I’ve always believed the best PR in the world cannot compensate for a flawed product, service, company or, in this case, politician.
In the latter case, I’m speaking of embattled New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who just made the most unusual and some say “unprecedented” decision to hire a Manhattan PR firm to provide counsel, pen press releases and, get this, craft commentary for city officials to use when defending Hizzoner’s controversial programs.
To further complicate this sordid tale, the PR firm in question, BerlinRosen, represents several other clients who conduct business with The Big Apple. Holy conflict, Batman.
When confronted by the ever tenacious Marcia Kramer of WCBS-TV the mayor was his usual haughty, dismissive self, poo-pooing Kramer’s suggestion he’d created a “shadow government” by hiring a whole new team of outside advisers when hundreds were already on the city’s payroll. The mayor sighed and said it “…was nothing unusual.” Yeah, right, and Donald Trump’s flag-burning Tweets are standard operating procedure for any president-elect.
There’s no doubt the de Blasio brand is in desperate shape. Since taking office, he has not only managed to antagonize virtually every key constituent audience, but has seemingly turned a blind eye to the city’s rapidly-deteriorating state.
Alas, neither BerlinRosen nor Edward Bernays himself can, or could, save de Blasio from losing his bid for re-election.
That’s because, despite what our hagiographic trade press may tell you to the contrary, the very best PR programs in the world can never compensate for a shoddy product or a horrible customer experience.
But, hey, maybe there’s a silver lining to this particularly grey cloud after all. Imagine the business they’d be able to attract if the PR firm in question can change its name to BerlinRosendeBlasio? It does have a certain ring to it.