Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Expediency 2 

At risk of over-blogging a topic, here is another example of expedient bending of principle. I note it because I grew up near the Sacramento Delta in California -- an area rich beyond belief in soil that could grow anything.

The Delta was abused from the beginning of Americans' tenure in the region -- as early as the 1850s when farmers began to dike it and use the peat land for agriculture. This went on for better than 120 years when Southern California began to use the Delta as a water bypass when shipping the liquid down from the north of the state. A combination of abuses has sent the region into decline. Land is sinking, water becoming saline from intrusion of San Francisco Bay, dikes crumbling. Yet, environmentalism can only go so far because Southern California MUST HAVE water, etc.

The irony, of course, is that Southern California is a hotbed of environmentalists who enjoy swimming pools while fighting to save whales and pushing for cleaner air. One has to laugh when confronting situations like this.

It seems to me, though, that PR practitioners should use glaring examples of expediency against those who push organizations too far toward correctness. It is easy to criticize but difficult to implement as the fate of the Delta demonstrates. Real solutions take time and negotiation among many interests. We should never be afraid to point that out to those who believe CEOs can wave their hands and make everything work better.


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