May 14, 2014


With no speaking notes for nearly 30 minutes, he spoke from the heart with a humility unseen and unheard of in today’s professional sports world.

With no speaking notes for nearly 30 minutes, Durant spoke from the heart with a humility unseen and unheard of in today’s professional sports world.

By textbook and tradition, we in PR are in the business of influencing, and frequently, outright changing perceptions.  We try to inform and educate. Sometimes we are given great stories to tell; more commonly we’re asked to elevate the mundane or, perhaps too often, gild the less positive aspects of a situation.

Frequently, however, it is impossible to evaluate a story’s news value. In this era of instant — and near constant — news updates, we are almost completely inadequate at breaking through the clutter. There is simply so much flowing down the information pipeline that one can’t possibly determine the relevance and meaning of practically anything.

By example, here are four recent “discoveries” that came into the Aloysius Butler & Clark newsroom that may have escaped your attention.

Starting with our celebrity watch … V. Stiviano, the woman who recorded L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s racist rant, had two shoplifting arrests that included stealing from Old Navy in 2004, but they were both purged from her record. Silly rabbit, doesn’t she know to wear a visor when committing petty theft and burglary.

Speaking of basketball, Kevin Durant, recently named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player, delivered an impassioned acceptance speech for the ages —  a litany of thanks and appreciation — ending with a stirring tribute to his mom.

From the culture desk… A world premiere that didn’t make the headlines. Felix Mendelssohn, perhaps the greatest child prodigy in the history of Western music, was a German composer, pianist, and conductor of the early Romantic period. He is surely one of the most thoroughly researched musicians of the 19th century. Yet, a short song with a lilting melody written by him in 1842 received its first public hearing on the BBC in early May. The song was “lost” for 140 years, but the original manuscript recently emerged in a private collection in the United States.  So it seems likely that no living person had ever heard this music until now.

And next, is perhaps the blockbuster news item of all time – literally! From our astrophysics bureau came an announcement on March 17 that described the beginning of everything and somehow escaped the radar of practically everyone. Evidence has been found of gravitational waves created in a period of rapid expansion called cosmic inflation less than one trillionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a second after the Big Bang. In other words, we can now see for the first time an image of these ripples after the universe came into being almost 14 billion years ago. This discovery has been compared to Einstein’s Theories of Relativity by experts in pointing the way toward new theories of physics.

Finally, in case you missed it….wait a minute…this just in…