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.
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.
January 01, 2019
Top Language Moments of the Year
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.
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.
December 19, 2017
The third and final installment in m+p's 2017 Holiday Series
The holidays are a time when family and friends come together. You see people you haven’t seen in months and share the highlights of what’s been going on in your life. But sometimes, what you see as a highlight in your life your relatives may see as a dark cloud.
When you have news you think someone may disagree with, be surprised by, or react negatively to, it can be tough to know how to approach the conversation. How can you reassure them and get them to see your point of view?
December 18, 2017
The second installment in m+p's 2017 Holiday Series
It’s the holidays! What a wonderful time of year…until your uncle asks you about politics; or that little cousin asks when you’re getting married; or your grandma wants to know why you haven’t gotten that promotion yet.
I know what you’re thinking: let’s just avoid these conversations entirely, and Uncle Marvin’s particularly bad breath. But just as you’ll probably never win the one good White Elephant gift, many of these conversations are unavoidable. However, there are ways you can speed them along or soften them up. You can practice ways to pivot the conversation.