Tuesday, June 19, 2018
As if Trump's border difficulties aren't enough of bad PR, he is doubling down on Chinese tariffs in another public relations and economic blunder. As noted yesterday, the Trump Administration will long serve as case studies in maladroit public relations and governance. Both his critics and his supporters are left wondering from day to day what new outrage will be effected or announced. Understanding the scope of the damage to allies and the country will take time and will be the province of historians in years to come. Meanwhile, American citizens are helpless but for the ballot box, but that is months and years away. We will learn in time how resilient the economy and international relations are, but for now they are taking daily blows. It shouldn't be this way, but it is.
Monday, June 18, 2018
President Trump has stepped into another PR crisis of his own making. This time it is the separation of families at the border. Trump claims it is a Democratic law and the Democrats should change it. Impartial observers say the prior law has nothing to do with splitting children away from parents. Condemnation of the action is nearly universal. Yet, the administration continues. It seems this White House is unable to get and understand public opinion. It bases action on a small -- and getting smaller -- base of supporters, and it makes up facts as it goes along. There is no excuse for taking children away from parents whether or not they are illegal. The administration would have it that the children are being protected while their parents are being processed in the immigration system. Try to tell sobbing boys and girls that. Trump is going down as a prolonged case study in bad PR.
Friday, June 15, 2018
When you have scheduled the world's longest flight of 19 hours and 9,000 nautical miles, one of your concerns should be passenger comfort. It is a long time to be sitting in a seat. That is why this is good PR. Singapore Airlines is redesigning seats in economy to be roomier and more comfortable. It is something one wishes other airlines would take for a model, but they are more concerned for the bottom line than the person. Admittedly, if the carrier tried to ferry people in the usual Airbus economy seating, they would probably lose passengers and be dealing with medical problems from people sitting so long in agony. But still, they are making an effort and that might be enough.
Thursday, June 14, 2018
The venture capitalist calling for California to be divided into three parts might be serious but the idea smacks of a publicity stunt that has made it to the ballot. There are so many things wrong with the proposal that it hardly bears discussing. Perhaps the most salient argument is what to do about water. Southern California today depends on water being shipped from the northern part of the state. If it were separate, quarrels would erupt over how much water Los Angeles could get. It wouldn't be pretty. The next is political power. California today is the most powerful block in the House of Representatives. Divide it into three and its strength will diminish.. Then there is the tax base that would be divided unfairly because of population centers in different states. One is waiting for the proponent to declare the tripartite division a joke, but he probably won't. The idea makes a mockery of initiative voting.
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Amazon and Starbucks have just shown their corporate power. They got the Seattle city council to roll back a tax increase that would have cost them tens of millions of dollars. Amazon did it by blunt force. It stopped work on one of two corporate towers it is building there and said it wouldn't complete the building if the tax went through. It was a naked threat, and council members got the message. They voted to repeal the tax before it took effect. From a PR perspective, it was mixed. The tax was going to shelter and care for the many homeless in the city. On the other hand, it would have greatly increased the cost of doing business in the city and it was punitive. Amazon and Starbucks had a duty to protest. Had either company a bad reputation, there would have been less likelihood the council would have changed its mind.
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
It seems a CEO can't say anything without catching some flack. Consider this case. Twitter's CEO posted a screen shot about his use of a Chik-fil-A's mobile app and saving 10 percent on his order. The internet erupted in a barrage of criticism. How could he patronize a business that doesn't recognize gay marriage? Dorsey apologized but he wouldn't be too far wrong if he considered himself snake-bit. The incident is a lesson. Everything you say is watched online and if you make a false step you will hear about it. Dorsey said he had forgotten about the company's stance on gay marriage -- a plausible excuse. But, other's didn't. To compound his difficulty, he was bashed as well by conservatives for giving a mea culpa. Sometimes you can't win. He would have been better off keeping silent in the first place.
Monday, June 11, 2018
President Trump is saying he'll know in the first minute whether North Korea is ready to give up its nuclear missiles. If so, why does he need a summit? Kim Jong Un knows already how far he will go to get back into the good graces of the world community. Does he need a diplomatic show to make his statement? Both men want to be seen on the world stage as competent, dynamic leaders. Hence, they are risking failure to make their entrances. It is hard to believe that anything of merit will come out of the gathering, but both men will have generated international headlines. That appears to be what they want. Trump can boast of his deal-making skills. Kim wants legitimacy. Photos of the two men meeting will be good enough for the two of them. It is hard not to be cynical in times like this.