Playmaker’s Blog


Strategies for White House Reporters: Don’t Fight Trump, Play Him

January 7, 2019

When seasoned anglers hook a big one they know better than to fight the fish. Against their instincts they know to let ‘er run, to let their catch beat itself through impulse and exhaustion. In my experience most journalists lack this sensibility and training, and from my perch in Washington, D.C., this seems particularly true […]

Edward Bernays Foresaw Our Fakery. That’s Why PR Throws Him Under the Bus.

December 15, 2018

An excited member of the PR trade recently tweeted, “Strategic Communications and #PR is an ethical practice. We’ve come a long way from Edward Bernays.” She was referring to the publication of 16 new principles of ethical practice by Global Alliance, a collective of PR practitioners, academics and associations. And she was throwing the father […]

Trump’s Lesson for Communicators: Be Fast

November 8, 2018

For all the plays that President Donald Trump runs it might be speed more than strategy that gives the president his unique political edge. Even when he’s been beaten. In the wake of a midterm thumping, Trump delivered another clinic in perception management and information warfare. By 8 a.m., he tweeted to House Democrats that […]

Kavanaugh v. Ford is a Lesson for Business: Preempt Don’t Pause

October 3, 2018

At this moment in Swampsville, Republicans are winning the framing game, arguing that Democrats are delaying and obstructing the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh. They’re recasting Sen. Diane Feinstein’s stated commitment to Christine Blasey Ford’s privacy as a fraud enabled by a leak. And it’s working, but more because of the minority party’s timidity than the majority’s […]

Kavanaugh v. Ford: The Judge Will Freeze, The Doctor Will Test

September 27, 2018

Thursday’s epic face off between SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh and his 11th-hour accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, is sure to inspire a bevy of studies on their words and rhetoric. Here’s my analysis of the influence plays that the nominated judge and aggrieved doctor will run on itchy senators and a mesmerized public. Using the ChopTalk […]