47 Percent and Lessons for PR Pros

by Dan Ward

Seems like every pundit has taken presidential candidate Mitt Romney to task for his “47 Percent” comments, just as President Obama was taken to task for saying “You Didn’t Build That.”

But rather than use these comments to cement our personal political views, perhaps those of us who value client relationships should learn from them.

Almost every day, I read at least one Facebook post from some senior PR agency executive (or law firm partner or many other service industry executives) who use that forum to express not only hatred for one candidate or another, but also to share how any who disagree are idiots.

I wonder what that says to the, ahem, 47 percent or so of their current and potential clients they’ve just called idiots.

I happen to know that some of my clients are staunch conservatives and others hold liberal views.  I don’t always agree with their positions.  But I don’t go to a public forum and tell the world that they are stupid.  Call me crazy, but I think that’s bad for business.

I’m not saying that any of us should be afraid to share our political beliefs for fear of losing business.  We should be afraid of losing business because we fail to hold ourselves to the same standards we recommend for our clients.  Think before you speak isn’t just a good rule for our clients.  It’s a good rule for those of us who seek to advise them as well.

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