Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Yes, We Are Influenced By Good Communications

In America, the selling of ideas, products, services, and points of view are, many times, as much about effective communications as about the validity and reliability of the product or message. Certainly, in politics, the point of view which is best packaged and communicated, most times, becomes the winning or prevalent point of view.

I strongly disagree with the premise of the above ad. To allege that the Obama Administration is to blame for current negative circumstances in America is outrageous in my view. But the framing and delivery of the message in this ad is brilliant. Some of my liberal friends will be upset that I posted it. Not that I am good at it, but I have an interest in effective communications.

As Kathleen Parker points out in her review of the ad, "sometimes when everyone is shouting, only a whisper can be heard." This is the thought behind this powerful, anti-Obama ad that seeks to tap, not into the nation's anger, but into the country's sadness. Echoing closely the text of a Reagan ad, "Morning in America", the ad plays off 15 million Americans being out of work, businesses closed, 2900 daily foreclosures, debt being passed to children, etc.

Of course, the question we must ask ourselves, after enjoying the brilliance of the short ad, is how could Obama be responsible for these near-dire circumstances? How, only 20 months in office, could a President be held responsible for such a dilemma. I would make the case that America is far better off due to the economic emergency response of the Obama Administration.

We are in the throws of a major, worldwide economic transition. Return to economic stability and strength is quite a few years away. If the President is guilty of anything, it may be that he bit off more than the country had appetite for presently. But his economic team would say, as FDR's team would have said in 1933, incremental repair was much more dangerous based on the circumstances in which they found themselves on January 20, 2009.

Nonetheless, my interest is in the brilliance of the communication of this quiet, "whispered" message of sadness and mourning in America. Whether we agree on the premise of the ad is beside my point. How we frame the message of our product, our service, our idea, and how we communicate it to our constituents, our customers, our students, our congregation, or yes, our families, in many cases, is as important as the message itself. And yes, unfortunately, it can be as important as the validity of the message.

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