for the next four years. The media will hunt for peccadillos and blow them out of proportion in a game of gotcha. Had Trump shown the least sympathy and understanding of how the press works, they might have cut him some slack. Since he hasn't, it is open warfare. Pity his press secretary.