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04/07/2008

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Palin Ningthoujam

Interesting laws. One question I have in mind about the Tinkerbell principle is that do we as PR professionals really need to believe? We handle alcoholic beverage, and tobacco clients, and manage crisis of clients when we know that they are at fault.

Now one interesting news snippet I was reading was about China lifting 300 million people from poverty. Interesting coincidence.
http://redcouch.typepad.com/weblog/2008/04/china-lifts-300.html

TAR ART RAT

Fascinating: In reality Tinkerbell is actually a moody, jealous, homicidal bitch... but people still lover her... kids wear her on t-shirts.

Lally

To Palin's question, the real issue is whether the message is believable. If you can't believe it, why should anybody else? Sure we have to represent some clients (and employers) who are unsavory. But that doesn't disqulify them from a having their say and making their own case. In the end, and I think this is Kevin's point, is that if you are a soundrel and rogue no amount of spin control will change the truth of that.

And Tar has just described every relationship I've ever been in.

[Excpet for this one, sweetie, I swear.]

Jessica D

They just need to pull the ole "we're trying to turn the corner but the media still brings up the old stuff" also known as the "just when I thought I was out... they pull me back in" victimization PR spin. But make it sound real and charistmatic, and forward-moving.

Lally

Maybe if the entire CCP leadership checks into rehab?

Seriously, the guys that seem to be getting a pass on this are the bozoz at the IOC. Of all the places you can throw your party they pick the largest totalitarian state in the history of the world.

Were all the hotels in Hell booked that week?

John Whiteside

How about "At least we're not North Korea?"

Wendy Bigham

Isn't it better to have the world on watch (even on TV in awe of the Olympics) of a country accused of hurting its people? Seems like an opportunity to shine the light on daily life there and an opportunity for everyone to reflect on the country's history and current news.

OK -- if I was one of the PR hackaroos, I would:

- Talk to the heads of state who did not boycott the Olympics in Beijing, ask them why and get them on TV news.
- Acknowledge the controversy headon in dealings with the media and then focus on the country's beauty and the athletes coming from around the world to win medals.

Just having the Olympics there, will give folks a better feeling about Beijing at least on a subconscious level. They'll watch it on TV, see lots of great people stories about winning medals and a few of them will say if asked by Jay Leno on his street quiz, "Oh, yeah, that's where they held the Olympics."

Lally

Try this one: What do you do if you're PR counsel for NBC? They have (gawd I hope this is why they do it) some sort of contractual obligation to do those soft-focus local-culture vignettes.

Think you'll see smokestacks and work farms in any of those?

Kevin Dugan

Wendy - I do not think the two can co-exist. If they acknowledge the issue it makes it all the worse that they are having the event. I'm surprised the IOC is not getting more heat over this honestly.

Mariana Sarceda

I really don't think that PR can save the Olympics. There are much deeper and ongoing problems here that PR may be able to put some make up on but, as any fake curtain, it will drop down as soon as the games end.

Wendy Bigham

I don't think PR can save the Olympics.

But I don't think all PR agencies should boycott either. Having more news people in China is a good thing. And the PR people for newsgroups? Do they really have that much say in the coverage of controversial issues? Viewers and readers are smart and will cut their support if they're not getting what they feel they deserve.

There's a 1A story in the Atlanta Journal Constitution today spelling out the Olympics issues sponsors are facing and China's problems. The drama happening there will draw more attention to China than if the Olympics wasn't going there. If we gave up, it would be like turning a blind eye to the human rights abuses there.

Michael Allison

I see a lot of truth in Gomes' Law. If China wants to clean up its image, it has to clean up its problems -- far beyond the scope of public relations.

With that said, from what I read, China can mitigate its problems. As the article in the NY Times mentioned, Chinese officials are interested in learning how to work with the media (that's the free, western kind).

So far, they haven't been speaking the language of a democracy--which is something we want to hear.

Erin Smith

Most of the comments support my opinions on this matter. The core of the issue is beyond public relations. Yet, there are opportunities for PR to better the situation, not enough to save it though. I don't know that the PR agencies should boycott the Olympics. People are becoming more aware of the issues in China through media coverage and maybe in turn China will be forced to take corrective actions.

Kevin Dugan

Thanks for all of the comments folks. It looks like a lot of people are not boycotting the Olympics. Will the Olympics being held in China help solve the human rights problems there? I think that's doubtful. More awareness of them seems to be an outcome, but they're still a problem.

HH Cheng

This shows it is futile to use international PR agencies like Hill & Knowlton to fight a war against NGOs who are more successful carrying out guerrilla PR warfare on a much smaller budget .. because international PR agencies like Hill & Knowlton only know how to stage glamorous performance with a mindset that this is a corporate / crisis and issue management project - it is not a PR project stupid; it is part of a global geopolitical warfare !

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