PR 101 Weekly Rant #37Political campaigns can kill a business climate and not even know it
Heres a scenario for you: you are a businessman from another state, orperhaps another country. Your company is doing enough business in a particularU.S. state that you feel you should open a facility there. So, you fly in to check thingsout. You land in the state within the last month the peak of the elections season.In your hotel that night you turn on the television. For the next three hours,you see political invective spewed of that electronic box. The ads you see tell youhow bad the business climate is in that state poor education, high crime, hightaxes, lousy facilities, and a government that doesnt care. You know it might not betrue, but you figure why take the chance? So, you pack your bags and go looking foranother state to locate your facility and the jobs it will bring.Too far-fetched? I wonder.I live in Wisconsin. We are one of the key states in the 2010 election cycle.Our governors office is open. Republican Scott Walker is slugging out withDemocratic Tom Barrett. Our incumbent senator, Russ Feingold, is fighting it out with newcomer and businessman Ron Johnson. Plus, there are several key races forHouse seats and the state Legislature.We in Wisconsin are being inundated with television advertising, most of it negative. Lets leave aside the personal attacks the candidates are making on eachother. I do have say that if these candidates were five-year-olds, they would be sent to their rooms for the tantrums they are throwing.The majority of the rest of the advertising talks about how bad things are inthe Badger state. Our taxes are too high, our healthcare costs too much, oureducation is system is falling apart, and there is too much government regulations.