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February 25, 2013
Paul Gipe

When Euphemisms and Rebranding Obscure the Message


Whether it is Climate Change or Feed-in Tariffs for Renewable Energy

With the mainstream news media (MSM) gradually coming to terms with Climate Change and it’s absence in the US presidential election (see Bloomberg’s Businessweek), it shouldn’t be surprising that there’s a lot of finger-pointing and analysis of what went wrong.
 
One revelation that first appeared in the Guardian, a British newspaper--not American--is of an invitation-only meeting between environmental leaders and the Obama administration.
 
At this meeting, the Obama administration informed the audience that based on their focus groups and polling in the wake of the financial collapse, legislation on “Climate Change” could only be sold to Congress and the American public in terms of “Clean Energy”, “Clean Jobs”, and national security.
 
Most of us have suffered in silence as our colleagues and allies succumbed to the siren song of pollsters, marketers, and peddlers of focus groups that the only way to “sell” our “product” was to “rebrand” our message as if it was so much Ivory soap.
 
We gritted our teeth and said to ourselves, “Well, if it works, so be it”.
 
It didn’t work.
 
And now public policy advocates are picking up the pieces and wondering if they spent too much time “rebranding” instead of keeping the message clear and simple.
 


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