Public relations and the holiday weekend

Heading into the holiday weekend, here’s a few random thoughts I had while running this morning. Linda Douglass, a retired news staffer with ABC and CBS, is joining Barack Obama’s campaign as a senior advisor and spokesperson. And I guess those of us looking for an honest, open discussion of issues should be encouraged.

Here’s from a story on TVNewser by Gail Shister about the appointment:

“Like  a broken Maytag washer, retired ABC correspondent Linda Douglass will skip the spin cycle.

“As new senior advisor for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, ‘”My intention is that I won’t spin,'” she says. ‘”I absolutely vow that I will tell the truth.'”

Well, here’s hoping. I guess there is a first time for everything. And wouldn’t it be, hmm, the right thing to do? We’ll see.

And then there is a story about character and principle to share from the campaign trail. Mark McKinnon, the senior advertising strategist for the McCain campaign, followed through on a vow he made previously to leave the campaign rather than working against the election of Barack Obama. That’s not a critique of either McCain or Obama on my part. It’s just that when someone in a senior position anywhere actually does what he says he is going to do it is cause for celebration. Maybe this presidential campaign will be about issues, discussed openly and candidly.

Then there is PR Strategist, the flagship of PRSA’s communication fleet. In March we held at Kent State a professional development conference around social media and Packaging the Presidency — Online. Exciting, innovative conference. The story in PR Strategist: ho-hum.

With all the new approaches to communicating out there, isn’t there a way for a professional organization to do something beyond the typical question-and-answer format?

Mr X: Blah, blah, blah.

Mr Y: Blah, blah, blah.

Oh, well. In a world of change, PRSA remains a constant.

I thought about this when I saw a presentation posted on SlideShare by Sacha Chua.

Sacha describes herself as a social intranet consultant and geek. And as best I can tell, her day job is with IBM. That in itself is encouraging.

Yet something tells me that Sacha and others like her won’t be spending much time with publications like PR Strategist in the years ahead. That, in my view, is a good thing.

And they are sure going to change the workplace and political campaigns. Good.


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