Thursday, February 23, 2006

Negative Relations 

How do you gain attention fast and anger people at the same time? Harm a sacred symbol. This type of negative relations has been around for millennia, and it always works well. It has built-in negative publicity value. And, as these things go, anger from an attack is directed everywhere, especially against the US in Iraq because "this never would have happened had the US not been here."

Give insurgents credit for knowing how to communicate negatively and effectively. They have worked hard to destabilize the country, and with smaller and poorly equipped forces, they have done so. They are careful to choose targets that get maximum publicity in Iraq and around the world. They are a near-perfect anti-relationship force determined to have their way over the majority no matter what it takes.

PR practitioners can learn a lot form studying situations such as this. They occur in the more civilized world as well when splinter groups wield power beyond their size by communicating more effectively than their opposition. It is said that Washington DC is run by special interests and not the majority of the populace, which doesn't care about many of the issues that special interest groups shout about.

If there is one lesson to take away from the destruction of 1,200-year-old Askariya shrine, it is never discount the communications ability of your opposition.


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