“Terrorist Surveillance” or “Domestic Spying”

President BushThe Bush White House has finally done some spinning about Dick Cheney’s bid to listen in on all our conversations.  Now deemed "terrorist surveillance by the administration, the program is called "warrantless snooping," "domestic spying," or simply "breaking the law" by democratic opponents.  Crafty marketers in the private sector should take notice of Mr. Bush’s messaging triumph.  Perhaps there are some lessons to be learned from "W."

The new marketing message from the White House is part of an aggressive campaign to defend the four-year-old program before the Senate opens hearings.  Now touted as "narrowly targeted," Bush says the program "protects the civil liberties of Americans."  This message comes not only from "W" himself, but from Gen. Michael Hayden, the former National Security Agency director who is now the government’s number two intelligence official, as well as Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

What can we, the peons in private sector, learn from this?  Simply put, a back to basics approach to messaging:

  • Define your message in words your mother could understand
  • Strike first to slant the playing field in your direction
  • Ensure that all your spokespeople are singing from the same songbook
  • Repeat, repeat, repeat

Remember, "If you tell a lie long enough, it becomes the truth."

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