XP - Forget the politics of it - a client doesn't like research results, shoots the messenger
Forget the politics - this isn't about politics - it's about a client
shooting the messenger when it doesn't like the findings of its research
firm, going out of its way to disavow the findings of ALL research done by
this company for several years.
However, the Washington Post did a poll on the same question which
apparently set off the client, and found a within-the-margin-of-error answer
(actually, they got the number 3 points higher, and for that question, it
was less palatable to the client). The fact that totally unrelated polls
found comparable results strongly suggests that this client is shooting the
market research messenger.
Which brings up the PR issue - have any of you (and I have) been shot
because the press covered a client less than satisfactorily? I had one
nightmare scenario when I was PR director of a college; the college
president (my real boss) and the VP Development (my titular boss) were
sleeping with each other (their respective spouses were not amused).
This was a fairly small town (Columbia SC), which made it bad enough.
Worse, the President was short (maybe 5'7"), stocky and wore a gawdawful
crewcut; the VP Development was above 6'3" and wore a Marge Simpson beehive
that added at least 4-6 inches to her towering height. So when they were
together, they stood out.
Fast-forward to the ABC Game of the Week, USC vs. Clemson, and Buck and
Marty (yeah, Buck and Marty) went separately but sat together at the game -
and as ABC is wont to do, during a lead-up to a commercial break, they pan
the stadium to find interesting-looking people . and they found Buck and
Who on Monday promptly blamed me, since I was the PR guy and should have
(somehow) prevented ABC from exposing them.
I only got back into their good graces when I (literally) bought the campus
of a closed college for a dollar from the Presbyterian Church, on the terms
that we'd use it for education purposes (we were a college, so what else?).
Anyhow, the new campus came with an official house for the President - and I
bought this the day that Buck's old lady threw him out for the football
stunt, and my buying the campus gave Buck a place to live.
Anyway, do you see, as the world becomes ever more polarized, that other
clients will pick up on this and blame (and shoot) the messenger, in this
case, their PR folks? I do.
PS - please stick to the issue and ignore the politics involved. Small Shop
and PRMindshare are both politics-free zones, but none of these lists is
Partner & Executive V.P. Marketing
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email: ned@... <mailto:pam@...>
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