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December 07, 2006


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The reason political style campaigns don't work for business can be found right there in the Wall Street Journal article. Mike Deaver, the former Reagan chief of staff now with Edelman, is quoted saying, "This is not a public-relations campaign, it's a win-or-lose campaign." That's the problem -- in politics you beat your opponent in the election and the battle is over. In business, your opponent doesn't go away, everybody votes every day with their dollars. The people concerned about what Wal-Mart is doing with wages, benefits, the environment, etc., aren't going to concede victory and take down their banners. Insteaad of win-lose, business needs to afford to have enemies. You're never going to beat them, they're never going to go away. Winston Churchill, who was not known for backing down from a fight, once said, "To jaw-jaw is always better than to war-war."

Google has the best idea I've seen for promoting good corporate public relations -- "do no evil." The amendment to that, based on the experiences of Wal-Mart, might be "hire no evil PR people."

Local Man

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