Use spin for good
By Gina Binole, GBM Communications
Gina Binole has been in the communications business for nearly two decades. She is a former government, environment and business reporter and as a PR consultant for clients like the International Living Future Institute and The Natural Step Network USA.
The business of spin fascinates me, and I have to admit that I love Don Draper from "Mad Men" as much for his creative genius as I do his shirtless torso. Maybe even more. In one of my favorite episodes, Draper is credited with creating the ad campaign for the Kodak carousel. He takes a circular tray of slides and spins it as a carousel of life’s magical moments. He wows clients, colleagues and the world with his genius.
In real life, Chef Jamie Oliver’s campaign against “pink slime” or “scrap meat soaked in ammonium hydroxide” springs to mind. McDonald’s preferred term for the same product, which had been used for a long, long time in millions upon millions of burgers without challenge, is “select lean beef trimmings.” Billions were served, until Oliver took up a compelling anti-slime crusade.
Spin is powerful, right? And McDonald’s is truly masterful at the business of spin. I think those of us who have spent a lot of fitful nights wrestling with the issue of sustainability, the fate of the planet and the inequities of humanity, could take a cue from the fast food behemoth and engage the children.
Consider that many kids in this country can beg for a Happy Meal before they can speak in complete sentences. Sustainability enthusiasts should mimic McDonald’s successful early branding efforts and begin to promote sustainability awareness at birth.
Adults can be cautious, slow to change. But kids? I am convinced the next generation will be the catalyst for a resilient planet. Swaddle them in organic blankets, provide them non-toxic toys, nourish them with wholesome, local food and discuss what it means to be a dependable planetary steward in every conversation, even when they are only one-sided chats with sleeping babies.
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