1) Chicago teacher strike escalates into PR conflict (PR Daily) — In Chicago, there’s an all-out PR war taking place between two imposing factions: City Hall and the public school teachers. The Chicago Teachers Union has walked out on negotiations after both sides failed to reach agreement on several key contract issues. It is the city’s first teachers strike in 25 years, leaving 350,000 students with at least one unscheduled day off and working parents to find childcare.

2)  Energy companies are losing the war over fracking (PR Daily) — Corey Stewart writes that opponents of natural gas drilling have mobilized local grassroots coalitions, social media campaigns, scientists, and more to curtail or potentially end this modern-day gold rush. While opponents execute a multi-pronged, simultaneous campaign, Stewart contends that the industry continues to hang its hat on lobbying efforts and positive economic impact to local communities.

3) The rise of visual social media (Fast Company) — Intel and Moleskin are just a few of the brands learning to connect with their customers through visual social media sites like Pinterest and Instagram.

4) How to harness the global customer awakening (Harvard Business Review) — Public unrest – whether from customers or voters – is seen as a threat by many but should actually be seen as an opportunity. Writer Bill Lee contends that the lessons learned from political uprisings can inform businesses on how to adjust to the new, increasingly transparent world we live in.