Griffin Strategies Blog

Snowflakes and a Flurry of Fallacies

Allison Griffin - Thursday, December 03, 2009

Today, as I watched big fluffy snowflakes falling from the skies over Dallas, I thought about global warming and the flurry of fallacies surrounding it.

 

The recent revelation of manipulation and cover-ups by some of the scientists most responsible for fanning the global warming flames raises serious questions about a theory that has been widely accepted by the media and some government leaders as “truth.”

 

The discovery of deceitful internal emails, coupled with the deletion of data upon which global warming “truths” are based, is quite inconvenient, particularly for those pushing sweeping and punitive “Cap and Trade” environmental legislation on Capitol Hill.

 

That legislation is on the fast track, in spite of questions about hundreds of new federal regulations and mandates it would spawn and their effect on the nation’s weak economy.  Critics say the new government burdens will raise energy prices for consumers, hurt home and car sales, and send the last remaining America-based energy companies -- and all those jobs they provide – overseas.

 

If these economic concerns aren’t enough to give pause to the politicians in Washington, will this revelation of environmental evidence tampering make them think twice?

 

Even amid the flurry of fallacies, I fear the truth is too inconvenient to derail a done deal.

 

It’s a chilling thought.

Always Assume the Mic is On

Allison Griffin - Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Makes you cringe, doesn’t it?

Imagine if someone had broadcast some of the off-hand comments you’ve made to a close friend or colleague over the years. Yikes. Fortunately for you, the mic wasn’t on.

Unfortunately for some very high-profile people lately, the microphone was on and their comments were broadcast loud and clear across the nation, making millions of us cringe. (Think: California Assemblyman Mike Duvall. Former Obama Administration official Van Jones. Congressman Joe Wilson. Kanye West – though he actually grabbed the mic on purpose.)

Whether out of arrogance or sheer stupidity, public figures – particularly politicians –seem to have forgotten some important cardinal rules of public life: “Someone is always listening.” And, “If your grandmother would gasp, you probably shouldn’t say it.” It’s a point I drive home with clients, especially the high-profile ones.

But this PR advice isn’t reserved for the famous and powerful. Even people who aren’t in public life should take these cardinal rules of communication to heart.

Think about the inquisitive ears of children and the things they’ll repeat on the playground.

Think of your colleague who may secretly deplore the casual way you talk about your intimate life.

Think about the inappropriate email you sent and where it got forwarded (with your name still attached).

Or think of that risqué photo your teenager texted to her boyfriend that somehow ended up all over the school and Internet. (BIG cringe.)

In the words of Lyle Lovett, “I realize there are things you say and do that you can never take back.” Yep. Once it’s out there, it’s out there.

When it comes to communication -- whether verbal, written or electronic -- use your brain. Don’t create a public relations crisis for yourself. If the words or images would make your grandmother cringe, refrain from saying or sending it. And ALWAYS ASSUME THE MIC IS ON.