Published April 19, 2011
One of the more interesting and well-produced beauty packaging trade shows is LuxePack/New York (other LuxePack shows are run in Monaco and Shanghai).
This year’s show (May 18-19 at the Metropolitan Pavilion & The Altman Building in Chelsea) will spotlight the newest creations and innovations from exhibitors including sustainability — a hot topic within the beauty packaging industry.
More information about LuxePack can be found on their website.
Published February 9, 2011
Today on Morning Joe, host Joe Scarborough was perplexed why progressives (liberals, Democrats) were upset with the term “Obamacare” to describe the healthcare reform legislation. He virtually said “Obama,” nice; “care,” nice.
This corner has been following the importance of the “narrative” in political discourse with the view that whoever controls the narrative controls the trajectory of the political agenda (the same is true in public relations).
The reason why progressives (liberals, Democrats) don’t like the term “Obamacare” is because it’s a Republican talking point not some neutral term (see Jonathan Capehart’s view in today’s WaPo who was on Morning Joe today and agrees with Scarborough).
Everyone knows that when somebody says “the Democrat Party” he or she is mouthing a Republican talking point. But Scarborough might contend why get your dander up over this; after all, it is the party composed of “Democrats” not “Democratics.” But we all know why the term is a negative. The same with “Obamacare.”
Published January 11, 2011
Why Internet “speech” is naturally more shrill than written speech: Andrew Sullivan quotes John McWhorter in today’s Daily Dish
John McWhorter believes politics has grown punchier because of technology:
[The written word] once mediated much more between people in politics. Even speeches were couched in writerly prose. Most were expected to engage them on the page, as technology didn’t allow all Americans to see politicians speaking live at the press of a button. Plus, without amplification, public language had to be more careful and explicit. One could not stand before a crowd and “just talk.” Public language had to be like the public dress of the period: effortful. Even Millard Fillmore’s inaugural address reads like Virgil.
It is no accident that the shrillness of political conversation has increased just as broadband and YouTube have become staples of American life. The internet brings us back to the linguistic culture our species arose in—all about speech: live, emotional, unreflective, and punchy. The slogan trumps the argument. Anger, often of hazy provenance but ever cathartic (“I want my country back”) takes fire. All of this is reinforced by the synergy of on line “communities” stoking up passions on a scale that snail mail never could.
Published January 9, 2011
Words, of course, are at the core of public relations. They are the building blocks of the all-important “narrative” we’ve discussed in several past posts. Whoever controls the narrative controls the story line or the interpretation of events.
With the horrid Arizona shootings being covered on 24-hour cable, a theme has arisen on whether the crime was “politically motivated.” Many commentators, especially those protecting a certain kind of political ideology, are stressing that the shootings are the result of a single, deranged gunman with no political agenda.
But just on the face of it, there appears to be a clear political dimension to the incident. After all, the gunman wasn’t just killing anyone indiscriminately. Rather, he had singled out a politician as his mark at a political event. Why shoot a politician? Unless it unlikely turns up that there was no motive other than shooting a particular group of people for its own sake and critically wounding a politician merely by chance (or motivation from some bizarre personal connection between shooter and victim), the act indeed was “political.”
Published January 6, 2011
On today’s “Morning Joe” talk show, co-host Mika Brzezinski asked a question about “Obamacare.” She didn’t seem to be using the term as if with air quotes, or ironically, but as an objective description of the recently passed healthcare reform legislation. She was interviewing about its possible repeal.
It appears that Brzenzinski unwittingly has been gamed by the Republican strategy that “Obamacare” would be a good catch phrase to describe healthcare reform as an insatiable behemoth ready to consume our freedom, the “best healthcare system in the world” and even the Constitution itself. A frightening bogeyman if there ever was one.
You have to admire the Republicans (seriously). They are always on message and with plenty of descriptives that are short and compelling. They truly have control over the political narrative, even influencing a supposedly objective, no-labels commentator.
Published January 5, 2011
Jeff Brooks cautions nonprofits not to be scared off by the repetition of their own messaging.
This bit of advice echoes what many of my colleagues in the ad agency world were fond of giving: just when you’re getting bored with your ad campaign is the moment when your targeted audience is beginning to take notice.
Good advice then for both nonprofit and for-profit communications initiatives.
Getting tired of your same old fundraising messages? Before you let your boredom drive you to change everything, read this post at Copyblogger: How Your Prospect’s Brain Becomes Your Secret Persuasion Partner.
The key point is that repetition is necessary for recognition. The human mind is keyed to pay attention to repeated messages:
Some experts say that it takes a minimum of 7 to 9 impressions for direct mail to make an impact on you, and it can take up to 56 times for an ad to enter your conscious awareness…. When you’re getting bored with your message, when you feel the urge to shake things up just to do something different, resist. Don’t throw it out just when it’s starting to work.
The downfall of many fundraising programs is that they change too often. They never build up that bank of recognition, because their creators get bored of repetition before most of the audience even starts to notice the message at all.
So keep the message consistent. Make sure you ride the response curve all the way to the top. Typically, it will eventually turn downward. That’s when you change the message.
Not when it starts to feel old to you.
Published December 16, 2010
E.J. Dionne’s WaPo column today relates about that annoying proposition that Republicans (the right) and Democrats (the left) should meet in the compromising center for better, more workable government.
But Dionne contends:
The truth is that the American right is much farther from anything that can fairly be described as “the center” than is the left.
For example, the center position is not to make Social Security “privatized” (i.e., a fund for retirement, yes, but based on personal investments now) but is actually nearer the position which most Americans support and favor: keep Social Security as a guaranteed government program free of stock-market gambling.
The Republican party has shifted so much to the right that it is no where near the “center right” that many commentators laud as where “real” America resides.