Monday, October 26, 2009

The reviews are in

Howard Elliott:
The government, its messaging gurus and the professional help they retain all seem to forget that the people paying for this invaluable brand linkage are the same taxpayers so badly wounded by the recession. Many are out of work. Many have taken salary cuts or unpaid time, or made some other sacrifice. And not only are they paying for the government's multimillion-dollar advertising agenda, they're footing the bill for the Economic Action Plan itself.

Maybe that's why a lot of us get cranky, and more cynical than usual, when we hear the details of how this government, and others, use our own money to sell themselves. To us.
(T)here's no arguing this particular government has plain gotten carried away with partisan messaging on the public tab. They generated giant photo-op cheques, adorned with the Conservative logo and MP photos. They spent $100,000 for a one-hour photo-op event to boost their recession-fighting efforts. They're presiding over a pamphlet campaign in which MP mailings are being used to deliver partisan barbs at Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff. (MP mailings are supposed to be about non-partisan communication to constituents.)

The other thing about effective communication is that you need to know your audience. The Tories don't know their audience nearly well enough if they think this doesn't bug taxpayers, who are also voters, who have a pretty good messaging strategy themselves come election time.

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