Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Christmas Your @$$

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Worst Christmas Song Evah!

Over at Days in Eden, a Cincinnati urban blog, the management unwittingly and foolishly has issued a challenge. This hubris cannot go unpunished. I have no choice but to unleash the terrible beauty of the Yuletide badness that is:

May Nat have mercy on us all.

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Bonus Beat

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Deep Thought

If you looked only at the current first page of this blog, you'd think me a terrible scold.

And this of a guy who just yesterday inadvertently told a dirty joke to a room full of Procter & Gamble's big-time professional marketers.

Thanks, again, David.

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

CSR: Corporations Don't Go to Heaven

Everybody -- well most people -- wants to do the best-right thing. But we all make compromises everyday and corporate social responsibility is no exception. If an economic enterprise doesn't gain some tangible advantage from its good works, it violates the laws of nature for it to spend any resources pursuing them.

If that sounds cynical, it's not. But yeah, it does sound cynical.

This message brought to you by a child's vocabulary list from not long ago. I was asked if philanthropy meant "doing good works for the benefit of others."

"No," I said. "That's charity. Philanthropy is when you pay to have things named after yourself."

This is not a criticism of CSR or public philanthropy. It was simply inspired by this.

Are you gettin' it?

Image Cred

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

When Philosphy Rhetoric Becomes Principle

When I worked in government that epoch ago, there was a big movement to let the business leaders in town tell the city and county how best to manage their resources. Naturally, being contrarian by nature, I thought that was so much BS. In fact I remember saying at the time that makes about as much sense as saying, "Well, GM had a bad quarter, so let's send in some politicians to fix it."

It's really amazing how all those people who told us "Government is sooo inefficient! We have to run it like a business!" get all up in the vapors when the opposite is suggested.

Of course the opposite is just as true.

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A Professional Challenge

Whatever you call what you do – PR, advertising, marketing, corporate communications, social media, interactive, design – really doesn’t matter right now. What does matter is that your profession is under assault.

In your typical cyclical downturn, people get put on the street. Often companies use this as an opportunity to cut fat, weed out the undesirables, unload those who are qualified but just playing out of position. After a predictable (give or take) interim, most of these folks find a situation that’s better aligned with their talents, interests and abilities.

This is not your typical downturn.

This downturn is not cyclical and many good women and men are on the street through no fault of their own. Many more probably will join them in the New Year. Sadly, a fair number will be “freelancing” or “consulting” for an uncomfortably long time.

This matters if you care about your profession. Good people leaving it doesn’t help anybody.

Here’s the challenge:

Yeah we all get requests for “informational interviews” and networking meetings and all that.

Take an extra one.

Pass along a lead.

Offer a new business idea.

Share a contact.

Share a lead.

Take a lunch.

Offer a word of encouragement.

Tell a contact that someone good is looking.

Refer a client you can’t take to somebody you respect.

Got more?

We’re all in this together.

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Monday, December 8, 2008

Rule: Don't Make Your Opponent's Case for Him

Awhile back, I mentioned the clever guys at the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity’s “Clean Coal” campaign. With the caveat that so-called clean coal is not a product but a term d’art for a collection of technologies, I admired the campaign for its simplicity and appeal to the self interests of the audience.

Now comes The Reality Coalition with a response campaign. This is the spot currently burning up my cable news shout-fests:

It’s very clever and very well done. And it won’t change a single mind.

First, it uses the coal industry’s own language to make its point. How many times does the script repeat the phrase “clean coal?”

But what’s worse is the inside language and imagery. There’s the desert landscape, one assumes an allusion to a globally warmed future, but a good percentage of the presumed audience (including your humble correspondent) sees not the Great Plains of Al Gore’s nightmares, but a desert ecosystem that might just be under threat, too.

Finally, the coalition itself. It calls itself the Reality Coalition. Reality is a magical word for those with a certain shared political philosophy. The word Reality is a dog whistle.

Problem is, the ones who hear that particular whistle don’t really need the message.

Oh, yeah: they also don't let you embed the vid from their Web site.

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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I Never Said I Invented the DNT ...

... so here's another take on it:

"We associate truth with convenience, with what most closely accords with self-interest and personal well-being or promises best to avoid awkward effort or unwelcome dislocation of life. We also find highly acceptable what contributes most to self-esteem."

--- J.K. Galbraith, The Affluent Society 1958

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