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Mark Penn vs. The Black Swan

Is "Traditional" PR/Research Dead?

By Published on .

A reader forwarded a link to this post, in which Jane Genova argues that "among what has gotten shaken up is the brandname of the Hillary's golden-gut public relations adviser Mark Penn -- as well as confidence in traditional PR."

She goes on to argue that the Penn-lead team was too cautious and drank too much of its own Kool-Aid. "That's exactly why uncertainty expert Nassim Nicholas Taleb has captured thought leadership globally with his manifesto 'The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable.' The key point of Taleb's observation is that since we can predict so little of what seismic developments will occur [think the impact of the Internet] we have to be willing to unlearn all the old ways of succeeding. In a Black-Swan universe, nothing is a sure thing."

I'm not sure that I'm convinced by the argument. There's plenty wrong with Hillary Clinton's campaign but I don't know that it's the PR. Some people would argue that the product itself is faulty. And even the best PR can't remedy that situation. Still, it's an interesting take on Iowa from a non-raving pundit sort. Worth the read.

Full disclosure: Mark Penn wrote a Book of Tens list for us in December.
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