Shambolic, Young-Old, Chilly, Audacious, Optimum

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What I am watching for = May 3, 2019

Curation and commentary from Marc A. Ross

Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia 

Shambolic, Young-Old, Chilly, Audacious, Optimum


✔️ Brexit-fatigued English voters punish main parties in local elections

✔️ Life begins at 60 — the rise of the ‘Young-Old’ society

✔️ Chamber of Commerce faces shut out in Washington

✔️ Model aircraft enthusiasts prove unlikely foe for Amazon

✔️ Jack Dorsey is Gwyneth Paltrow for Silicon Valley


7 reasons your communications is underperforming

From my participation in the halls of power in Westminster and Capitol Hill, on the campaign trail from Des Moines to Manchester, inside multinational boardrooms and trade association meetings, I find underperforming communications.

Based on this experience, these are the seven reasons communication efforts fail:

1. No clear and consistent strategy

2. Over-indexing on tactics

3. Poor organization and staffing

4. No consistency or editorial calendar 

5. Know-how is not shared and made available

6. Efforts are reactive and by chance

7. Online activities not in sync with offline activities



WSJ: Brexit-fatigued English voters punish main parties in local elections

Britain’s ruling Conservative Party and its main opposition Labour Party suffered setbacks in English local elections, suggesting widespread frustration over the two parties’ handling of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union.

The vote was the first major ballot since the postponement of Britain’s scheduled departure from the bloc.

Brexit blamed for rising strength of smaller parties with Lib Dems making gains.

Polling expert John Curtice said it was a case of “a plague on both your houses.”

The Times: Local election results: We’ll sort out Brexit, parties say

Brandon Lewis, the Conservative Party chairman, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “We accept there is huge frustration and there’s a clear message we need to get [Brexit] done.”

These election results show one thing for certain: that the public do not like politics as normal.

Paddy Power has stopped taking bets on when Prince Harry and his wife Meghan's baby will be born, believing on Friday that it has already secretly arrived.

Bloomberg: For the UK, Huawei is now a matter of trust

Theresa May’s shambolic government, its handling of Brexit and now a highly-sensitive leak about China's Huawei Technologies has the UK’s closest allies wondering whether it can be trusted when it comes to intelligence.

Chinese app tracks every move that Muslims make: The Times, Chinese Muslims are unable to use their phone, fill up their car with petrol or even leave the house without being recorded by an unprecedented surveillance operation in the country’s far west, according to a rights group.

Nikkei: China in pole position for 5G era with a third of key patents

US and Japan lose market share, as Huawei and ZTE bulk up.

Pentagon warns on risk of Chinese submarines in the Arctic: Reuters reports, deepening Chinese activities in the Arctic region could pave the way for a strengthened military presence, including the deployment of submarines to act as deterrents against nuclear attack, the Pentagon said in a report.

A million people evacuated as deadly Cyclone Fani lashes India.

Trump is back at square one in Venezuela: The Times, the failure of Juan Guaidó’s attempted uprising in Venezuela represents a huge blow to Washington’s strategy for seeing President Maduro removed from office. The US threw its support behind Mr Guaidó more than three months ago, recognizing him as Venezuela’s legitimate leader and tightening sanctions on the Maduro regime. 

Cracks appear in US bipartisan unity on Venezuela: Reuters reports, Trump’s tough approach to Venezuela has won broad support from both Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. Congress, but this rare display of bipartisan consensus is starting to show signs of strain as the crisis in the OPEC nation drags on.

Standoff intensifies at Venezuelan embassy in Georgetown: WP reports, those occupying the embassy are largely American protesters given permission to stay there by Maduro’s government. Supporters of the Venezuelan opposition who have gathered outside since Tuesday are largely Venezuelan immigrants and Venezuelan Americans.

Veteran lawmaker poised to win Panama presidential election: AFP reports, voters go to the polls to elect a president on Sunday in booming Panama, with anti-graft candidate Laurentino Cortizo the favorite to succeed incumbent Juan Carlos Varela. Cortizo, a 66-year-old businessman and cattle rancher who campaigned on an anti-corruption ticket in a country tainted by Latin America's Odebrecht bribery scandal, heads into the election with a commanding lead in opinion polls.

CBC: Sask.'s highest court to release decision on province's challenge of federal carbon tax

The case involves the federal carbon tax the Trudeau government imposed on Saskatchewan and several other provinces on April 1.

But final decision will likely be made by the Supreme Court, say experts.


The microbots are on their way: Tiny sensors with tinier legs, stamped out of silicon wafers, could one day soon help fix your cellphone battery or study your brain.

Life begins at 60 — the rise of the ‘Young-Old’ society: As we live longer, healthier lives, the worlds of work and leisure are on the cusp of radical change.

Noah Smith: Blockchain hype missed the mark, and not by a little: The technology might still change the world, but all the skepticism seems warranted.


Trump finds in Barr the attorney general — and shield — he long sought: WP reports, Attorney General William P. Barr’s views on presidential power boost his status in the administration, even if he is not personally loyal to President Trump.

Democrats’ war with Attorney General boils over: NYT reports, Attorney General William P. Barr left Democratic lawmakers fuming after he failed to appear at a House Judiciary Committee hearing. Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused Mr. Barr of lying to Congress at an April hearing, which she said was a “crime.”

US added 263,000 jobs in April, beating expectations as record hiring streak continues

LAT: 2020 Dem candidate Jay Inslee's ambitious climate plan: 100% renewable energy by 2035

Inside Bernie Sanders’s 1988 10-day ‘honeymoon’ in the Soviet Union: WP reports, interviews with five people who accompanied Sanders on the trip, as well as audio and video, provide a fresh look at this formative time for Sanders, foreshadowing much of what animates his presidential bid.

The Chamber of Commerce faces shut out in Washington: WSJ reports, chilly relations with both the White House and congressional Democrats leaves the chief advocacy group for American corporations struggling to adapt to changing politics and shifts in the US economy.

Tim Harford: Real change requires experts to collaborate: Like scientific research, good policymaking now needs different perspectives.


OTD: In 1788 The Star and Evening Advertiser, the world’s first daily evening newspaper, was published in London.

SoftBank is considering audacious fundraising plans, including a public offering of its $100 billion investment fund and the launch of a second fund.

SoftBank pumps $1bn into Colombian delivery app Rappi.

Facebook is recruiting dozens of financial firms and online merchants to help launch a cryptocurrency-based payments system on the back of its social network.

Uber is alleged to have destroyed livelihoods and operated in Australia illegally, in a lawsuit brought by thousands of taxi and limousine drivers, broadening legal challenges ahead of one of the biggest initial public offerings this year.

FT: Model aircraft enthusiasts prove unlikely foe for Amazon

Tech industry insiders say hobbyists are effective lobbyists against commercial drones.

Nikkei: Amazon seeks profitability in Japan as it exits China

Prime membership fee rise means e-commerce group's other growing markets could be next.

Amazon says it will avoid a housing crunch with HQ2 by planning better than it did in Seattle: WP reports, former Obama press secretary Jay Carney, who now heads Amazon’s global corporate affairs, said the Washington area was selected primarily for its talent pool, but also because it’s “much more racially diverse” than the Pacific Northwest.

Adidas said that sales online and in China had pumped up profits and revenues in the first quarter, confirming its outlook for double-digit profit growth over the full year.

Sinclair Broadcast Group struck a deal valued at more than $10 billion to buy 21 sports networks from Disney, which agreed to sell them as part of its Fox transaction.

Nasdaq chief doubles down on data amid NYSE fight: FT reports, Adena Friedman tries to position New York exchange group as hub for technology.

Huawei overtook Apple to claim the No. 2 spot in smartphones in the first quarter, moving a step closer to its avowed ambition of displacing Samsung at the top of the market.


Jack Dorsey is Gwyneth Paltrow for Silicon Valley: The Twitter chief executive is tech’s foremost wellness guru, guiding his followers toward optimum cognitive performance. Or, at least, hunger.

RIP: Peter Mayhew, the towering Chewbacca in the ‘Star Wars’ films, dies at 74.

CBS News is expected to name two new morning co-hosts to join Gayle King: LAT reports, the news division is expected to name Anthony Mason and Tony Dokoupil to join Gayle King as co-hosts of “CBS This Morning,” which has struggled in the ratings over the last 18 months, according to people familiar with the plan who are not authorized to comment publicly.

O’Donnell is expected to become anchor of the “CBS Evening News.”

Dickerson, the former moderator of “Face the Nation,” is expected to join “60 Minutes” as a correspondent.

Enjoy the ride + plan accordingly.


Marc Ross

Based in Washington, DC, I specialize in thought leader communications and global public policy for public affairs professionals working at the intersection of globalization, disruption, and politics.

Clients hire me to ghostwrite, engage influencer networks, manage media relations, produce events, audit their communications infrastructure, consult on hiring, provide issue briefs and news generating talking points, as well as manage end to end communications projects where I assume a role of project leader and general contractor.

I work independently but provided access to a substantial global network of collaborators with expertise in websites, graphic design, audio, video, polling, data analytics, and research.

Using the latest tactics of an American political campaign with expertise shaped by being a practitioner of global business communications, I help clients tell their story and build trusted relationships with all necessary stakeholders.

Successful communications are all about STOCK = strategy, tactics, organization, consistency, and know-how.