language insights

Our take on the most, and least, effective communication.

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by Scott Cesta


Kim Kardashian West, no stranger to media criticism, could teach even the best PR teams a thing or two about how to craft a genuine and effective public apology. Kardashian came under fire recently after announcing the name of her upcoming shapewear line: KIMONO Solutionwear. Widespread cries of cultural appropriation and claims that Kardashian was trying to trademark the word “kimono” led the social media star to issue the following apology:

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March 18, 2019

Spring cleaning season is approaching, but it seems like people have been in a cleaning frenzy all year long. Credit for that goes to Marie Kondo (author of The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and the star of the new Netflix show Tidying Up with Marie Kondo) – her name is pretty much eponymous with decluttering. Scroll through social media, and you’ll likely see posts from people proudly proclaiming they’re spending their free time “Marie Kondo-ing” their sock drawers and basement closets.


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February 16, 2019

Throughout American history, walls as symbols of division have played an important part in our political conversations.


The word “wall” first made an impact on U.S. political discourse in 1802, when Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to the Danbury Baptist Association, spoke of a “wall of separation” between the Church and the state. The metaphor helped to paint a picture of what he believed was a necessary divide between religion and the government in order to build a fully democratic nation.


Since then, walls have been built (e.g., India-Pakistani border), they have been torn down (e.g., Berlin), and they have been contested (e.g., West Bank). But not since Jefferson’s “high and impregnable wall” (as the Supreme Court called it in 1947) has the word played such a direct, divisive role inside our own borders.


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February 08, 2019

Last week, temperatures in the northeastern and midwestern United States dropped to record lows. Wind chills were in the negatives (reaching as low as negative 60 degrees Fahrenheit in some places), schools and businesses were closed, flights were grounded. All this and more catastrophe was caused by one weather event – our first word to watch – the Polar Vortex.


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January 01, 2019

Each year there are moments that define us--in news, in politics, and in culture.  And then there are moments that change the way we think and speak. Those are the language moments. The words and phrases that change the results of a debate or an election. The messages that shape brands and define movements. And that’s what we focus in on each December when our team of language strategists scours business news, pop culture, social movements, politics, and music to identify the messages that truly defined the year.


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November 28, 2018

Originally published on PR Daily

Under the pressure of a crisis, how a company responds is almost always the same: a knee-jerk response that tells their side of the story.

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November 28, 2018

The world’s first data-driven messaging platform designed to help communicators create effective responses to emerging and ongoing crises in real-time.

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November 19, 2018

Developed by language and messaging firm maslansky + partners and based on 20 years of studying the effectiveness of different approaches to crisis response, Dynamic Response™ uses algorithms to match the appropriate messaging approach to the specific details of a company’s crisis or issue to ensure the content and tone of the response is pitch-perfect.


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October 31, 2018

(Originally published on O'Dwyers PR.)

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening my axe,” said Abraham Lincoln. Similarly, the key to successful crisis management is the kind of solid preparation that can turn a negative event into a positive message about your company.

Here are ten questions to assist you in turning a potential reputational disaster into branding gold.

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October 04, 2018

(Originally published on Industry Week)

Language Strategy is the laser-sharp phrasing of a corporate apology statement, or the product name that resonates. 

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