The reliance on PR spin and marketing to avoid dealing with real problems (while appearing to do so) is an ongoing problem in business. It has immense appeal for politicians too. Why do any hard work when you can just spin it all away?!

The Covid-19 pandemic has shown us how PR spin and marketing has:

  1. Deadly effects on people and the economy. Spin is easier to buy into when it is packaged to dovetail with the believer’s identity and bolsters their existing worldview.
  2. Zero effect on actual reality. Biology does not care about your perfectly-crafted focus-group-checked spin. Or your identity, worldview, and political leanings.

We can see the dramatic effects of using the PR spin approach to “solve” problems like a pandemic. As the infection rate in the US skyrockets, the president doubles down on his signature Spin-and-Project approach.

In other words, relying on PR spin (and lies) to fix a problem is likely to make the situation worse in the longer term. The tactic only appears to work on the very short term. Unfortunately, many organisations, their management, and their constituents operate in very short terms.

Closer to home, AMP Capital, having appointed a known sexual harasser to CEO, is now using PR to 'fix' this problem. I suspect time will show how this move has made the problem worse.