Thursday, April 05, 2007

Playing to the Home Crowd 

Now that the Iranian hostage crisis is over, it is worth noting the communications elements in it. Quite clearly, the Iranian government was playing to its citizens. Look at us and how powerful we are. But, the Iranian government was playing on the world stage too and saying the same thing. The difference appears to be that the home crowd was motivated by the government's action while the rest of the world was alarmed.

The Iranians seemed naive in how they handled the situation at the beginning. There was much table-thumping and bold language and exploitation of the British crew on TV. Their communications were those of petty dictators, such as North Korea, more than of responsible members of the world community. If the Iranians wanted to project power on the world stage, they chose a bad scenario and acted it poorly. There are better ways than trumpeting an alleged trespass in international waters. In the end by communicating poorly and handling the situation badly, the Iranians came off worse than they might have intended. That happens when one plays to the home crowd.


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