A lot of the frustration and delays that we experience are related to fear (as in panic) and how we relate to other people, like as if they should not be reactive when they are reactive (and often covertly terrified). In that regard, consider briefly that we have a limited amount of time that we could invest in generating overwhelming public support and then, with a wave of conspicuous public support, directing our servants or agents in government bureaucracy to provide labels that distinguish inferior and superior products- not with a hysterical insistence, but to present a calm, authoritative spin as our consistent emphasis.
I have repeatedly emphasized my concern that time and money has been invested in reactive, adversarial criticisms of lobbying interests and government interventions, rather than investing those resources toward cultivating a swelling wave of public sentiment in favor of specific government protections and, when appropriate, regulatory standards, such as to call for labeling standards that specify the categorically lower nutritional quality of pasteurized products. Such a campaign might have it’s primary value not in altering bureaucratic policy, but in redefining the conversation people have about the issues.
As an analogy, I do not argue with an upset (confused) 4 year-old that there is no such thing as Santa Claus. I re-frame the entire conversation. Consider that the FDA, USDA, and many lawyers are similar to 6 year-olds… and that we have been as well.
It’s like we have been trying to explain calculus to a hysterical 4 year-old and then getting frustrated that they keep asking about when Santa will be arriving instead of even using our technical jargon. One of the biggest pitfalls of intelligent people is the lack of the capacity to empathize emotionally with people of lower intelligence. Arrogant naivete does not always work well, if ever. It does not help to raise your voice when speaking to a deaf person. It does not help to talk to a cop like they are a lawyer. It does not help to talk to a lawyer like they are a scientist. It does not help to appeal to common sense in a conversation in which there is no one listening. We may need to listen more and talk less, but much more precisely.
So, if our public servants act in ways we could interpret as them sincerely wanting to promote labeling guidelines and commercial restrictions that distinguish high-risk substances from safe substances, we can honor them for their intentions as distinct from their policies and then ask them leading questions AS RESPECTFUL REPRESENTATIVES OF PUBLIC AUTHORITY (not as protesters or arguing respondents, but, in legal terms, as counter-claimant or cross-plaintiff- I figure that some of you folks might recognize those terms from conversations with people like Joel Salatin): “on what basis do you assess risk and safety? When did you last update your guidelines as to what is categorized as risky? Why did you update it then? When will you update those guidelines again? What guidelines do you use to update your guidelines?”
That last one is the really important question. We can interact with public bureaucrats as if they are sincere, good-intentioned, misinformed people who may recognize that they have a growing public credibility problem and we can help them resolve it.
We would not condescendingly argue that the earth revolves around the sun to a 4 year-old who insists that the sun is rising and setting while the earth is still. They simply do not know the word “revolve.” It is useless to try to simply inform them that the earth, which appears still (and flat) to them, is in fact speeding through space.
Basically, we have failed to produce the results we value and then, in some cases, have blamed others for our own failing to produce the results we value. Have mercy on them.
We are blaming people that we know are confused and reactive. That is our ignorance and naivete if we continue to use the same methods and expect different results. We can develop our leadership skills and lead well rather than complain about the crappy leadership of others.
The bureaucratic officers may never be leaders and may always be followers. Why criticize followers for not leading? If they are following the instructions of people who are better at PR and lobbying then we are, then we could focus on getting better at PR and lobbying.
- The GM scientists’ risky strategy that won public support (guardian.co.uk)
- The Future of PR in a Digital World (ereleases.com)
- This is PR: The Realities of Public Relations 11th Ed. (Newsom et al.) Chapter 1 Summary (geoffbcampbell.com)
- Chime’s newly launched Good Relations Group ‘will be top ten PR agency’ (prweek.com)
- Google Alerts Is Not Enough: Thinning of The Reactive Herd (erplife.com)
- 5 Guidelines for a Successful PR Internship (marchpr.com)
- CIPR calls for feedback on PR guidelines to Wikipedia use (prweek.com)
- Shank, Grape, Egg and ‘Shroom (colliefarm.wordpress.com)
- Say What? PR Slang – Defined (perkettprsuasion.com)
- Why Does the Word “PR” Put Out Such a Negative Vibe? (pamil-visions.net)
- Arab Nations Hire 10 PR Agencies In A Year – PR Firms Assist in Selling Brutality (pamil-visions.net)
- Stilgherrian’s advice to a PR student, uhoh (stilgherrian.com)
- A Singaporean’s hunt for a HDB flat – and getting stumped by crazy COVs (andrewlohhp.wordpress.com)
- NYC Fashion PR Jobs: Fashion PR Intern at Hive, JAE at Cristiano Magni, PR Manager Bloomingdale’s (prcouture.com)
- Top Ten Reasons Why Companies Fail At International PR (ishmaelscorner.com)
- Industry rallies against national deposit scheme (abc.net.au)
- Blockbuster-Itis Strikes PR (prtini.com)
- Should your company hire a PR agency? (prdaily.com)
- 14 PR Pros Have Their Say On Flawed PRSA Definition (futurecomms.co.uk)
- What data can and cannot do (guardian.co.uk)
- Dear Gracie: 6 Secrets to Successful Nonprofit PR (prnewswire.com)
- PR Does Not Stand for Press Release (and Other Misconceptions) (prbreakfastclub.com)
- 18 common PR terms – defined (prdaily.com)
- Public Relations in India – Evolving but Confused (vikypedia.in)
- Maldives’ new PR firm under fire (thebureauinvestigates.com)
- How To Write A PR RFP – Insights From RFP Associates (pr.typepad.com)
- What Is Public Relations? (prmarketingcommunication.com)
- A fatal lack of accountability (boingboing.net)
- Ethics, trust and transparency part 1: PR (prthroughthelookingglass.wordpress.com)
- Monica Yant Kinney: Health chief’s ego trip to federal court (philly.com)
- Carl Icahn Attacks Pr Firm & Wayne Nj School District Against Prsa Chairman (ronntorossian.com)
- The inside track: how lobbyists have helped launder Bahrain’s reputation (thebureauinvestigates.com)
- Fixing MIT’s failures in governance (tech.mit.edu)
- The Budget PR disaster (stuff.co.nz)
- Of PRs and citizens (todayonline.com)
- Article: Our DNA is Mutating As We Speak! We Are Developing 12 Strands! Thanks to C! (jhaines6.wordpress.com)
- Anodyne Anonymity (boingboing.net)
- Millions in global aid for Iraq sits unspent (news.yahoo.com)
- Why None Succeeded to Reform Arab Bureaucracies (middleeasttribune.wordpress.com)
- Outsourcing policymaking to think tanks: it can guarantee influence but is it desirable? (onthinktanks.org)
- Government data wants to be open, says Obama’s first CIO (theglobeandmail.com)
- NSW to transform schools into community hubs (abc.net.au)
- Two new ACJ articles for discussion: The fallout and the CJ’s response (judicialcouncilwatcher.wordpress.com)
- Technicality of Corruption (India) (nareshkjoshi.wordpress.com)
- Reforming government regulations: Stephen Breyer’s technocratic solutions (inpropriapersona.com)
- Years of chaos, bureaucracy threaten World Bank funds for Iraq’s schools (foxnews.com)
- Brick by brick, we’re tearing down the big state (telegraph.co.uk)
- What Bureaucrats Know that You Don’t (constitutionclub.org)
- P.L. Thomas: Bureaucracy lends authority to the wrong people in the conversation on reforming education (classroomconscious.wordpress.com)
- Intimate Bureaucracies: A new tactical media release! (revolutionbythebook.akpress.org)
- Ridiculous bureaucracy killing the American Dream? (rt.com)
- The state of the state (ashtenregandenham.wordpress.com)
- Insight: Japan missed tsunami wake-up call for change – Reuters (reuters.com)
- We struggle with bureaucracy to implement President’s transformation agenda – Education Minister (vanguardngr.com)
- Libya’s frustrating transition (globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com)
- Big Brother in your backyard, Part 2 (wnd.com)
- Backlogged VA Means a Million Forgotten Vets (theamericanconservative.com)
- Rand Paul Introduces Amendment to End the FDA’s Insane Police Powers: “I see no reason to have the FDA carrying weapons.” [UPDATED] (reason.com)
- Why China may not be ‘capitalist’: the Role of the State in Chinese Economic Development (p2pfoundation.net)
- Party politics (energybulletin.net)
- Information Technology and the Loss of Common Sense (perceptualedge.com)
- “High-Tax and High-Regulation” California Targets Underground Economy With New Bureaucracy (reason.com)