Posts Tagged ‘Communications’

When is a bailout not a bailout?

After several weeks of speculation, the government of Spain this weekend confirmed that money would be accepted to help support the country’s banking system.

Spain’s politicians have been at pains to point out that this is not a bailout of the kind witnessed in countries such as Greece and Ireland where outside officials will effectively be making decisions about the countries’ public finances.

Spanish minsters have clearly been briefed to communicate the distinction as the following quotes from Mr de Guindos, the economy minister, in the initial Financial Times article indicate:

  • “What is being requested is financial assistance. It has nothing to do with a rescue”
  • “The conditions will be applied to the banks, not Spanish society”

I’d argue that Spanish ministers have effectively made their point but in a situation which continues to develop at pace, and where details are easily forgotten, they may well be lumped together with those who have requested funds before as the dust begins to settle on the decision. As a collegue pointed out, it could well be seen as an exercise in putting lipstick on PIGS

The Life imitating art imitating life conundrum

THIS POST IS FROM MARIE CAIRNEY

Today Programme’s Jim Naughtie stood corrected this week when he credited Ed Miliband with coining the term ‘omni-shambles’ after he used it in PMQs to describe the Tories monthus horribilis. It was of course comedy writer, Armando Iannucci, who came up with the great summation in his painfully funny political satire, The Thick of It. So there is nothing new under the soundbite sun after all it seems but I’m wondering what does this say about art and politics when a piece of satire is hijacked by the brunt (or equivalent ) of the satirist’s joke. Does it make the joke even funnier or the reality even more tragic? Probably a bit of both I suspect. Does Ed have his finger on the pulse of popular culture or is his level of self-awareness so low that he can’t see what Iannucci’s mirror is reflecting. Or perhaps he just has a great self-deprecating sense of humour. Or perhaps, more likely, the sound-bite machine and LHQ racked their brains, had a brainfart and spat it out – oh how they must have giggled at the irony! Almost reminds me of a scene from a TV programme, what’s-it-called… ah yes, The Thick of It.

ps. LOVING Twenty Twelve on BBC2 on Fridays; The Thick of it for those with a more delicate disposition and who are adverse to proper swearing. Brilliant.     

Image from Metro.co.uk

How to position the Greek Financial Crisis?

posted by Edward Jones

If I could take the liberty of modifying the words of the incomparable Rodgers and Hammerstein – how do you solve a problem like Greece? Well, the macroeconomics, thankfully, are for others to worry about. The communications for this spectacular meltdown however are fantastically absorbing. How, I ask myself, could you position such a mess and achieve a sense of progress and dare I say it, optimism? With tongue fixed firmly in cheek, I give you the strategic standpoints that are at the disposal of any discerning political chief:

 1. The Collective – otherwise known as the ‘we are in this together’ position, or in the case of the British, ‘The Dunkirk Spirit’. Clearly, requires appropriate and visible commitment from public leaders such as a reduced wardrobe, or sudden fixation with public transport.

2. The Future Proofer – as in, do this now to ensure that we’re okay tomorrow. Also known as ‘our children’s children’ position.

3. The Fresh Starter – that is, it can’t get any worse so let’s have a fresh start, or ‘a blank canvas’, or in what could be more appropriate for the Greeks, ‘a Year Zero’ approach to the problem.

4. The Frontrunner – or to put it another way, we got there first and so will be better equipped to manage the situation when others are in the same predicament. Also see ‘ahead of the curve’, or ‘ ahead of the pack’.

5. The Flagellator – by far the hardest and bravest position to take; as in, we had it coming for all those years of irresponsibility and extravagance, but we’ll come out of it fitter and better…believe me.

Please note:  This post was orignially posted by Peter Roberts.

Taking the fear out of PR

posted by Edward Jones

In a highly entertaining piece on Thursday, the FT assessed what lessons can be learnt by today’s businesses from those who have made a living from illegal means – you can read it here.

Among the more colourful reflections; my favourite being, “Don’t end up in a truck of a car”, I was struck by the relevance of the comments made by Curtis Jackson – otherwise known as rapping superstar, 50 Cent. Jackson, or should that be Cent talks of fearlessness as a basic strategy in business. Clearly, we can all recognise the need for a certain bravado in the rougher parts of New York, but what’s the potential learning for communicators?

In light of the invariable challenge we face as PROs in winning over sceptical stakeholders, be they clients, or management boards, our fearlessness is fundamentally all about the courage of our convictions. Put simply, if we’re to shape conversations, to use an expression from these parts, we need not only to be bold in our thinking, but downright brazen in our delivery. Whether it’s a crisis strategy, or a consumer campaign, our plans will be undermined from the start if we lack the certainty of our decision making. Others will, quite rightly, challenge our thinking – especially if they’re paying for it – so essential is the need to have guts and opinions, together with the industry’s oft-cited requirements of passion and creativity.

Please note: This post was originally posted by Peter Roberts.