Decoding Donald™


Protecting Our Fourth Estate: The Plunder of Politics and PR

December 10, 2016

Last month, when President-Elect Donald Trump convened a meeting of American news elites, he shocked us with another dissection of our precious Fourth Estate. You’re all liars, he snarled. A better word might be dupes. After all, the same media he claims to be dishonest propelled his candidacy and, in the process, traded their obedience to facts for entertainment. Just think of the countless face-offs between campaign pundits, Jeffrey […]

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 subclass. See for reference and this link for Reid’s statement:

We Need a Language for Spin, Believe Me

July 28, 2016

Call it influence, persuasion, manipulation or propaganda…we need a language and a system to understand spin.  From politics to psyops, from marketing to sales to PR to advertising and beyond, we need to know the moves and motives that fuel these increasingly powerful functions. Whether it’s a soap maker wooing wrinkled women, ISIS social media radicalizing young Muslims, or […]

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 the Coke and Pepsi of music streaming, Simon Fleming-Wood recently ran a Label, joking that […]

Obama’s Bluff is a Red Herring. But His Weak Hand Can Still Win.

November 11, 2014

Listen to Alan Kelly’s live segment on SiriusXM POTUS here…   Poker would not be poker without the bluff.  Just read this week’s The Wall Street Journal story on the ruse that helped Dan Harrington win the 2004 Poker World Series — an epic fake with a mere six and a deuce. In the games of […]