Fellow Americans: Join the Bunga Bunga Party*

By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka The PRDude)

Let’s face it: The political system here in the United States of America is at a crossroads, and it’s one perhaps not many of us know in which direction to cross.

silvio-berlusconi

Here’s an image of Mr. Berlusconi courtesy of Reuters. Felt it not appropriate to post any images of Bunga Bunga Party activities in this blog.

Yes, the Republican Party captured the White House, can boast the majority in both houses of Congress and maintain the edge in the number of U.S. governors; but the party certainly is fragmented by splinter groups like the so-called Alt-right. As for the Democrats, their leaders must be feeling the ultimate hangover by winning the popular vote in the presidential race but coming up short where it counts — in the Electoral College.

It’s probably safe to contend that there’s a vast number of Americans who don’t clearly support either party in these days following the November 8 election. Some Americans may even consider joining a new political party. That’s why The PRDude is offering this suggestion: Let’s start a new party and name it the Bunga Bunga Party*.

First, a point of clarification. The name is “borrowed” from the reportedly, how do I state this carefully, “spirited” gatherings hosted by former and once convicted Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. This Wikipedia page offers more insight on the origin and further insight into the aforementioned gatherings.

So, you’re probably wondering: Why name the party after a reportedly tawdry series of events that took place years ago in Italy?

Here are some solid reasons:

  • It’s memorable, has name recognition and there’s a nice ring to “Bunga Bunga.”
  • To my knowledge, no one else has claimed this name for a political party — here or elsewhere.
  • It’s provocative and certainly will stand apart from staid names like “Democratic” and “Republican.”
  • The Green Party name already has been taken, and the Independent Party is boring and non-specific. (“Independent” of what?)
  • Perhaps Mr. Berlusconi will serve as an honorary chairman, which he can do since he won’t have to spend time in jail.

While I have no intention of running as a candidate should the Bunga Bunga Party take shape, I would offer public relations counsel to party leadership. At an hourly rate in line with what communicators working within the Beltline earn, of course.

So fellow Americans, as we prepare tomorrow to celebrate Thanksgiving, that most American of holidays, please make time during your meal with family and friends to consider the Bunga Bunga Party. It might be a welcomed break from quarreling over the real state of politics in the U.S. today.

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*If you’ve read this far, I hope you realize this post is an attempt — hopefully successfully — at satire and humor. If not, can you say “Bunga Bunga?”

 

 

Donald Trump and Public Relations

By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka The PRDude)

Now that many people in this great nation have collectively has taken a deep breath, we can collectively accept the fact that Donald J. Trump was elected president of the United States on November 8, 2016, in what will be remembered as one of the truly astonishing election upsets in the nation’s history.

trump-website-image

Credit: Photo was borrowed from the official website for the Trump campaign. This blog sincerely appreciates the opportunity to include this graphic in today’s post.

Still, many of us will find it hard — perhaps excruciatingly hard — to come to the realization of a Trump administration. But, the democratic process was followed, and Mr. Trump will be inaugurated on January 20, 2017.

Another thing is certain: Prognosticators, pundits and pollsters will grapple for the unforeseeable future about how candidate Trump, a political neophyte and billionaire businessman catapulted to stardom via reality television, beat an opponent with some 40 years of political savvy, including terms as a U.S. Senator and Secretary of State.

(Okay, we will not address the misgivings and faults regarding Hillary Clinton, perceived or substantiated, in this post as that subject is not germane to subject at hand.)

But here’s one theory I would like to quash and address right now: Mr. Trump did not win the presidency due to a masterful “public relations strategy,” as some in the media have asserted.

As stated in this September 2015 article published by Forbes, the author proclaims Mr. Trump’s campaign at the time had delivered “the proper public relations note” to reach its core audience. (For the record, I have no idea what defines a “public relations note.”)  And, others in public relations have contributed to the discussion by offering examples of the value behind some of Mr. Trump’s public relations tactics.

Hogwash, if you ask me. And, if I wanted to get into the gutter like so many these days, I would offer another descriptive term, one that rhymes with “dimwit.”

No, Mr. Trump and those within his campaign did not propagate sound, ethical public relations strategies or offer many — if any — viable tactics for those of us in the profession to absorb and use. The key reasons why:

  1. At times during the campaign and primary race, his rhetoric was based on fabricated facts.
  2. There was little to no effort to disclose where some of the information disseminated came from.

Want an example? Read this Chicago Tribune story from August of 2016 regarding a reported meeting by Mr. Trump with a “high ranking” Chicago police official. The topic was how the city can curtail violent crime in one week through tougher policing.

I do agree that Mr. Trump and his team did employ marketing strategies and tactics to leverage the brand he built through his real estate endeavors, television show and other business interests.  Well, perhaps Trump University should be kept off the list for now.

So how did Mr. Trump win?

That question will be debated for a long time, probably until the next presidential election; but Tuesday’s victory was not driven by public relations, at least not the public relations I practice.

Woke Up and It Was Not a Dream: Chicago Cubs are 2016 World Series Champions

By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka The PRDude)

Shortly after dawn this mild-for-early-November morning, I woke up and wondered: Was it all just a dream?

Some fictional occurrence? A tale built upon hope, anxiety and perhaps one too many beers?

What road will the 2017 Chicago Cubs follow? The PRDude thinks it will be a road that leads to more World Series victories.

What road will the 2017 Chicago Cubs follow? The PRDude thinks it will be a road that leads to more World Series championships.

But no, it actually happened. It dominated local and national news and social media channels.  And, it will for a long time after the days of November get shorter and colder.

The Chicago Cubs defeated the Cleveland Indians 8 to 7 in the seventh game of the 2016 World Series, ending a 108-year drought and — hopefully — ending forever tales of ineptitude and losing involving goats, jinxes, hexes and even a hapless fan reaching for a foul ball. It was a game made all the more surreal and dramatic through long balls and timely singles, great pitching and wild pitches, errors and fielding gems.

There were heroes and goats, some questionable ball and strike calls, and, for good measure, even a rain delay.

So the big question: Are the 2016 Chicago Cubs one-hit (pun intended) wonders in spikes? Given the current on-field talent, management, ownership, fan base (and, hey let’s be real here — baseball is a business) and corporate support, the Chicago Cubs will be contenders to hoist the World Series trophy for a few years to come.

The mantra, “We can’t wait until next year,” will now replace “Wait until next year.”

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But wait! There’s more recent Chicago Cubs-related thoughts from the PRDude:

  • In this September 18 post, I share thoughts and observations in the waning moments of the regular season.
  • On October 19, the focus centered on how “hatred” of the Cubs, as exemplified by a basketball player named Frank Kaminsky, was emblematic of some things very wrong with society today.
  • And, who could forget my October 31/Halloween day commentary that somehow melded my still alive tomato plants with the Cubs’ hopes to win two in Cleveland.