Showing posts with label politics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label politics. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

We Need to Bring Back PSAs


Remember PSAs? The 30-second spots, a little cheesy, but a good source of common sense? We need them back, on Primetime TV, and on social media, ASAP.

As an elder millennial (errr Oregon Trail Generation??) I think of two classic sources for PSAs. First, the popular The More You Know campaign of PSAs by NBC, and second, GI Joe cartoons. As an only child (aka no older siblings), GI Joe was particularly significant because it used the same animation style as the cartoon and featured dozens of PSA scenarios.

2017 Airline Videos, Poster Child for PSAs



If ever there was a business case for dialing up PSAs on Primetime TV it's the streak of viral airline videos from 2017. Some of the videos are horrific, poor customer service, where others are borderline entrapment where customers are trying to get their 15-seconds of fame, or win the GoFundMe sympathy lottery.

Like many of you, I've grown numb to these videos. It angers me to see how select airline employees, and select customers are conducting themselves. From a leadership standpoint, I believe the airline industry can do a better job training it's staff to internalize it's own airline policies, and federal aviation laws more consistently.

The airline industry should align to create a member-based organization where the organization publishes, trains and certifies customer-facing industry employees. Customers are tired of airlines being 'judge, jury, and executioner.' Airlines are not providing a consistent or predictable customer experience, including failing to follow it's own company's protocol, embellishing airline policy, and improper citation of federal aviation law.

Sometimes There's No "Good Guy" / "Bad Guy"


If 2015 and 2016 were years of viral police videos, 2017 will be a year of flight attendant videos. Why link fight attendants to police officers? Many of the viral videos we see are typically not the result of initial aggression of the video's villain. Often, many videos involve a repeated escalation of ignorance of the "good guy" towards the "bad guy," ending in a "gotcha" video clip. Examples include customers being narcissistic with airline employees, or citizens being aggressive and non compliant with police officers.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not defending many of these videos. I am emphasizing that often these videos are not the narrative of an innocent bystander being victimized or bullied by a person in power. Meaning, if training is needed for the airline industry for "bad guy behavior," something is needed to counter with the consumer.

Ignorance is Bliss: Reducing Customer 15-Seconds of Fame


Consumers need to understand what airline policies are, what might be possible through discretion, how to make a special request, and how to alternatively plan if a request is not possible. This includes easier to locate FAQ documentation on what can be brought on a plane, and when contacting customer support before the flight (aka before arriving at the airport is appropriate).

Airport Code of Conduct PSA


The pinnacle of this should include PSAs on how to conduct oneself on a flight, and who better to produce these PSAs than the yet to be created industry collaborative organization responsible for customer-facing certifications. These would run in Primetime, and also could be formatted for children's programming. If I learned anything through the D.A.R.E program, and childhood PSAs, it's that children are powerful when it comes to self-policing adults and asking why the adult is behaving a certain way.

Bonus: Classic GI Joe PSAs


G.I. Joe PSA - Barbeque - Don't pull the fire alarm unless there's a fire

G.I. Joe PSA - Hawk - Obey railroad crossing signs


G.I. Joe PSA - Lady Jaye - Stop and think before you act




Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Hillary Clinton's 9/11 Health Scare United the Country

Sunday 9/11/16 started with a very divided country, by evening the country was united. It wasn't the memory the day -- it wasn't a particular speech -- it was the images of Hillary Clinton, in obvious distress, being rushed in a van pulling up. 



On a 9/11 the country seemed the least united in memory, the politics were put away for legitimate concern towards Secretary Clinton's health. Previously health concerns and rumors had been brushed aside. Depending on which ideological you held that would be the likely a predictor of how you felt about the topic. In the moment many saw that video ideologies ceased and the country was perhaps one of the most united in recent 9/11 memory.

The seconds in that short video are very humanizing. Most of us will never know how hard it truly is to be part of these 24x7 campaigns; the minute by minute timing, the list of obligations, and the challenge to connect with as many people as possible. What we saw here is what it looks like what that limit is reached, then crossed. 

This reminds me a bit of the 1914 'Christmas Truce' during WWI. For those not familiar this was an unofficial ceasefire on the western front of The Great War. French, British and German troops put down their arms, crossed the 'no man's land area' of the trenches where they spoke to each other, shared food, and even by soccer. 

In the hours after that video predictable pundits salivating for 'gotcha moments' didn't treat it as that. They treated it as legitimate concern towards an advocacy. While often clashing politically they want to win on the field of ideas, not see their opponent rushed away like that. Maybe for these pundits it was a reminder of there own health challenges. 

An Opportunity for a Lesson
If there's a reason I'm particular empathic is because I watched the news clips that day from bed. I had been pushing myself in the days and weeks prior, nothing that I felt was a gray zone. 

My social media post on Saturday, 9/10/16. 
Spent 9/11 laying down. To say I could relate to Secretary Clinton is an understatement. 
Maybe had a few warning signs, but still thought I was safe. I wasn't. Things escalated in the hours after posting this. It took me a few days to bounce back. 

If I was advising Secretary Clinton, I would humanize the video of her getting into the van as much as possible. Almost everyone has had a situation like hers, but not everyone had it seen by millions of people. 


Friday, June 24, 2016

BREXIT, Google Search Trends and the Misinformed Voter

You can make a case many political consultants are a little weak on understanding today's digital age, and how we consume information. Need proof? Check out the spam filter on your personal email address. High chance there's several high profile campaigns soliciting donations that you probably never read. That's a waste of money and time. There's a reason those messages go to spam.

Having an SEO background, a good grasp on politics, including how political campaigns operate, a 52% to 48% election is often seen as a squeaker that likely could have gone the opposite way with a few adjustments. A huge relief for the victor, and frustrating second guessing for the loser.

A definitive victory is often a 55% - 45% split and a blowout > 60%. What's interesting about BREXIT is that it was a coin flip with a short timeline.


“BREXIT” Google Search Entry Trending
BREXIT Google Search Trending June 2016

Above: Google search volume trending “BREXIT.” The BREXIT revolution came quick. In 2016 there was an initial spike in interest, then a cooling, and a massive surge after the election. The vote passed 52% - 48%.



My Take:

  • As a millennial, this is one of the biggest events in my lifetime. Potentially a distant second to the Berlin Wall falling. 
  • I wonder how history 20 years from now will remember this vote
  • It is alarming how radical a change can happen on a simple majority wins vote
  • Further alarming how radical a change this was with how little people researched the topic with topical search volume coming in so late, and continued growth happening after the vote.

Make a few adjustments to your messaging strategy, and it's interesting to ponder if the initial election was held two weeks from now would it be a larger victory to decide to leave the EU. It did appear to trending up with support. Equally, looking at all that Google search traffic, are there enough people that might regret not voting, or went into the ballot box under-informed and would switch a past "no" vote to "yes" or a "yes" vote to "no."

We seem to live in very polarizing times. These 52-48 election scenarios are all too frequent in the USA as well. As long as victories can be 50% + 1 vote, the race to win the middle swing vote becomes obvious. 

Moving forward the need to max out technology and meta data analysis will become greater, both to get a temperature of who potential supporters are, what their degree of passion / support is, and ensuring they follow through to make it to the ballot box.  The challenge will be for short term campaigns is getting a complex deployment online is a short period of time. 

To do this right system integrations take time, and campaigns rarely have the luxury of long term staffers, they often look more like seasonal Christmas help at a retail store. Closing the gap to onboard a new campaign, and hedge against employees that are newer, but lack experience will be essential. To do this expect campaigns to implement more automation, both in operations, and in messaging where meta data powers dynamic content. These shifts will become increasingly important in coming election cycles. They need to be. If you're on the wrong end of a 52-48 election you don't want to answer why these things were not implemented or implemented sooner. 

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Orlando, How Gay Rights and Gun Rights Intersect

The politics of hysteria is interesting and long lasting. In 1985 gay men were banned for life to donate blood, I'd say it made sense at the time -- little was known of AIDS and blood transfusions. That lifetime ban lasted until 2015. Now men who have had contact with another man cannot donate if contact occurred within the last 12 months.


The math is not there to support these bans and many men in Orlando just tried to donate blood. The same type of hysteria will be used to call to outlaw "scary looking black rifles" where "one shot is fired each time the trigger is pulled" -- in this case cause by a man interviewed by the FBI 3 times who violated the law by not only shooting, but shooting in a "gun free zone."


In my opinion more lives can be saved by allowing gay men better access to donate blood than to put restrictions on scary looking black riffles. If the politics of the latter are to be discussed, then let's not do it on the basis of hysteria, let's do it on the basis of functionality of one shot for each trigger pull. While we are at it, make the consequences so grave using such offensively carries too much risk for the offender, but having access as a defensive means is not obstructed. The rights and consequences of offenders are frequently valued higher than the rights of the innocent, and those that need to defend themselves. Same concept whether you are 'standing your ground' on an intruder breaking into your home, or if you are a gay man looking to donate blood within a community that was just struck with a tragedy that will be discussed for decades to come.