Thursday, August 19, 2004

Nothing Remains Hidden -- Part V 

Time and again, I have written that it is difficult if not impossible to hide what one is doing since the growth of the internet. Here again is an example of why stealth PR campaigns don't work anymore. The Republicans wrote template letters for supporters that the party then put on the George Bush web site. The idea is for supporters to copy a letter and to send it off without having to compose something on one's own. Supporters did just that. Unfortunately, it doesn't take much of a Google search to find the same letter printed in 60 different Letters to the Editor columns nationwide.

The blogger was offended by this. He shouldn't be. Using template letters is an old technique that both parties employ to gain support for issues and candidates. The blogger should have said such campaigns don't work well, and he would have been correct. Congressmen and Senators who get a barrage of the same letter over and over know an organized campaign is underway and they discount all letters as a result. The difference here is editors did not crosscheck these letters from one newspaper to another to determine if they had shown elsewhere. In defense of the editors, they don't have time to crosscheck everything they get. On the other hand, a blogger somewhere does and will do so. Hence, the secret came out.

Don't bother with stealth PR campaigns. They aren't worth it. When one is found out, the public is annoyed, and your position is worse than before.


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