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Author: mike@orangefiery.com

How a radically new approach to COVID-19 vaccine communications could be the key to reopening society In the last week, Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna both announced results from two COVID-19 Phase 3 clinical trials showing efficacy of greater than 90 percent. According to company press releases, the trials showed no significant safety issues. (Full publication of the data is yet to come, as is standard practice.) This is great news. But as with most things in 2020, it’s complicated....

By Mike Kuczkowski In the summer of 2015, Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger wanted to be candid with the investment community about an issue that had been haunting the company for a while. ESPN was a very big and very profitable part of Disney’s $52 billion business, which at that point included Pixar, Marvel Entertainment and Lucasfilm. But things were changing. The rise of high-speed internet connections had led young people, in particular, to drop their cable...

By Mike Kuczkowski The official birth of Orangefiery was 2014, which means we’ve now been in business for five years. Boy, that was quick. A lot has happened, both in business and in life. In thinking about the passage of time, I’ve been reflecting on two sticky notes in my office, each of which has particular significance. The first is a piece of flip chart paper from 2014 that was the result of a one-man brainstorming session about...

By Mike Kuczkowski In 2003, I wrote a 367-word biography of Alexander Hamilton for Columbia University as part of the Columbia 250 celebration. I remember struggling with it and the 30 or so other biographies we had committed to write for the launch of the Columbia 250 web site (an innovative idea back then). How to tell the story in what was supposed to be 250 words of such an accomplished, intelligent, intriguing and comparatively underappreciated figure? So...

By Mike Kuczkowski   It’s been awfully quiet on the Orangefiery blog. Too quiet. Fifteen months since our last post? That’s outrageous! All we can offer is a typical excuse: We’ve been really busy. It’s true. Business is good and growing. We’ve got a dozen clients and eight team members. The work we’ve taken on has been challenging and rewarding. The creation and development of Orangefiery has been an intense and fulfilling journey.  Fifteen years ago, when I joined Edelman, I...

To understand Donald Trump’s lead in the polls, look closely at the narrative he’s constructing about himself – and America. Photo by lucky-photographer. By Mike Kuczkowski It was January 2004, and I was meeting with my boss when a colleague knocked on the door and popped in. “Hey, did you see ‘The Apprentice’ last night?” My boss and I looked at each other and smirked. “No.” The smirk was telling. The program, which was being billed as “The Ultimate Job...

A chart from LaCour and Green's study of voter attitudes before and after they spoke with either a gay or straight canvasser about their views on same-sex marriage. These data are now disputed. (Source: Mike LaCour's web site, accessed May 27, 2015.) By Michael Kuczkowski “… just because the data don’t exist to demonstrate the effectiveness of this method of changing minds, doesn’t mean the hypothesis is false.” This sounds like a weird riff on a famous line from...

Tom Brady, who is implicated in an NFL investigation into whether his team intentionally deflated footballs used in the AFC Championship Game in January. Photo by Keith Allison. Used under Creative Commons license. By Mike Kuczkowski In Week 7 of what was a tough 2014 NFL season, Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady was ticked off. It was halftime, October 16. Patriots v. Jets. At home. New England was up 17-12, in a surprisingly feisty matchup. At the time, the Patriots...

A pro-gay marriage rally in Sacramento in 2008. A recent study showed that engaging opponents to gay marriage in a dialogue about the issue was effective in changing minds. Photo by Kelly B. Huston. Used under Creative Commons license. By Michael Kuczkowski Years ago, I was part of a team that was hired to help a pharmaceutical company explain to America why its industry was a good thing. This was not an easy task, obviously. The pharmaceutical industry has...

By Mike Kuczkowski Last month, Silicon Valley was abuzz with the unfolding saga of Ellen Pao’s gender bias case against venture capital firm Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers. A former junior partner at KPCB, Pao, 45, alleged that male partners there engaged in a pattern of discriminatory behavior against female junior partners. Pao, who worked at KPCB for seven and a half years, also said she had been sexually harassed by a former partner and that the firm...