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By Diana Dopfel Communicating scientific information is complex. Most of us aren’t scientific experts, otherwise there would be a lot more science in the world. Scientific information is also constantly evolving. Our understanding of the impacts of climate change has evolved dramatically in the past four decades, even if some still question the data. After all, the top scientists in the world once thought the earth was flat, and now we know definitively it’s not. (Though even...

By Mike Kuczkowski   It was, according to Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli, “a great business decision that also benefits all of our stakeholders.” Not so fast, buddy. Shkreli was referring to his company’s decision to raise the price of Daraprim, a treatment for toxoplasmosis it had recently acquired, from $13.50 to $750 per pill. Some 60 million Americans carry the parasite that causes toxoplasmosis, but most people are unaffected by it. For those with suppressed immune systems, however, like...

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...

By Mike Kuczkowski The first move for anyone facing a lawsuit is to get a good lawyer. The second move: get a good communications counselor. In Pao v. Kleiner Perkins, (see The Reputational Costs of Litigation), both sides put significant resources into communications. Pao lunched with reporters from Reuters and re/code. (Note: registration required for access.) The Wall Street Journal took an in-depth look at crisis communications firm Brunswick’s efforts on behalf of Kleiner Perkins. (Ditto.) I’ve been on both sides of...

DATE:       August 19, 2014 TO:             Tim Cook, CEO, Apple FROM:     Mike Kuczkowski RE:             Apple Communications Leadership Much has changed since Apple hired its last communications leader in 1996. We thought we’d offer some thoughts about the communications function and the role of chief communications officer, as you head up a search for the successor to Katie Cotton, who retired at the end of May. Admittedly, we don’t know...