“Our private sector must stop taking cues from the Outrage-Industrial Complex…From election law to environmentalism to radical social agendas to the Second Amendment, parts of the private sector keep dabbling in behaving like a woke parallel government.”

- Senator Mitch McConnell (R- KY)

The gauntlet has been thrown.

How do companies maximize shareholder value while minimizing brand risk at a time when a generation demands that brands stand for something while at the same time GOP leaders just announced that “woke” companies are the issue they can win on in 2022. How do we lead?

Brand neutrality is dead. Since…

“Well, now, everything dies, baby, that’s a fact
But maybe everything that dies someday comes back.”

— Bruce Springsteen

Almost a year ago, I buried the remains of Timmy, one of my cats, in the tiny orchard on the corner of my property, where he loved to sun. This spring, the little gravesite is covered by Baby’s Breath; the yard is a blanket of Butter Cups and Early Snow Glories, flowers that until now, had been occasional visitors but certainly never amounted to a sea in the first spring breezes as they do now. Timmy, like his stepsister, were rescues…

Photo by Blink O’fanaye, modified for LEVICK.

“Poetry is typically the touchstone that we go back to when we have to remind ourselves of the history that we stand on, and the future that we stand for.”
— Amanda Gorman

Some of the best nights with my late grandparents were when we would ask them how they managed to get through the world without access to automobiles or telephones. And later, as we matriculated through high school, how they survived the Great Depression or World War II. “With newspaper in the soles of my shoes,” my father would tell me…

“And you tell me, over and over and over again, my friend,
saying you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction.”

Barry McGuire

What would have happened if Jack Kerouac hadn’t broken his leg at Columbia University while on football scholarship? Would he have met poet Allen Ginsberg or writer William Burroughs? Would they have started writing short stories and poetry? Would Kerouac have written On the Road? Would the Beat Generation have existed without it? …

“’Siehst du?’ in German, ‘Do you get the picture?’ in English, and ‘Tu vois?’ in French are more often than not metaphors that ask about understanding rather than vision. Across a broad range of human cultures, the visual sense has risen to such a position of prominence that to envision often means to understand.”

— Michael Paesler

We were a Life family, receiving the stunning photojournalism magazine each week for years. You didn’t so much turn the pages as see the world’s mysteries unfold.

In an age with only three television networks and a nascent local station on a fuzzy…

Almost 38 years ago to the day, CBS aired the final episode of M*A*S*H, a two-and-a-half-hour episode which was, as we used to say, appointment television. Long before the days of VCRs, America made it a point to be home in front of their televisions to hear for the last time that “Suicide was painless, it brings on many changes” over the whup, whup, whup of whirling helicopter blades.

Seventy-seven percent of the television viewing audience, which is to say, almost everyone in America, was glued to the screen. Since it was also long before the ubiquity of personal computers…

“I think that we all do heroic things, but hero is not a noun, it’s a verb.”

— Robert Downey, Jr.

Over the past few weeks, we have had podcast conversations with the likes of former Congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman, who, among other things, co-authored with Senator Ted Kennedy the Refugee Act of 1980, and co-founded the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues; Andrew McCabe, former Acting Director of the FBI, who stood up to both threats from domestic right-wing terrorism and an ungrateful President; and this week, Brandon Van Grack, who served first as lead counsel on what would become the…

Shortly after semiconductor giant Broadcom’s 2018 announcement that it planned to acquire CA Technologies — for $19 billion — a somber memorandum under the U.S. Department of Defense’s (DoD) letterhead surfaced on the internet. In terse language, the DoD document outlined the federal government’s plan to review the transaction for its potentially adverse impact on national security. Broadcom’s shares plummeted, even though the memo was soon exposed as a fake.

Broadcom’s equity value has since recovered, and the transaction went through, but the episode illustrates the toxicity of online disinformation in the business world.

Lethal Threat

One increasingly popular disinformation…

“Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.”
― Maya Angelou

What is the arc of history if courage had been absent?

No “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” No Declaration of Independence — also known as treason and a “death warrant” for its 56 signatories had the rebellion failed, which, by rights, it should have.

No 1964 Civil Rights Act and 1965 Voting Rights Act if the late John Lewis, Reverend Hosea Williams, Bob Mants and Albert Turner don’t lead the Selma-to- Montgomery march…

On Saturday morning I was thinking about “The day the music died,” Don McLean’s line from “American Pie.” Although I knew the meaning and remember the song well going back to the moment it was released in 1971 (at a shocking length of eight-plus minutes, no less!), I just had to look it up on the Google machine. There are, after all, so many references in the song — some we are still reflecting on a half-century later. …

Richard Levick

Richard Levick is Chairman and CEO of @LEVICK, a leading global communications and public affairs firm.

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