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Why Misinformation Persists and Thrives: The “Grand Conflict Against Scheming Enemies”

by Howard Fencl, Hennes Communications Hat’s off to Max Fisher of the New York Times for settling a question roiling dinner tables and family rooms across the country in this ceaseless topsy-turvy age of misinformation: How on earth can people believe the outlandish viral nonsense that persists and thrives on social media? Child sex trafficking […]


Lessons From the Pandemic: Gearing Up for the 2021-22 School Year

By Thom Fladung, Hennes Communications Congratulations, School Leaders. You survived 2020-21 – a school year unlike any other, featuring the continuation of a public health pandemic, the most hyper-charged political atmosphere in memory and social justice issues that roiled the nation. Your reward: Start getting ready for 2021-22. But unlike, say, January 2020, when we […]


Lawyers & Outrage Management – Why Do Attorneys Usually Dislike Outrage Management? 

Regular readers of this newsletter know that one of our favorite writers and consultants is Dr. Peter M. Sandman. Creator of the “Risk = Hazard + Outrage” formula for risk communication, Peter Sandman is one of the preeminent risk communication speakers and consultants in the United States today, and has also worked extensively in Europe, […]


Misinformation, Disinformation and Hoaxes: What’s the Difference?

From Michael J. O’Brien and Izzat Alsmadi, writing for The Conversation… Sorting through the vast amount of information created and shared online is challenging, even for the experts. Just talking about this ever-shifting landscape is confusing, with terms like “misinformation,” “disinformation” and “hoax” getting mixed up with buzzwords like “fake news.” Misinformation is perhaps the […]


Annual Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community – Office of the Director of National Intelligence

Next to Warren Buffett’s annual letter to stockholders, one of the most eagerly anticipated document every year is the Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community.  From Wikipedia: This report is delivered at a hearing of the US Senate Select Intelligence Committee that has occurred each year since 2006, until 2020. Each hearing includes at least one […]


As Disney is Criticized for ‘Wokeness,’ Some PR Pros Like New Direction

From Sophie Maerowitz, writing for PR News… A Las Vegas man has gone viral for criticizing Disney World’s socially conscious updates to employee guidelines and its signature theme rides. In an opinion column for the Orlando Sentinel titled “I love Disney World, but wokeness is ruining the experience,” Jonathan VanBoskerck expresses his frustration with the theme park. […]


The Slander Industry

From Aaron Krolik and Kashmir Hill writing for The New York Times… At first glance, the websites appear amateurish. They have names like BadGirlReports.date, BustedCheaters.com and WorstHomeWrecker.com. Photos are badly cropped. Grammar and spelling are afterthoughts. They are clunky and text-heavy, as if they’re intended to be read by machines, not humans. But do not […]


It’s War: The New Dilemma For Corporations And Social Issues

After you read the article by Richard Levick below, we hope you’ll also read two articles we wrote for the National Law Review on a companion subject: Political Action Committee & Personal Political Contributions Become the Next Reputational Challenge for Law Firms & Their Clients Political Action Committee & Personal Political Contributions Revisited – Only […]


Landmark Case May Dictate How Far School Districts Can Go in Disciplining Student Speech Online

By Nora Jacobs, Hennes Communications A Pennsylvania student’s decision to express her frustration about being passed over for promotion on the cheerleading squad will mark the U.S. Supreme Court’s first review of the limits of free speech for students in the age of social media when it rules on a case heard April 28.  School […]


Few Facts, Millions Of Clicks: Fearmongering Vaccine Stories Go Viral Online

From Miles Parks at National Public Radio… The odds of dying after getting a COVID-19 vaccine are virtually nonexistent. According to recent data from the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, you’re three times more likely to get struck by lightning. But you might not know that from looking at your social media feed. A new NPR analysis finds […]


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