Oregon Tourism Job Alert, Edelman 💑 Saudis, Serifs Return to Electronics
Plus Substack follies, Work Friends, and an interview with a loudmouth (me).
⦾ Cool Job Alert
Over a decade ago, I lived in Oregon. It was a brief interlude, but I spent many weekends driving from Eugene—where I lived before moving to Portland—to the Oregon coast. Specifically to Yachats (Yaw-Hots), where some friends had a small farm a couple miles in from the coast. It’s a quiet, moody place, like much of the rest of the Pacific Northwest coastline, and strikingly beautiful.
The city of Yachats is seeking a tourism marketing lead to promote the area and its many activities, such as wearing a light jacket on the beach while sipping an IPA, or wearing a heavy jacket on the beach while sipping a coffee.
If you get the job, please dedicate your first murder mystery novel to me.
Yachats, OR Needs Tourism PR [O’Dwyers]
Thanks for reading Scope Creep 🎯. For a limited time, when you add your boss’s email to Scope Creep, I will personally dress them down in a future edition.
⦾ Edelman Can’t Quit Taking Saudi Money
The relationship, which ended in March, was never filed with the Department of Justice under foreign lobbying rules.
One reason it never surfaced in that database was because it was done through subsidiaries that didn’t directly involve Saudi Arabia. United Entertainment Group, a marketing agency under Daniel J. Edelman Holdings, was contracted by golf marketing firm Performance54 to help launch LIV Golf. Performance54 Chief Operating Officer Gary Davidson confirmed the arrangement, as did a spokesperson for LIV Golf, though Edelman officials also noted that their work ended before LIV actually held a tournament.
Edelman has already caught hell from several places, including The National Press Club for “taking blood money.” Even though it’s never great for a PR agency to work with a regime that kills journalists or puts women in prison for using Twitter, it’s a spectacularly bad time to be working for the Saudis, considering, you know, the news.
⦾ Little Green Pills
PR Week is positing that there will be an influx of “green” PR business coming through the money-to-squawking pipeline. Maybe! I am not sure I see the connection between getting new sources of government funding and the need for public affairs spending. Didn’t these green companies…get the money they needed? Wouldn’t they be spending more on advertising now?
Still, much happier to take money for green initiatives than almost anything else, so my lines remain open.
Steve Posner, partner at Seven Letter and former head of comms at the White House Office of Management and Budget under former President Barack Obama, is seeing a lot of interest in comms efforts to shape public opinion about the legislation.
“Environmental and clean energy groups, for example, are already working hard to highlight the benefits of the climate provisions in the bill and seeking to counter fossil fuel and other industry criticism,” he says.
However, not everyone is rejoicing at the likely passage of the IRA. Pharmaceutical companies are girding for their own fight over part of the bill. IRA would also empower Medicare to negotiate drug prices, marking the first time in almost 20 years that the federal government will have this type of leverage with drugmakers.
⦾ Pixelmator Is Pretty Easy To Use. Great Selection Tools
⦾ Substack Fires An Editor For Editing
Sam Thielman, the editor whose contract was ended by Substack for what can only be described as ‘Being Little Bitches Reasons,’ writing on Spencer Ackerman’s now-on-Ghost newsletter:
Spencer wrote the farewell post, published here, rather than on Substack, on July 21. After it was up, I wrote a polite email to Dan Stone, Substack’s head of Writer Partnerships, thanking him for his help with FOREVER WARS’ eccentric logistics and informing him that we were leaving. He responded by scolding us for our ingratitude. (Gratitude is not mentioned in Spencer’s contract.)
Separately, I edit other newsletters published on Substack, including Jonathan Katz's and Aaron Rupar's. Substack paid me directly for those two, and for a short stint editing Indian dissident Rana Ayyub, and other Substackers hired me directly. On July 23, a Saturday, I noticed I had been locked out of the shared accounts Substack uses, and wrote Stone asking what was up, since as far as I knew I was still working for two of their writers. Stone replied saying he would tell me on Monday.
Deeply petty. The response wasn’t much better. Saying ‘We fucked up but we’re still firing him’ isn’t a great look, especially when it took a public call-out to provoke an attempt at amends.
Substack Retaliates Against FOREVER WARS Editor [Forever Wars]
⦾ There’s An Old Serif In Town
I’m not a keyboard dork. But god bless those who finger-stroll down the path towards the ultimate input device. Your madness will never be satisfied but you’ve channeled it into something harmless.
I am a hardware dork, though, and not immune to the appeal of a well-chamfered block of aluminum. I highlight this mostly to alert the stylists among us that the ‘80s/’90s-inspired typefaces are starting to creep out of streetwear advertising layouts back into electronics. And if we sappy few wanted, we could try to core this trend: DECcore? WANGcore? Goudy New Style?
It’s not clear that the keyboard concept from Electronic Materials Office actually exists yet. Yet it’s a great bit of work, from the variety of keycap heights to that Braun-like color-accented rotary controller. Has a bit of Teenage Engineering in there, too, which is always welcome.
Electronic Materials Office [Electronic Materials Office]
⦾ [They’re] Not Here To Make Friends
In a recent survey of nearly 1,000 U.S. employees, relationships with co-workers tied with recognition as the least important factors in job satisfaction. (Compensation and work-life balance ranked as the most important of the 14 choices, according to online software marketplace Capterra, which conducted the survey.) Nearly two-thirds of those who had experienced high turnover at their companies said it had become less worthwhile for them to socialize and get to know colleagues.
Quiet quitting. Death by trust-fall. Whatever you want to call it, it seems like American workers are finally recognizing that most of the corporate culture-building exercises perpetrated by ‘Culture’ or ‘Workplace’ teams are fripperies at best, and more commonly a low-fever brainwashing attempt to increase productivity and retention.
Don’t get me wrong: e’sprit de corps and team culture are absolutely critical to success in business, especially when pioneering a new idea inside an existing corporation or when standing up a new startup. But there are two things that motivate people more than anything else: the understanding that their contributions are properly valued, financially and through proper, public credit; and giving them clear, attainable goals framed within a measurable strategy.
People aren’t dumb, although they’re often forced to play dumb within corporate cultures, and a well-compensated bean counter within a stable company should only be valued for the acuity and reliability they bring to your Legumes Payable department, not whether or not they are ‘part of the family.’ A corollary of the Peter Principle is that not promoting a person who is at the maximum of their ability—or from their perspective, at the limit of effort they’re willing to expend for a paycheck—is perfectly good team management.
⦾ What I’m Reading For Client Work This Week
The Long, Strange Relationship Between Psychedelics and Telepathy [Motherboard] ⦾ Why can’t tech fix its gender problem? [MIT Technology Review] ⦾ Netflix's mobile games are growing, and so are its gaming ambitions [Protocol] ⦾ 10 Facebook Advertisers to Watch in Q3 2022 [Media Radar] ⦾ AI Powered Notetaking with the GPT-3 Logseq plugin [Brian Sunter] ⦾ Sewing Patterns for Adventure Gear and Technical Apparel [LearnMYOG] ⦾ Vietnam to make Apple Watch and MacBook for first time ever [Nikkei] ⦾ Modulate gets $30M to detox game voice chat with AI [Venture Beat] ⦾ Can a Zebra Change Its Stripes? (re: a16z + Adam Neuman) [Newcomer]