Last night’s widespread outage of iinet, Australia’s second-largest Internet Service Provider, was bad enough. For hours, many of iinet’s customers had little or no access to the assorted services that they were paying for due to a cooling failure at an iinet data-centre, during record-breaking heat.
Bad enough, but iinet’s communications people actually managed to make things even worse than that, failing to communicate clearly, just when the company and its customers needed it most.
The saying goes “even a stopped clock gives the right time twice a day”. The implication is that no matter how wrong you are, how broken your reasoning, or how unfounded your opinion, once in a while (by chance) you’ll be right about something. There’s also an inverse corollary here: No matter how good your reasoning and your facts are, no matter how often you’re right, sometimes you’re going to make a mistake and be wrong.
Life’s tough like that, and we all really know these things, but it is largely these two principles that have led into a long-term distrust of the process of science.
“Left” and “Right” are two of the most commonly used political designations in this, or indeed in any, country. And you know, they actually used to mean something once. Back in revolutionary France, the “left” was opposed to the monarchy, and the “right” were supportive of its traditional structures.
In the years since then, “left” and “right” as political terms have come to mean a lot of different things. What they have come to mean in practical terms, however, is either a mark of the political naiveté of the speaker, or are used as terms of opprobrium. In actual practical political terms, they’re now effectively meaningless.
So, what ever happened to marketing and PR? As an art and a science, did they even make it into the 21st century, or did they fall into a ditch somewhere, and we never noticed?
Before we get started, I’m not saying that that all marketing and PR is bad or wrong nor that everyone who does them is rubbish. There are certainly still exemplars, but if you want a bland, ineffective and banal image – well, that’s the way to bet, because that’s what so much of the industry seems to be delivering.