Cultural Revolutions

Battle of the Narrative

When a manufacturing company is confronted with the reality of a huge drop in product sales, the initial reaction on the part of the managers is to blame the marketing department and to demand that it come up with a new and more effective advertising campaign.  After all, the notion that their air-conditioning units are not actually working or that trying to sell them to Eskimos was a lousy idea would be a direct and very costly challenge to the power of the CEO and the management team and the business strategy they have been pursuing, and could force the company either to start investing in a new product or to go bankrupt.

A much less expansive plan, and one that does not raise questions about the ability of the company to survive under its current leadership and guiding business principles, would be to hire a few p.r. wizards who could help polish the company’s image and perhaps even redefine its “brand name.”  How about “A/C for Eskimos: A Preemptive Strike Against Global Warming”?

Similarly, it is not surprising that when political reality bites, like when one loses a presidential race, the tendency on the part of the loser is to blame his media strategist for his defeat and dismiss the suggestion that he was an awful candidate with a useless message.  And judging by the propensity of the current Israeli government to embrace global public relations as a principal diplomatic tool, the Jewish state’s...

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