President Bush's attempts to "rebrand" the United States are doomed, according to Naomi Klein. Klein analyzes of the strategy developed for the U.S. by Charlotte Beers, the advertising executive hired by the State Department as undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs. One of the problems, Klein notes, is that Beers' strategy of "branding" is itself in conflict with her attempt to equate Americanism with democracy and diversity.
Charlotte Beers, the former advertising executive in charge of improving America's image in the Muslim world, recently spent three days in Cairo talking about mending fences.
Incepta, the marketing and public relations firm, branched out into detective work with the purchase of the US-based Global Intelligence and Security. The management team at Global Intelligence, which carries out business intelligence and investigations, includes several former executives from Kroll Associates, one of the best-known private detective and investigations agencies in the world.
"In any great brand, the leverageable asset is the emotional underpinning of the brand," says Charlotte Beers, who heads the U.S. government's efforts to improve America's image in the world. According to Washington Post staff writer Peter Carlson, Beers specializes in "branding" -- "a quasi-alchemical process that promises to identify a particular company's product with desirable attributes." According to U.S.
Most of the new PR plan was ready to go. As the new moon ushered in the month of Ramadan last week, U.S. officials prepared "Mosques of America" posters, showing glossy images of domes and minarets, for distribution across the Arab world. President Bush and ambassadors in the Middle East and Asia would welcome Muslims into their homes to mark iftar, or the breaking of the fast. Muslim Americans were set to mingle with foreign Islamic journalists from the Washington area, no doubt to extol the virtues of the Bill of Rights.
Katie Couric of "Today," Diane Sawyer of "Good Morning America," and Bryant Gumbel of "The Early Show" are three of the nation's biggest media stars. But are they journalists or glorified hawkers? According to a report by the Project for Excellence in Journalism, which studied the three network morning shows for two weeks in June and two weeks in October, these programs spend an awful lot of time selling things to the public. ... Even given some slight moderation after the Sept. 11 attacks, the report suggested that the shows were becoming a "kind of sophisticated infomercial."
Journalists were watchdogs who didn't bark until after the stock market bubble burst, Jim Michaels told about 70 journalists Tuesday at a conference sponsored by Strong Funds in Menomonee Falls, Wis. "We've just come off the worst investment bubble in history that cost investors something like $3 trillion," said Michaels, who served as editor of Forbes magazine for 38 years and is still a vice president there. "The whole thing was a Ponzi scheme, yet during much of it, business journalists were cheerleaders for it.
Public Citizen has taken the San Diego-based SureBeam Corporation to task for falsely claiming that its food irradiation technology can kill anthrax bacteria. "SureBeam has made these claims without any supporting scientific evidence that the company's 'electron-beam' irradiation equipment is capable of killing the anthrax bacteria or its spores," states a Public Citizen news release.
The recent release of the film America's Sweethearts gave moviegoers a peek into the behind-the-scenes world of movie media junkets, a Hollywood institution.
"Fighting the anti-American fury that fueled the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks will require more than bombs, intelligence and diplomacy. This is a job for the public relations industry," writes Carl Weiser, Washington correspondent for the Gannett News Service. He asked PR, advertising and marketing experts what kind of campaign they would create to convince the Islamic world "that this nation is not the Great Satan, but good and generous." Responses included: