Tuesday, June 18, 2013

New PR Approach to Nominate Candidates for High Office

Sample Poll Ads Appearing at Various Sites

Right up front: I do not like gimmicks, hula-hoops, fads, flim-flam, or con artists. Also, I am not a
fan or supporter of Hillary Clinton. I have held my neutral stance about her ever since she ran for the U.S. Senate in New York State. Her public service has been good in most cases. I also know her abilities and limitations, and yes, she is very smart. 

At this point, I don't want to pat myself on the back or toot my own horn, but I believe I discern and evaluate information and things around me very well based a lot reading, research, observation, a wide range of experiences in life, and a good visual grasp of events and people. However, at the same time it is disconcerting to see this massive PR marketing effort for Hillary Clinton for President in 2016 already. It seems to me that there a large and growing number of people and groups and interests who want her in the Oval Office no matter what, come Hell or high water.

It also seems to me that nothing will stop this ball from rolling all the way to the Democratic convention for 2016 and her official nomination or crowning — take your pick. I know that sounds negative, but based on the events I see this early on in the process troubles me. It has to "her" or no one else attitude is the troubling part. 

So, I wonder: Is this the new trend to get people into office. Boy, I sure hope not. Because at this point in history with the world turmoil as it is and events around the globe as unstable as they are, etc., we sure don't need to rely on the "Halo effect." Oh, it's not that you say. Um, how a short on that subject, okay.

The "halo effect" is a classic finding in social psychology. Notes from there:

It is the idea that global evaluations about a person (e.g. he/she is likable) bleed over into judgements about their specific traits (e.g. she/he is intelligent). 

Hollywood stars demonstrate the halo effect perfectly. Because they are often attractive and likable we naturally assume they are also intelligent, friendly, display good judgement and so on. That is, until we come across (sometimes plentiful) evidence to the contrary.

(This is where I apply the Hillary PR effect):

In the same way politicians use the "halo effect" to their advantage by trying to appear warm and friendly, while saying little of any substance. People tend to believe their policies are good, because the person appears good. It's that simple.

Actually, it is not that simple when it comes to "leading." Oops that word "leadership." Okay, let's talk leadership. To me that's what is sorely lacking in our government today -- not with everyone, of course, but with a good many. 

I have modified a quote from former Justice Potter Stewart to fit my philosophy on leadership this way. He was asked how define or identify obscenity in a USSC case. What he said also defines my view on leadership: "I know it when I see it."

A lot goes into judging a leader and leadership and for the highest office in the land, popularity is important, but so are judgment, focus, management, and raw leadership skills. A slick PR campaign may highlight those traits in 20-second sound bytes to sell a candidate, but most of us know better - we know it when we see it!!

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