08.06.2014 0

Global warming’s public relations gambit

By Rick Manning

Get ready America, many of the world’s largest public relations firms are creating a climate change litmus test by asserting that they will not work for companies or organizations that don’t buy the global warming mantra that is being used to destroy the free market system.

What these PR geniuses apparently fail to realize is that by taking this action, any company or group that they currently represent has to be assumed to hold the same global warming position that they so lovingly cling to, making them prime economic boycott targets by those who oppose the climate change agenda.

One wonders if they have already gone to their clients in the energy field and informed them that they will no longer represent them unless they sign a note certifying that they corporately bow to the PR firm’s political beliefs?

Will they drop representing a company’s interests on real estate matters, because the company supports free market groups that oppose the global warming mantra?

Will they refuse to represent investment groups that have holdings of energy companies that are fighting against the global warming agenda?

Will they force all their employees to sign an oath of fealty to the global climate change gods?

To enforce their edict they would have to do all of these things, but none of them matter.  The market system allows people and companies to make choices about whom they hire to provide public relations advice, and it would be counter to a company’s interest to hire a public relations firm that opposes their core, underlying business.  If corporate decision makers act rationally, they will seek out public relations firms that message to as broad of a group of people as possible rather than limiting themselves to those who mindlessly bleat to the same hype.

What’s more, public relations firms don’t really create anything other than ideas on how to convey a position to targeted audiences usually with the goal of selling a product, or presenting a client in a positive light.

These firms have to understand market segments and how to speak with them in order to effectively do their job.  Raising the obvious question, why would anyone hire a firm that does not have a single person on staff who can admit that they relate to the more than 40 percent of Americans who Gallup has found believe that man-made global warming is overstated?

Would any truck company hire a PR firm that not only despises their product, but also looks down upon their potential customers?

And that is why this grand announcement will fall flat into meaninglessness.  In the end, it is about getting the business.  There are many public relations firms that provide essentially the same services. Potential clients have lots of choices.

This decision opens the door for a new group of public relations firms who aren’t hamstrung by global warming dogma, and the corporate behemoths that currently dominate the landscape will either collapse of their own self-important weight or quietly change their policy.

Being very smart at analyzing downstream impacts of their actions, these public relations behemoths certainly know the ramifications of their global warmist only pledge.  A pledge that leads to one of two conclusions:  either this is just standard PR puffery signifying nothing, or they mean it, revealing a market myopia unsuitable for anyone in their business.

Either way, the free market will decide the wisdom of their politics, and many large corporate accounts will now be available to young, hungry entrepreneurs as a result.

Rick Manning is the vice president of public policy and communications for Americans for Limited Government.

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