What To Think About Bo Guagua’s Letter?

bo guagua story top2 300x168 What To Think About Bo Guaguas Letter?

PR Verdict: “C” for Bo Guagua, son (left) of Bo Xilai (right)

The Bo Xilai scandal and hints of a Chinese power struggle continue to grip those who understand it while the rest of us wonder why everyone involved in the scandal has such complicated names.  The plot has thickened yet again.  Bo Guagua, son of the once powerful Bo Xilai and a student at Harvard, has sent an open letter to his university’s newspaper to set the record straight.

Missing in action for several weeks, twenty-four year old Bo Guagua’s letter in the Harvard Crimson disappoints, reading as no more than a feeble attempt to drown out claims he was a party boy.  Were these the details we were waiting for, given that Chinese media have connected him tangentially with the suspected poisoning of British businessman Neil Heywood and his mother a key suspect?

The key points from the letter:  No, he does not drive a red Ferrari.  He did not get favorable treatment at Oxford or Harvard.  He is studious!   And his education was partly paid by scholarship.  What a good boy!

PR Verdict: “C” for Bo Guagua.  The Crimson was always a going to be a bigger pushover than the NYTimes or one of its peers, so it was wise to go there and have his message published without edits and additional questions.  But to what end?

PR Takeaway:  Moving the dial in the public arena requires taking a stand. This letter speaks only of peripheral issues and oddly focuses on the author only.  Not a word in support of either parent, concerns regarding the Chinese judicial system or conversely public support for the system, to curry favor with Chinese authorities.  The world is only too eager to hear from the son of both a powerful government official and a mother under investigation for murder.  He has the power to throw unwelcome spanners in the works.  Next time he might want to give the media a little more to go on.

To read the letter click here and to read more click here.

What’s your PR Verdict on this open letter?

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Is It Wise to Mess With A Mother Of Five?

Annromney Is It Wise to Mess With A Mother Of Five?

The PR Verdict: “A” to Ann Romney and the Republicans for milking a relatively harmless comment.

Who would have thought?  Mild mannered Ann Romney moves with lightning speed?  The wife of Republican front-runner Mitt,  had the Democrats springing into damage control mode yesterday, after one of their own handed Republican strategists a PR gift.

It all started when Hilary Rosen a well-known Democratic strategist opined on CNN that Ann Romney is unlikely to connect with female voters.  “His wife has actually never worked a day in her life,”  Rosen said.  “She’s never really dealt with the kinds of economic issues that a majority of the women in this country are facing.”

Cue collective outrage!  Instantly! Anti stay at home mom!   Ann Romney tweeted in seconds “I made a choice to stay home and raise five boys. Believe me, it was hard work.”   From then on it was a no brainer for the Republicans who cashed in on the same drumbeat from years ago, when Hilary Clinton said she is not the sort of woman who bakes cookies.  No wonder the Democrats were running scared.

The PR Verdict:  “A” to Ann Romney and the Republicans for milking a relatively harmless comment and turning it into a media event.  Getting the Democrats on the defensive when up until now they have been in a lead position in the polls with female voters was a PR victory in any book.

PR Takeaway:  Speed is of the essence.  Ann Romney jumped in and talked of her record as a mother instantly before Rosen or Democrats could explain and contextualise.   Within a matter of hours Ann Romney was all over Fox and other media outlets.  Suddenly Democrats had no choice but to distance themselves from their own strategist (who ironically has children of her own).  Justified or not, this was opportunistic PR at its best.   Don’t mess with a mother of five.

To read more about this click here and here.

What’s your PR Verdict? How did Ann Romney do?

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