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Articles by Noel Turnbull

Come in Spinner: the worst PR disasters of 2012 — or were they?

What were the 10 worst public relations disasters of 2012? Well, it depends on what you classify as PR — and how the company/person/show is faring publicly once the scandal has died down.

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Come in Spinner: death of the man who shaped the rhetoric of the Right

Albert O. Hirschman’s The Rhetoric of Reaction is important because it explains how conservatives oppose change and what sort of narratives they use to do so.

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Come in Spinner: life in the political advisor wilderness

What do political advisers do when their team loses and can no longer work for the government? Usually they head off to a lobby group or law firm to bide their time.

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Come in Spinner: tale of two Catholic clerics, 50 years apart

While George Pell generates plenty of controversy, so far he has yet to meet the levels of Archibishop Daniel Mannix — the subject of a new biography. There are some interesting parallels with the current crop of Catholics, writes Noel Turnbull.

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Come in Spinner: is there anything original in politics?

It seems many anecdotes are just recycled versions of stories about pollies from other generations rather than authentic memories. Do all pollies just plagiarise from their predecessors? And is that OK?

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Come in Spinner: bad news for pundits who predict false prophecies

How do we judge the political pundits and economic forecasters that roll up to give us their predictions, only to be proven completely and utterly wrong? A Nobel prize winning scientist is calling them to account.

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Come in spinner: the dangers of journalistic innumeracy

The media’s inability to grasp the hard numbers and complex reports is good news for PR companies. Just not for society’s greater understanding of issues.

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Come in Spinner: Americans unconvinced by climate dogma

Despite the well-funded groups in the United States that push climate sceptic propaganda, more Americans than ever believe in climate change and its links to extreme weather.

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Come in Spinner: the perpendicular pronoun in business and politics

The lengths that politicians and business leaders will go to convey leadership and responsibility can mean some very irritating language choices, writes Noel Turnbull.

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Come in Spinner: Alan Jones and the crisis management strategy

Alan Jones probably didn’t seek PR crisis management advice before delivering his apology to Julia Gillard yesterday. They would have told him he handled it very badly.

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Come in Spinner: there’s something about Louise

What is it about Louise Adler that gets people talking? The chatter about the Melbourne publisher goes to what is unique about Melbourne and modern management.

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Come in Spinner: security theatrics scare the pants off us

Politics is often characterised as theatre and probably never more so in areas — such as security — where symbolism is often more important than logic and probability.

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Come in Spinner: will retrenched journos take PR jobs?

The US military, for instance, is the largest employer of PR people in the world and in Melbourne the number of PR people outweighs the number of journalists.

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Come in Spinner: spinning the monarchical succession

The media — particularly magazines — are heavily dependent on monarchical stories, regularly reporting on them through the frame of pageantry, soap opera, scandal and fantasy.

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Come in Spinner: out of caves our opinions come

Evolutionary psychology often seems like a “just so” story and it has the unfortunate quality of not being, unless we discover time travel, falsifiable. But it does have some very useful insights into how we think and act today.

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Come in Spinner: Disney, health police on a wavelength (almost)

The Disney Channel has managed to pull off a very successful PR coup.

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Come in Spinner: census red faces for ad agencies, politicians

The latest census figures ought to cause some red faces among advertising agencies, PR people and politicians.

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Come in Spinner: who’s who in the PR consultancy industry

A new report has shown some light on the state of the Australian PR consultancy industry and suggests that the once-dominant players are no longer quite so dominant.

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Come in Spinner: media relations — impossible to so, so easy

In the 1970s, legendary journalist and editor Richard L’Estrange (commonly known as Dick the Odd) described the then Victorian parliamentary press gallery as “a club”.

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Come in Spinner: PR and the ‘Samantha Syndrome’

If you have a dismissive attitude to public relations, you will be delighted to discover that research has uncovered something very interesting about young PR students.

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The social media revolution (?)

Everybody in PR agrees that social media is revolutionising PR — it’s just that most of them are a bit vague about exactly how.

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Come in Spinner: living on another planet

The modern science-fiction genre has moved on from bug-eyed monsters and spaceships and is now more likely to explore alternative worlds and realities — often interacting or existing simultaneously.

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Come in Spinner: a new narrative for Julia Gillard

Australians pride themselves on their resilience and the belief in our resilience is so strong that it can be used as a basis for a national narrative.

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Come in Spinner: PR agencies in a spin over sense of belonging

The PR industry is experiencing a bit of a kerfuffle at present.

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Unexpected mystery at the atheists’ convention

It seems like a bit of a mystery when you hear at an atheists’ convention what a good job Christians are doing to help defend the rights of women against fundamentalist Muslims.

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Womens Agenda

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Smart Company

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Property Observer

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