Monday, May 12, 2014

Trial Balloon 

Washington DC politicians and bureaucrats have an advantage over corporations with the trial balloon.  This is an indefinite proposal that seems to address an issue but is not yet formally announced.  Like this one.  It is safe to say that if reaction was severe yesterday to the proposed change, it will be tweaked before it appears today.  Corporations rarely have such luxury.  Wouldn't it be interesting if a consumer products manufacturer publicly proposed a new toothpaste to see what kind of demand it might have?  Yes, companies use surveys, focus groups and statistical methods to assess consumer needs but it is different.  In Washington, a politician or official says that he might do something then waits for reaction before dropping the idea, modifying it or proposing it formally.  In the corporate world, that would be seen as poor PR because it would confuse customers.  Just one more way that political and corporate PR differ.


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