Friday, November 27, 2020


 What does the President-elect do to unify a polarized country?  He can ask for unity but millions of disaffected citizens won't listen.  Rather, they discuss among themselves a stolen election and the perfidy of Democrats.  For that they use the internet and web sites catering to their conspiracies.  Politicians are to blame for a good part of the split republic.  They have campaigned on vilifying opponents and inciting rage against them.  They will continue to do so until the public is weary of charges and counter-charges and mud-throwing.  What is certain is that campaign tactics used by many is lousy PR.  It claws down both good and bad candidates and leaves them smeared with feces and a civic body of opponents.  When will campaigners realize enough is enough?  Not until they start to lose elections, and that might be a long time to come.

Thursday, November 26, 2020


 After telling city residents to stay home as much as possible for Thanksgiving, Denver's mayor traveled to Mississippi to be with his wife and daughter.  He has apologized to his constituents but it is unlikely they will forget the hypocrisy.  His excuse rings hollow.  Everyone wants to be with family during this time of year.  The point of isolation is to stop COVID by keeping apart.  Denver's mayor has affirmed that quarantine rules apply to everyone except those in power.  It's a bad message and deserves reprisal at the ballot box. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Fighting On 

President Trump continues to fight his election loss and now appears to be ready to go to Pennsylvania for a GOP event alleging voting irregularities in that state. Trump's efforts are an appeal to his substantial base not to give up.  The rest of the electorate looks on in dismay and wonders if he has tilted into madness.  But insane he is not.  There already is talk he will run again in 2024, so if he can cement allegations of voter fraud in his supporters' minds today, he can reactivate them four years from now.  It's political marketing.  Although it has been said that President-elect Biden has no interest in going after Trump for Trump's behavior, Biden might be forced to let the law take its way if Trump is indicted for tax fraud and if he should go bankrupt.  Trump is a master self-promoter who can make failure seem like success, and this is what he is doing now by fighting on.  He should not be taken lightly.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Worker Challenges 

 Amazon.com has hundreds of thousands of workers in its warehouses and delivery machine.  It seems to upset them regularly and is facing a challenge of unionization.  The company trips itself up by offering skimpy coupon bonuses to some workers and $3,000 signing bonuses to others.    The company doesn't seem to realize that its employees talk to one another through the internet and there isn't anything it can do in one warehouse that is unknown in all of the others.  The corporation will have to realize sooner or later it needs to treat employees even-handedly even if that is more costly.  Labor shortages drive wages and bonuses but that is Amazon's point of view.  Its workers see the disparity and complain, and now are organizing.  Amazon can blame no one but itself for this PR gaffe, and it is ironic that the company's success through the internet has become its mistake through the same medium.  

Monday, November 23, 2020

Ads Not Enough 

The Ad Council is planning a major campaign to convince consumers to get vaccinated for COVID-19.  Ads won't be enough for skeptics.  They need the personal touch of their doctor and other health-care professionals they trust.  The campaign will educate the public about the availability of the vaccine, but the crucial step to overcome fears can't be contained in a generic message. There is a huge role for PR, supplying physicians with materials they can pass on, suggested messages to patients, personal demonstrations of getting vaccinated oneself, speaking out in local communities and more.  The healthcare profession will lead the way: Ads will be a supplement.  This is not to denigrate advertising but to emphasize the local nature of the task.  Most people will comply as they see their own doctors and others safely taking the vaccine.  Some will never reach that point but it is hoped they will be a minority.  It is a huge task given the politicization of the pandemic and it will require months if not years to complete.

Friday, November 20, 2020

PR Blow 

Tesla's Model S and Y cars have been dropped from Consumer Report's recommended list because of quality problems.  That stings and is a blow to the company's PR.  Although Tesla is the leader in all-electric vehicles, poor quality manufacturing opens it to competitors who can the same job better.  Think General Motors, which is coming after Tesla with a major commitment of resources.  It is a pity that the company, which popularized electric cars should be building them badly.  Tesla still has time to turn its quality around, but it isn't a lot.  When competitors enter the ring in the months to come, the public will have a choice, and if Tesla isn't up to snuff, they will go elsewhere.  Elon Musk might want to halt his rush to build trucks and other models and pay more attention to what he is already manufacturing.

Thursday, November 19, 2020


 If true, this is an unusually heartless and crass move on the part of Tyson Foods managers.  It's the subject of a lawsuit, so one must be careful about the validity of the contention.  Still, the allegation is a PR nightmare for the company and for the leaders of the pork processing plant.  It shows disregard for the health and safety of employees.  Even if the charge is proven untrue, there is lingering doubt over safety measures at the facility, which was eventually shut down over COVID concerns.  The work in meat processing plants is hard and dangerous normally.  It was doubly difficult as the virus spread.  A proper move would have been pre-emptive procedures to protect workers, which might have included more than Plexiglas shields between work stations.  The company says there were temperature scanners available and it kept social distancing procedures.  Still, five workers died of the disease, so something was not right. Tyson needs to do its own impartial investigation of what happened at the plant and come clean.

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