Duct Tape, Anyone?

Duct tape
I’ve held out for
as long as I could. I didn’t comment when the Big 3 automaker CEOs schlepped to
Capitol Hill, hats in hands, in private jets. Nor did I say anything when asked
if he might take a pay cut from some of the millions he was earning, one CEO answered
“I’m good where I am at.” But when Bob Lutz at GM answered NPR’s question
about what they’d be doing to operate on Washington’s nickel, with  “woe is me, no bonus, massive pay cut and I have
to stand in line at the Northwest counter” — I just can’t take it anymore.
Especially when PR
reports that GM is cutting its PR staff and budget.

 That did it. OK,
PR in general rarely gets the respect it deserves. As an agency veteran, I know
first-hand that when times are tough, PR is one of the first things to go.

But in the last 90
days, there have been dozens of cringe-worthy of examples of exactly why that’s
the wrong decision. [How about Caroline Kennedy’s now-failed bid over Clinton’s
senate seat, that kicked off with an admission that she hasn’t voted
in most of the elections in the past 10 years?]  

So c’mon,
colleagues of mine.  Get up from your
keyboards, and march into your CEO’s office, with your own blog post.  Then insist that you get a seat at the table, and
volunteer to bring the duct tape to help enforce the first rule of good
communications strategy:  just because executives
can open their mouths, doesn’t mean they should.  Then ask for the same kind of comp package
they’re getting.

– By Susan Bassett