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This week, Charlie discusses his podcast and reading recommendations for this month, and gives an insight into what we can get out of them.

I have thought for a while that I should talk about what I have been reading and listening to, so here are my recommendations from the past month:

When It Hits the Fan – BBC Sounds Podcast

This is a podcast about PR, looking at crisis issues in the news and talks and comments about PR disasters. I have a huge interest in crisis communications and this podcast takes you behind the scenes of the organisation’s response and what they are trying to achieve. One of the two presenters, David Yelland, is the former editor of the Sun and presenting with him is Simon Lewis, former trouble-shooter for the Queen and Gordon Brown, as well as for major corporations like NatWest, Vodafone and British Gas. They are both very smug, but once you get beyond that, then there is a huge amount to learn from what they say. I was coming back to Glasgow from Tanzania yesterday and listed the episode on ‘Post Office PR, Boeing and the King’s new biography’, which was extremely interesting on why mainstream media took so long to pick up the post office story and goes through the tactics the Post Office used to try and stop the story and protect their brand. They also did a special at Christmas on the Gerard Ratner story, which again was an excellent case study.

Very well worth a listen.

The Coming Wave – AI, Power and the 21st Century’s Greatest Dilemma – Book by Mustafa Suleyman and Michael Bhaskar

The book was the the Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller in Sept 2023. It was written by Mustafa Suleyman, a co-founder and CEO of Inflection AI. Previously, he co-founded DeepMind, one of the world’s leading AI companies and Michael Bhaskar is a writer and publisher based in the UK. He is the author of The Content Machine, Curation and Human Frontiers. The about is about changes in technology which has come in waves over history and how they have transformed society. The authors point is that we sit on the brink of another revolutionary wave consisting of AI, Quantum Computers, and Synthetic Biology and this will change all of our lives.

The book is quite easy reading and I do admit I have only got halfway through it, but I think it is well worth a read if you want to better use technologies which will impact us all.

Things Fell Apart – BBC Sounds Podcast

This podcast is in its second series and is billed as ‘Jon Ronson is back with a new season of jaw-dropping, unexpected human stories from the history of the culture wars. This time – those that engulfed us during lockdown’. The stories are well researched and on listening, I learned about some of the origins of the news stories I heard during lockdown. If you like contemporary history and understanding the culture wars, this podcast is well worth a listen!

If any readers of the bulletin have any book or podcast recommendations I will include them in the next bulletin!

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