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Posts Tagged ‘Global Strategy Group’

Study: Brands Play Politics at Their Own Risk

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Last week, we covered a study performed by the Global Strategy Group which found that Americans want their consumer brands to be MORE openly political.

You’re not alone in finding these conclusions surprising: we are not exactly a country defined by political consensus at the moment, and many brands looking to appeal to as many Americans as possible would rather stay out of the game entirely. (For example, you may notice that Chick-Fil-A’s current leadership has far more interest in discussing customer engagement and marketing strategies than same-sex marriage.)

A new research paper funded by the Arthur W. Page Center and published in the November issue of Public Relations Journal seems, in part, to contradict GSG’s findings. Americans may want their brands to take stands on social/policy issues, but the act of playing politics also carries significant risks.

As co-author and assistant professor of PR/advertising at University of Central Florida Melissa D. Dodd puts it, “there are financial repercussions.”

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STUDY: The Public Wants Its Brands to Get More Political

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Is Nike a Republican or a Democratic brand? What about Apple?

Given the headaches and ruined family dinners inspired by this week’s midterm elections — along with the general sense that Americans have had it with ugly party politics — this post’s headline may come as a surprise.

Yet a study released by the Global Strategy Group found that Americans do assign political identities to brands, and that the general public wants those brands to be more overtly political, whether that means Chick-Fil-A letting the world know how it feels about same-sex marriage or Chipotle asking gun owners not to bring their firearms inside.

Some key findings:

  • 56 percent of respondents think corporations should “take a stance” on political/cultural issues, even when they’re controversial
  • 89 percent believe that corporations have the power to influence social change
  • 80 percent think that these corporations should take action to address our society’s most pressing challenges

The most interesting part is that these numbers mark a big change from last year, when researchers asked the same questions. We spoke to Tanya Meck, Executive Vice President and Managing Director at GSG, to learn more.

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Roll Call: MTV and Global Strategy Group

Jason Rzepka has taken on a larger role at MTV as senior vice president, brand communications and public affairs. In this expanded new position, Rzepka will oversee all corporate communications functions for MTV, including setting external and internal communications strategies for the brand, its various screens and businesses. He will also continue to oversee MTV’s public affairs department and the strategic direction of all “pro-social” campaigns across MTV, mtvU and MTV’s digital properties. Jennifer Solari has also been named vice president for program publicity and communications for MTV. Based in Santa Monica, Solari will oversee all the publicity and communications functions for MTV’s west coast office. She joins the company from CBS Television Studios. Additionally, MTV announced two key promotions with Janice Gatti named vice president of MTV/MTV2/mtvU communications and Noopur Agarwal upped to vice president, MTV public affairs. Both previously served as senior directors in their respective departments. (Release)

Charlie Perkins joins Global Strategy Group as managing director. Perkins, a seasoned communications executive with a distinguished career in reputation management, will be based in the New York office. Perkins most recently served in top corporate communications positions at Baker & McKenzie and Ernst & Young. He has also held leadership posts at several of the PR profession’s largest global agencies. (Release)

Two WH Staffers Make Moves

Jennifer Psaki, the White House’s deputy communications director, will be leaving the Obama administration on Thursday to start a new job at Global Strategy Group, a public affairs and research firm. She’ll be SVP and MD with the firm, leading its Washington office. She was deputy press secretary for Obama’s campaign starting in 2007.

Also in political people moves, former press secretary to President George W. Bush, Ari Fleischer, is joining CNN as a contributor to the cable news channel’s roster of programming and special political programming. The addition is another of the channel’s preparations for the 2012 election.

After serving as the primary WH spokesperson between 2001 and 2003 and a Bush/Cheney spokesperson before that, he launched Ari Fleischer Sports Communications.

B-M Announces New U.S. Digital Lead

Michael Bassik has been chosen to lead Burson-Marsteller‘s U.S. digital practice as MD and practice chair. He will be based in New York, reporting to Pat Ford, the firm’s U.S. president.

Bassik was previously SVP at Global Strategy Group, where he was a leader in the public affairs division. While there, he worked with clients including Google, Al Jazeera English, and O, The Oprah Magazine. Other prior clients include John Kerry for President, Hillary Clinton for President and Obama for America.

It was just announced that Dallas Lawrence has been selected as B-M’s chief global digital strategist. Like Bassik, Lawrence also has a strong public affairs background.