Yesterday I spotted a pretty interesting article on the Daily Dog Report. (CLICK TO READ ENTIRE ARTICLE)It was a story about the Supreme Court ruling that now grants corporations unlimited political voice. This essentially means that companies can publicly offer up their support for political candidates. The 5-4 vote did overturn the 20-year-old ruling, but left in place the “prohibition on direct contributions from corporations and unions.”
This article made me wonder how PR reps and others in the field
would handle a change like this. First I thought about how it would directly affect the daily jobs of PR people. I can only assume it will cause them to have more in-depth research on their hands. They will want to know who the company is supporting and for what reason they chose to go with that particular candidate. This could mean a few more hours at the office during the weekday. They will also want to know the ins and outs of what the law actually says so they won’t run a risk of overstepping this change.
Then I started to think about the people associated with “damage control.” They must ready to discuss any possible conflict the public or associates of the company may have with the actual support. Knowing how to negotiate is obviously a skill that is largely used and this also ties into the research aspect of what PR people do.
The people in the PR department of these companies won’t be the only ones who have to stay on their toes. The PR reps for the candidates will also need to have a keen sense of what can be done for the companies in return for political support. Having these types of knowledge will save a lot of time and effort when peak campaign season rolls around.
I think this could be trouble for some companies. Although I’m sure it will bring in a decent amount of media for them, I’m worried that vocalizing these types of support could be more of a mess. For instance if a conservative candidate is being supported by Nestle, could this possibly cause them to be seen as conservative? I don’t think companies really should have that kind of a voice. Its kind of like sitting down in a nice restaurant with a party and then bringing up your feelings on the Republican party. It just makes for awkward conversation. Why not keep the company’s support of a candidate on the “down low”? I could be way off on this entire matter and the companies could turn out to have a great plan to boost their businesses, but it does make me wonder.
Let me know what you think. I could definitely use a second, third or even fourth opinion on this!