Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Fighting Back 

What should you do? When a politician makes an irresponsible statement about your company, should you slam the politician, make a statement about the facts or ignore the fellow? The answer is not easy because politicians are like the media. They can summon barrels of ink quickly through a few phone calls to reporters.

On the other hand, when a politician makes a statement that is clearly false and designed for impact only, should one take it lying down? There is no obligation to speak, but perhaps one should. Yet by speaking, one gives a politician a currency the fellow might not get otherwise. It gives the politician a chance to repeat charges. Of course, unless charges are as serious as those that Joe McCarthy made in the Senate about Communist sympathizers, it is unlikely the media will scramble to prove the politician wrong. Truth squads used in election campaigns may not work well, it seems to me.

So what should a company do? If the CEO is bellicose, answer a charge with a charge. If the CEO recognizes the statement for what it is -- political folderol - ignore it. If the statement is slanderous and can be proved so, refute the politician point by point and bury the fellow under facts. It seems to me one should state evidence first and then give a quote. It should be along the line of Fact A, Fact B and Fact C and then, "If politician X had done the least bit of homework, he would have known these facts. They are all on our web site."

Noise doesn't always help one's case. But then, political campaigners might dispute me, and they know their business better than I do.


Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?