The world’s best agency contract, by Segura

The Chicago design and communications firm Segura created my all-time favorite agency contract. Here it is:   This is even better than my “consulting contract without bullshit.” It sets expectations, which is the key to a good relationship. Heard through David Stengle and BoingBoing.

Garrett Camp brings mild and meaningless words to the Uber disaster

Uber has repeatedly screwed up. Its CEO, President, CMO, and CFO are gone. Now Uber cofounder and chairman Garrett Camp says things are going to get better. Sorry, Garrett, but hoping is not a viable plan. Peter Drucker said “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” At Uber, both are broken. The win-at-all-costs culture has generated a … Continued

How Delta and Bank of America justified dumping Shakespeare in the Park

The Public Theater had a cool idea: stage Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar in modern dress, with Caesar played by a Donald Trump impersonator. (Perhaps you recall that the play includes a bloody assassination.) Now Delta Air Lines and Bank of America have pulled their sponsorships, but their statements dance around their real justifications. While liberals are calling … Continued

Paul Romer set out to reform writing at the World Bank. He lost his job.

Paul Romer ran research for the World Bank. He took aim the bank’s impenetrable writing style, known as “Bankspeak,” asking for shorter, more pointed reports. That cost him his management position. I’ll explain what he was right about, why it didn’t work, and what it really takes to fix a writing culture like this. Romer’s objections … Continued

British Airways communicates clearly in a crisis

Due to an IT systems failure, British Airways cancelled hundreds of flights from Heathrow and Gatwick airports this weekend. The company’s statements were clear, straightforward, and sympathetic — a notable contrast to the overblown, self-serving apologies that seem typical for airline screwups. As the gateway to Europe, Heathrow is one of the busiest airports in … Continued

Ford, where euphemisms are Job 1

PR people, if you have something unpleasant to say, just say it. Hiding it behind euphemisms doesn’t fool anyone. Today’s case study: Ford’s plan to lay off 10% of its staff, which it calls a “people efficiency action.” According to a Wall Street Journal article, Ford will cut 10% of its global workforce to boost profits, with … Continued

Comparing today’s United Airlines statements (mostly right) to what they said before (really wrong)

Two-and-a-half weeks after dragging a passenger off a flight like a rag doll, United Airlines has released a statement about changes to its procedures and emailed all its frequent flyers. Everything they did wrong in the original statements, they’ve now done right. And the two sets of statements give me a unique opportunity to contrast effective … Continued