BGR Insight

August 11, 2019

Media Relations Lessons: Be More Like Chick-fil-A

Originally published in PR News

By Frank Ahrens, BGR

If PR pros want better results in media relations–getting reporters to respond to our pitches, show up at our press briefings, interview our executives–maybe we should be more like Chick-fil-A.

This idea may chafe some communicators. As part of their philanthropy, the brand’s… read more

March 16, 2019

Twitter and the Era of Flack-Shaming

Originally published in PR News

By Frank Ahrens

Prior to social media, the most humiliating response a PR pro could expect was an angry hang-up or testy email from an annoyed reporter. If the response was silence, the PR person was forced to trepidatiously phone the reporter, which usually then led to the angry hang-up. Sometimes with more

January 24, 2019

How lawmakers can translate growing digital proficiency into good governance

Originally published in The Washington Times


How lawmakers can translate growing digital proficiency into good governance

The average age of a freshman member of the House of Representatives is mid-40s, roughly 10 years younger than the rest of the chamber. This increasingly Generation-X People’s House will surely work differently… read more

December 28, 2018

Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network Marks 10 Years

Originally published in Devex

Opinion: As advocates for transparency, we’re owning up to internal challenges

By George Ingram, Lester Munson, Tessie San-Martin // 19 December 2018

As the co-chairs of the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network, we recently wrote a note to our community reflecting on the year in aid reform. We also reflected on MFAN’s… read more

December 18, 2018

Hyundai Motor Heir Cements Power in Korea

Originally published in Forbes

Hyundai Heir Uses Year-End Exec Shuffle To Cement Power

Frank Ahrens

The year-end executive shuffle is an annual event at South Korea’s mighty family-owned conglomerates, or chaebol. Samsung, Hyundai Motor, LG, SK and others retire, promote and reassign their executives in order to… read more

November 16, 2018

UK Sterling Sinks as Brits Continue to Argue Which Foot to Shoot Themselves In

As I write this note, British Prime Minister Theresa May is talking about her commitment to her vision on BREXIT – there appears no THREXIT, or exit by the PM. The no-confidence vote requires 48 “yes” votes from Tory Members of Parliament in order to successfully launch a leadership change process, and according to press reports the no-confidence appears to have fallen short –… read more

December 26, 2017

West Virginia and South Korea – Linked by Free Trade

Frank Ahrens

Originally published in 100 Days in Appalachia

When President Trump came this close to beginning the U.S. withdrawal from its free-trade agreement with South Korea in September, jobs in Wellsburg, W.Va., were suddenly put at jeopardy. How could that be?

When heavy industry began leaving West Virginia, and Appalachia, for foreign shores, businesses that… read more

September 30, 2017

The uneasy path to tax reform

Jeffrey H. Birnbaum, opinion contributor

Originally published in

Taxes are personal. No one is indifferent to them because they have an immediate and tangible impact. Every person and organization either pays money to the government — or doesn’t — and that makes an impression.

Why, then, is the campaign for tax reform so short on… read more

April 21, 2017

Opinion | Federal income tax reform this year? Don’t count on it.

By Jeffrey H. Birnbaum March 31

Originally published in The Washington Post

The impossible happened three decades ago. Congress passed and President Ronald Reagan signed into law the first and only rewrite of the federal income tax. This year, Republican leaders want to repeat the feat.

If history is an indication, the road to full-scale reform will be tortuous… read more

April 19, 2017

POLITICO Pro Q&A: 'Gucci Gulch' author Jeff Birnbaum

By Colin Wilhelm
04/17/2017 03:42 PM EDT

Jeff Birnbaum literally wrote the book on comprehensive tax reform. A former reporter for The Wall Street Journal, Fortune and Time (among others), one of Birnbaum’s claims to fame is co-authoring the quintessential behind-the-scenes look at the last successful effort at comprehensive tax reform, “Showdown at Gucci Gulch.”… read more

September 28, 2016

Governing and Donald Trump

Donald Trump has been accused by his critics of having a variety of shortcomings. They complain about his temperament, his crassness and his whimsical approach to the facts.

What they underplay is his most glaring omission — his lack of experience in government.

Most analysts say that Mr. Trump has benefited because he wasn’t a politician until a year ago. Being… read more

March 30, 2016

Is Donald Trump the End of the World?

Published originally in The Washington Times

Here’s a pop quiz: What happens if Donald Trump wins the Republican nomination for president?
A) The world comes to an end.
B) The Republican Party falls apart.
C) The Democratic nominee automatically… read more

January 14, 2016

Trade: Where the Presidential Candidates Stand

January 2016 - Though terrorism and immigration have dominated recent headlines, the topic of international trade still remains a top issue on the campaign trail with a particular focus on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Among Republican candidates, Jeb Bush and John Kasich support the agreement, as do Ben Carson and Marco Rubio. However, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are firmly… read more

October 10, 2015

Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP): The Road Ahead

With international negotiators recently concluding TPP discussions, Congress is expected take up TPP ratification sometime in 2016 in the midst of campaign season.  In what promises to be a contentious debate mirroring that surrounding passage of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation, Congress will address many controversial issues underlying TPP including market access provisions, labor… read more

August 25, 2015

Republican Presidential Candidates Should Remind Voters That Management Matters

The Obama administration is a case study in mismanagement. Republican presidential candidates should remind voters that management matters. And it isn’t just about government process. People have lost faith in our politics and government. The next president needs to work tirelessly to restore voters’ faith in our government’s ability to function. What part of the federal government… read more

August 25, 2015

The Divided States of America

Alot of effort and enterprise has gone into speculating about whether the U.S. Senate will change from majority Democratic to majority Republican after the November elections. I’ve taken part in that punditry in these pages. In fact, the change, if it happens, will create a new and important dynamic in the nation’s capital that’s worth paying attention to. A whole new set of chairmen… read more

July 23, 2015

Early presidential predictions are speculation

Early presidential predictions are speculation

Friday, March 6, 2015

A debate is raging over whether Republicans or Democrats have the upper hand in next year’s presidential election. Most insiders think that Hillary Rodham Clinton will benefit most because she’s cleared the field of serious opponents and that Republicans will suffer because too many of them are… read more

July 23, 2015

Alumni Association to Honor Seven at Homecoming for Achievement, Service

Alumni Association to Honor Seven at Homecoming for Achievement, Service Seven alumni will receive the Ole Miss Alumni Association’s highest annual honors as part of Homecoming 2014.

Lanny Griffith (BBA 73, JD 76) of Alexandria, Va. will receive the Alumni Service Award for service to the university and the Alumni Association over an extended period. Kelly English (BSFCS 02) of Memphis… read more

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