Rob’s blog

How not to handle a screw-up

You might want to think twice before booking with Jetsgo, if Penney Kome's tale of stranded passengers at Pearson is any indication: Other airlines called in more staff (and presumably paid overtime wages) to respond to the crisis. Not only did Jetsgo lack crew...

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Come one, come all

The as-yet-not-really-confirmed trend of post-Enlightenment Americans flocking across the Canadian border may yet translate into a real flow of traffic if the folks at CanadianAlternative.com get their way. The site promotes the Canadian advantage in Medicare, foreign...

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Speechwriting: the next generation

Just got a message from a public relations student asking me for advice on a speechwriting career. I resisted the competition-stifling urge to invent some dire reason why she should go into some other field ("You're very brave, given all that media hysteria about...

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Where I’ll be this weekend

The International Association of Political Consultants is holding its world conference this weekend here in Vancouver, hosted by my amigos at NOW Communications.Should be an interesting time. I'll try to resist the urge to buttonhole every American I trip over –...

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Fast, Cheap and Not Yet On the Air

Errol Morris, the film-maker who gave us The Fog of War, The Thin Blue Line and Fast, Cheap and Out of Control — and turned Ellen Feiss into an icon for people switching to Apple — has now posted a series of campaign ads for MoveOn.If you caught Ellen or...

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Insolent swine!

Just watching The Last Samurai on DVD. One of the samurai warriors who have captured Tom Cruise's character has just barked "Insolent swine!" at him.The writer must be especially adept at stifling his gag reflex to have penned a line like that. (So far, nobody has...

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Blatant self-promotion

You never know when somebody on the other side of the spectrum (waaaaaay on the other side) might take notice. (Scroll down to "Canada Votes, Day 3".)Sure, I disagree with him on the issues. But jimminy, the guy's written for a U.S. president. So he's gotta know...

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Radio Free Rob

Ever wondered what happens when you get three speechwriters from three different parties in a room together? (Pretend for a moment that the answer is "Gosh, yes.") CBC Radio's smashing morning show The Current did just that today, with yours truly holding up the NDP...

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Just a guess: you’ll never see these ads

A fearless prediction: at least one of the two Liberal attack ads featured on the front page of the Globe and Mail yesterday will never appear again.It's the ad attacking Stephen Harper for urging Canada to jump into the war in Iraq. And it's just plain indefensible...

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Add focus group and stir

The shock of election night in California wasn't Gray Davis's recall or the election of Arnold Schwarzenegger as governor.It was hearing commentator after commentator fall all over themselves to say what a great speech the victor gave.I listened to the speech and,...

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A dissembler’s thesaurus

Humpty Dumpty founded the art of spin when he told Alice, "When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less."PR flaks, including yours truly, have made a not-bad living from that advice ever since. But nobody took that aphorism to...

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