Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Avoiding a Trap 

Oil executives have good memories and are not fools. That is why they have decided to decline a Senate invitation to testify. More power to them. Senate hearings are stacked against anyone who testifies. Hearings are an opportunity for Senators to play to the folks at home with the worst kind of populist politics. And, it's fun to make CEOs squirm.

By not appearing, the CEOs are violating one tenet of good PR, but in this case, it is worse PR to show up. They can't win, and they know it, so why bother?

There are no hard and fast rules in PR. Good judgment is essential. The executives' failure to appear has taken the wind out of the hearings, and I won't be surprised if the hearings get little play in the media.


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