Peloton’s “apology”

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Peloton made a controversial holiday ad. Then it dug a deeper hole with a non-apology that blamed people for being offended. Here’s the ad. What do you think? What’s the problem here? For one, the woman is hella skinny even at the start of the ad. The implication is that her husband thinks she needs … Continued

CBS shows Mark Zuckerberg is a human. Does that matter?

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CBS This Morning did a profile taking viewers inside the home of Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan. It was a big wet smooch. Will this help Zuckerberg and Facebook? Sure. Now we know that rather than being a robot with an evil product, he’s a human. Every CEO has an image, and tech … Continued

Note to FedEx: schoolyard taunts are a poor PR strategy

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On Sunday, the New York Times published a critique of the way that the shipper FedEx cut its federal tax bill to zero. Rather than defending itself, FedEx lashed out at the finances of the Times. While such tactics may be working for politicians, they’re no way for a public company to behave. Here’s the … Continued

Dear big company. The gig economy doesn’t work the way you think it does.

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I live in the gig economy. I work with large companies. Their systems are designed to make working with me “efficient.” In fact, they just ensure that they’re getting the highest possible price. If you’re a freelancer, you know how this works. Joe Exec, who knows you somehow (from seeing your blog, a reference from … Continued

Should you trademark a hashtag?

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Hashtags are great, but you don’t control them — anyone can post on them. So why not apply trademark protection? Because control and enthusiasm are inverses — the more you seek one, the less of the other you get. At one of its recent events, the Massachusetts Biotech Council was tweeting with its trademarked hashtag … Continued

Don’t let version confusion destroy your writing process

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The most fundamental principle in writing is actually . . . version control? It’s an unwritten rule. Like changing your underwear every day. And if you violate it, you are a barbarian. This is the least sexy writing advice ever. But if you and your collaborators don’t share a common understanding of version control, you’re … Continued

Despair, Inc. issues a funny apology

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Despair, Inc. makes posters and tchotchkes that satirize motivational sayings (you know, like “Tradition: Just Because You’ve Always Done It That Way Doesn’t Mean It’s Not Incredibly Stupid.”). And like any other business, they screw up. Unlike other businesses, their apology is self-deprecating and funny. Here’s the email a friend of mine got from Despair … Continued