Bad news about Candidate B = Bad Public Relations!
by Neil Kuvin
I have been receiving four or five of these calls per day. As soon as I Iook at the phone readout or hear the first three words and know it is a recording, I hang up. Usually, the calls are bashing the other candidate without telling me what the sponsoring candidate is going to do, so if you listen to these calls, you go to the polls with a lot of negative junk about all of the candidates and very little about what the candidates will do.
Who do these campaign managers think we are? The marketing geniuses who put the scripts together for these “polmercials” could use some kindness juice or maybe just take a deep breath and try writing something about your candidate’s successes, strengths, capabilities, intellect, and winning! They are wasting their time on me. It’s really not that my mind’s made up. It’s just that nasty, negative campaigning doesn’t fit the “logic” box. You know what I mean. Yeah, I hear the supporters of this stuff say that it has an impact and can and does change voters’ perspectives. But I still am repulsed by it.
We should never define public relations as “spin doctoring” or propaganda, and we shouldn’t let anyone else do so either. Both terms not only imply, but are rightly defined as lying and manipulation of information. Public relations professionals do neither. Anyone who lies, tells half truths or manipulates public opinion is not practicing public relations. The biggest concern is that those writing these scripts are either closing their eyes to what is happening with their words, or they are not, and care not a thing, about the honest, proud professional field of public relations and marketing. But we all get painted by the same brush.
I’ve been asked several times to join a campaign promotional committee or take on the “Public Relations” by myself for a politician. I’ve turned them all down. Not that I’m some noble Public Relations knight in shining armor. Far from it. I just choose to not be associated with a political campaign. It’s not a product or service for which I’ll ever be fully proud and especially satisfied.