Plays of the Week


Plays That Land the Punch: Reid’s Parting Shot

November 11, 2016

TOUGH TALK This new analysis by Playmaker Systems reveals the influence strategies that underly today’s statement by outgoing Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) on the victory of Donald Trump. Predictably, they are high-engagement, high-friction plays, occurring largely in the pressing […]


Poison Play? Labels Can Backfire

September 30, 2015

As Apple brings its second-try streaming business online, incumbents Spotify and Pandora seem eager to dismiss the gorilla-sized insurgent. According to Quartz, Pandora’s marketing chief sees Apple Music as a wanna-be brand.  Musing on the premise that Pandora and his legacy rival, Spotify, are called […]


Warning Label: Combo Burger is a Combo Play

August 26, 2015

Fast food giant Burger King this week issued a tongue-in-cheek plea of peace to its rival McDonalds. The idea: To sell for charity a love-child burger…what amounts to the best of both worlds in the fast food business: The McWhopper. Like the tactic, […]


Excuse Me, Matt: Trump Accuses Lauer of Filtering

July 20, 2015

When Today’s morning anchor Matt Lauer asked Donald Trump if he’d say to the former P.O.W. and sitting senator John McCain what he said on the campaign trail, Trump cut in, effectively accusing Lauer of bad journalism. If he’d known the […]


Dodging Bullets: Plays They’re Running in Charleston

June 22, 2015

In the wake of the Charleston shootings, The Washington Post’s E.J. Dionne, Jr. writes of a culture of evasion.  He might not know it, but he’s describing the discipline I call Influence Strategy and some of the 24 plays that comprise […]