Every now and then I go back re-reading stuff that I find of particular significance.
One such piece is the Appendix to the report on the Space Shuttle “Challenger” disaster on January 28th, 1986. I have previously explained my link to the STS-51-L mission.
The Rogers Commission delivered to President Reagan its report six months later and Feynman, then a superstar physicist, played a key role in exposing NASA’s management misguided assumptions over safety factors.
The 9-page Appendix is great reading for anyone interested in the fine art of divulgation (download it here): never superficial, Feynman explains the mistakes made by management in rigorous terms but with what we could call, were it not for the sad subject, entertaining prose.
At the end, however, there is a sentence that I think should be learned by heart by all those practicing the PR profession:
[...] reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.
but, as I just said to a colleague, “Hardship forms friendships” and I always remember the people that toiled with me rather than the ones with which I had an easy time.
…with insight or entertainment or both, is a thief!!
Will be called “being Oscar Wilde” (anyone seen “being John Malkovich” ?) and will collect all the memorable quotes I come across where I do not know the author or I might as well have made ‘em up myself. Of course if I misappropriate someone’s else wit, feel free to rap me, although with the size of my readership I trust I can steal almost anything without being caught.
The name comes from the great admiration I have for the playwright, but also from my belief that somewhere in his life he decided to start blurting out quotes, knowing they were just that, quotes. A clever way of mocking the whole posterity concept, an example to follow.
Besides, when in 500 years people will publish a book of Catalfamo quotes, they will have a convenient place where to start.
Four hour Social Media planning meeting with five of the toughest PMs at one of our largest clients – very satisfactory, if half of what we discussed happens, I’m a happy man !
However, right in the middle of the most heated part of the discussion, when they finally were starting to see things from our angle, my mind disturbingly wandered around an aphorism I just uttered to respond to an objection from perhaps the brightest client person in the room. I cannot use the exact client remark, as it would betray the confidential nature of our discussion, but this exchange has already become a fixture of all my future presentations:
When can I afford to do Social Media?
Only when the cost of NOT doing it would be higher !