Goodyear’s clarification: bad, bad PR

March 18, 2009

Gary Goodyear should not have accepted the appointment as Secretary of State for science and technology if he holds so little regard or interest for science. It doesn’t matter if his distrust comes from religion, childhood experiences or a bad chemistry teacher in Grade 9 (well maybe it does, but at another level).

But it’s hard to refuse a first appointment, especially since it was either that or the backbenches. Fine. But when the very predictable PR crisis came, he should have faced it without hiding behind “I’m a Christian, so back off.” Today’s half-hearted and very strange clarification (footwear as a driver of the genetic evolution of the human species?) shows one of two things: either he was never briefed on the concept, even now that it’s headline news; or his brain turned off during the briefing.

Parliament resumes on Monday. Goodyear’s PR people better make sure the Minister is about to talk about species evolution in an intelligent way at that point.

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Poll: National Geographic vs. Alberta oil sands

March 8, 2009

This post below received quite a few visits since it got posted a few hours ago. This looks like a good opportunity for a little poll. So read the post and vote if you are so inclined.



CBC needs $ 65 million, fast

February 25, 2009

The CBC is deep in the redbecause, well, nobody’s buying advertizing time right now. Apparently discussions are already under way with Heritage Canada. Most government-watchers I talk to agree there will be some kind of rescue funding but some cuts will have to be made – the process is already underway internally. There shall be pain.

It’s nice to see the dismal situation has not affected CBC VP Stursberg’s metaphorical speaking style. “The revenues fell off a cliff. … I have not seen a slide that precipitous and that deep in my entire life.”

So is the Mother Corp sinking?

“We have not been able to bail the boat as quickly as the water is coming in over the gunwales.”

Better keep pumpin’, mate!

February 26 update: Okay, so it seems the government isn’t seriously considering additional funding for the CBC after all. Perhaps my contact were doing a little spin themselves… Still, there are many ways to get money to the CBC and not call it a bailout. Let’s see what happens now.


Does Canwest need a government bailout?

February 24, 2009

Canwest needs to come up with a $100 million debt payment by Friday to avoid becoming insolvent. And if they manage to beg, steal or borrow the money, there’s always another payment not far behind…

How long before media conglomerates beg for a government bailout? That would be the acid test of journalistic objectivity.


Media elite was out to get me – Palin

February 24, 2009

Instead of looking ahead and nurturing her relationship with the media, Sarah Palin set to… heck, I really don’t know what she’s trying to accomplish by this.

“We are going to seek and we are going to destroy this candidacy of Sarah Palin’s because of what it is that she represents,” the former vice presidential candidate described as the attitude members of the press adopted.

“It is foreign to me the way some in the mainstream media are thinking.”

Yes, we have noticed she has no idea how the mainstream media works. Or public relations, for that matter.

The problem with those little nasty documentaries is that the only ones who will see them are those who are already converted. So while Republican spokespersons should be reaching out to the American people, they prefer to preach to the choir.


Mario Dumont gone by tomorrow

February 23, 2009

Well, probably not right away but he will announce he is stepping out of politics tomorrow according to various sources. We already knew he would not seek re-election, after the horrendous performance of his Action Démocratique du Québec last Fall.

He shall not be missed much. As a communicator, Dumont frequently appealed to voters’ fear and insecurity about health care services, immigration or the French language. A good strategy for short-term gain, but not something you want to build your public image around.


Quick notes

February 22, 2009

I’ve slowly emerging from a very active period, both at work and at home. Some quick notes for now, more later.

Obama does Canada: The stop at the Byward Market was not only a good idea, it was also nicely executed. Those stunts are a little harder to do well than they look like (thinking about you, Stockwell Day). I hope the Beavertail didn’t make him sick.

Harper’s social media response lacking: Mr. Harper put to shame those critics saying he would look foolish and unloved standing besides Mr. Obama. It was a stupid theory and the visit actually went quite well for our Prime Minister, of course. Except for the social media response – while the White House was posting liveblogging and pictures of the visit, the most recent picture of the Prime Minister’s Flickr channel was about a visit to Toronto’s transit authority.

Begging with dignity: It’s fun to watch North American automobile executives trying to find the right note in their relationship with governments these days. They realized showing up in their luxury jets wasn’t going to endear them to the taxpayers. On the other hand, you’re trying to keep your dignity with abjectly begging for a multi-billion government handout you absolutely don’t deserve. What to do, what to do…