Category: Articles

Violence is bad for business. That view, held by a handful of Houston’s business and political leaders in the early 1960s, contributed to the peaceful integration of Houston’s lunch counters that decade.

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Category: General

Americans have long placed a high premium on their business, political and military leaders being tough and hard-nosed, or at least appearing so. While blatantly weak leadership is obviously not virtuous, behavioral values associated with compassion don’t seem nearly as highly valued for leaders in our society.

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Category: Articles

After the tragic explosion at the West Fertilizer Company (WFC) in April, 2013, I wrote that it would take months for experts to conclude what went wrong at the facility in West, Texas. Now, nearly three years later, the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) has completed its work.

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Backyard Energy

Jun 04, 2014

Category: General

"Will the current production rates of fracked oil and gas be continued if the lives of those affected are worse for the experience? That’s the key underlying question in Russell Gold’s new book, The Boom: How Fracking Ignited the American Energy Revolution and Changed the World."

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Category: General

A new book due out in May describes the role of one public relations man who helped birth the Houston Astrodome. During that same era, a hard-charging PR executive at Foley’s was quietly integrating Houston's downtown lunch counters. Their stories of boldly shaping Houston’s physical and social infrastructure intersect in the most interesting of ways.

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Category: Articles

Hurricane Ike struck five years ago today. But very little has been done structurally to improve the Houston region’s readiness. A proposal from Rice University’s SSPEED Center to build Centennial Gate across the Houston Ship Channel merits serious consideration.

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Why Crises Differ

Aug 14, 2013

Category: Articles

All crises are not created equally. Some company mishaps slip quickly out of view while others linger on at high cost for months and months. Explanations for the different outcomes can sometimes be found in the actions or inactions of the afflicted company. But frequently it’s the actions of third parties that seize upon somebody else’s misfortune to advance their own agenda.

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Category: Articles

Emergency responders and crisis communicators will for months be sifting through the aftermath of the West Fertilizer Company tragedy near Waco in search of clues and lessons learned.

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Category: Articles

The founder of TOMS Shoes, Blake Mycoskie, believes that entrepreneurs can do good business by doing good for others. He inspired me to launch Bridge Builder Communications last September with a business model of volunteering 15 percent of my billable hours to charities that are important to clients. After six months, how's the model working?

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The mind-numbing tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School and other school shootings have educators and public officials everywhere wondering if the next crisis will involve them. As someone in charge of communications during a highly charged period in Houston METRO's recent past, I was asked earlier this month to share my thoughts on crisis preparedness with members of the Government Finance Officers Association of Texas.

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