We’re in December! This can only mean one thing…giving you snippets of quotes that we put together in ‘The Mid-Week PR Read’ from our PR must-reads for the month of November.
November saw all sorts of pithy, deep, fun, odd and thoughtful quotations by public figures. Check them out below:
“We’ve made the decision to stop all political advertising on Twitter globally. We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought. Why? A political message earns reach when people decide to follow an account or retweet. Paying for reach removes that decision, forcing highly optimized and targeted political messages on people. We believe this decision should not be compromised by money. While internet advertising is incredibly powerful and very effective for commercial advertisers, that power brings significant risks to politics, where it can be used to influence votes to affect the lives of millions.”
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on why they’re banning political advertising.
“I recognised him and put my hand out and said, ‘Lovely to meet you’, and you know what he does? He refuses to shake my hand. He says, ‘I am not shaking your hand.’ I am completely shocked. He said, ‘When you were culture secretary, you didn’t support my friends in [anti-media intrusion campaign] Hacked Off. I think that is incredibly rude. I wonder if people like Hugh Grant think they are part of the elite and they look down on working-class people no matter what station they reach in life.”
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sajid Javid on his encounter with actor Hugh Grant at the London premiere of Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman.
‘If you don’t mind, I won’t shake your hand because you were rude and dismissive to the victims of press abuse when you met them as culture secretary. Hugh would like to point out that the victims in question were not celebrities. They were people with personal family tragedies who had been abused by sections of the press….the victims of press abuse [who] reported back that his attitude in the meeting was ‘borderline contemptuous.”
Actor Hugh Grant’s spokesperson has a very different account of the same encounter.
“Whenever I am asked now as a very, very old man, and decrepit as you can see the pitiable sight you see before you now, whenever I’m asked by young people for a word of advice I’d tell them to start now in school taking part in debates or drama or music or anything which will get you on a podium and you’re looking down at an audience of people and you have to speak.”
The late, great Gay Byrne’s advice for young would-be presenters as told to Irish Times journalist Roisin Ingle in 2015.
“Political parties or campaign groups make an advert that looks really rubbish and then people share it online saying, ‘Oh I can’t believe how shit this is’ and then it gets shared and shared and shared and shared and they go, ‘Ha ha ha, job done’.”
BBC Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg sends social media into a tailspin with a slightly strange description of the delightful new phenomenon of ‘shitposting’ on the BBC’s Brexitcast podcast.
“I get a sense among certain young people on social media that the way of making change is to be as judgemental as possible about other people. If I tweet or hashtag about how you didn’t do something right or used the wrong verb, then I can sit back and feel pretty good about myself because ‘Man did you see how woke I was? I called you out!’”
Barack Obama calls out the idea of ‘Woke Culture’ and the negative impact that it is having on Generation Z at the Obama Foundation’s annual summit in Chicago. In conversation with 19-year-old actress Yara Shahidi, Obama makes the point that people who do good things have flaws, and that ‘call-out culture’ is not activism.
“I have never ordered any Testogel and I swear on my three-year-old daughter’s life. I would have no problem in telling you it was for me. You are telling the press I can’t get a hard on – my wife wants to testify that you are a bloody liar.”
Shane Sutton, former head coach of British Cycling and Team Sky, denies that he ordered 30 sachets of the banned substance Testogel in 2011. He also denied it was to treat his alleged erectile dysfunction. He was giving evidence at the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service in Manchester on behalf of the General Medical Council in their case against Dr Richard Freeman, who has already accepted 18 of the 22 charges against him.
“But it would be a considerable stretch to say that he was a very, very close friend. But he had the most extraordinary ability to bring extraordinary people together and that’s the bit that I remember as going to the dinner parties where you would meet academics, politicians, people from the United Nations, I mean it was a cosmopolitan group of what I would describe as US eminents…. On balance, could I have avoided ever meeting him? Probably not and that’s because of my friendship with Ghislaine, it was… it was… it was inevitable that we would have come across each other. Do I regret the fact that he has quite obviously conducted himself in a manner unbecoming? Yes.”
In a Newsnight special, the Duke of York, Prince Andrew speaks to Emily Maitlis for the first time about his relationship with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein and allegations which have been made against him over his own conduct.
“There is obviously a crisis, and though many people are suffering harm as a result, British journalism shows no inclination to do anything about it, indeed journalists prefer to pretend it is not happening. With very rare exceptions, no one writing in the press or discussing the press on radio or television is prepared to join the dots. It is as if the crew of the Titanic agreed among themselves not to mention that the ship had struck an iceberg and was holed below the waterline.
Brian Cathcart, Professor of Journalism at Kingston University London outlines the looming crisis in British journalism in an opinion piece in Byline. In the piece, he outlines at least 16 transgressions in recent months and argues that standards are almost non-existent and no one is acting.
“Re: speaking up — since resigning as National Security Advisor, the @WhiteHouse refused to return access to my personal Twitter account. Out of fear of what I may say? To those who speculated I went into hiding, I’m sorry to disappoint!.”
Key Impeachment witness and Former US National Security Advisor John Bolton takes to Twitter in a timely fashion to break his silence. (Surely he could have set up another account?).
“All this hate and violence is being facilitated by a handful of internet companies that amount to the greatest propaganda machine in history. Think about it. Facebook, YouTube and Google, Twitter and others – they reach billions of people. The algorithms these platforms depend on deliberately amplify the type of content that keeps users engaged – stories that appeal to our baser instincts and that trigger outrage and fear. It’s why YouTube recommended videos by the conspiracist Alex Jones billions of times. It’s why fake news outperforms real news, because studies show that lies spread faster than truth. And it’s no surprise that the greatest propaganda machine in history has spread the oldest conspiracy theory in history – the lie that Jews are somehow dangerous. As one headline put it, “Just Think What Goebbels Could Have Done with Facebook.”
In a speech at the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the actor and comedian Sacha Baron Cohen attacked Facebook and other social media platforms for enabling the proliferation of hate speech and misinformation.
“It’s sickening to hear this question asked and answered as if it’s some kind of virility test and without any context. Using nuclear weapons would mean killing millions of people. Those consequences should be made clear. (FWIW – and for that reason – my answer is ‘no’)”
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon of the SNP responds to Liberal Democrats leader Jo Swinson’s response to a question about the use of nuclear weapons on the ITV Election Interview. When asked by Nina Hossain would she ever be prepared to use nuclear weapons, Swinson responded with a firm “Yes” and was thanked for her “brilliant short answer”.
If you’re wondering what other stellar must-read PR essentials we have for you don’t worry, we’ve got you’ve covered. Just sign up to our weekly newsletter here.