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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Great Way to Ruin a Great Movement

So far, the media response has been better than expected to the tea parties. The only poll out so far is from Rasmussen. It has a sizeable margin of approval to the movement. Now, everyone is asking what's next. I still see great potential which is why I was rather dismayed to find that the first cause following the tax day tea parties the movement is taking on CNN.


We'll be launching a new national campaign targeting CNN's hateful and offensive coverage of the Tea Party Movement sometime over the coming weekend. This effort will be located at CNNoffensive.com. If you're on Facebook, please get plugged into the group and invite everyone you know.

This effort will require a lot of work, and we're going to need each of you to join in to help us make a national statement.Stay tuned for more information.


This is troubling to say the least. First, we all know that CNN along with MSNBC were terribly biased, but in fact, their bias was the best gift given to the tea parties. There's a larger point. The movement is about bloated government, runaway spending, and runaway taxes. It is NOT about media bias. There a plenty of groups that dedicate themselves to media bias, and many of them have taken CNN to task for their bias.

To understand why this transition could be so corrosive we need to look at this not from a political view point but from a marketing viewpoint. Think of this as branding.


the application of marketing techniques to a specific product, product line, or brand. It seeks to increase the product's perceived value to the customer and thereby increase brand franchise and brand equity. Marketers see a brand as an implied promise that the level of quality people have come to expect from a brand will continue with future purchases of the same product.

Branding is essentially how the public views your product, in this case the movement itself. On tax day, the movement defined itself as taking on big and bloated government with runaway spending. That's how it defined itself. That's its brand. So, one would expect the movement to take on causes of small government. Instead, the movement wants to take on media bias. That's not its brand, and by doing so, the brand gets diluted. You dilute the brand in a cause and the cause fizzles away.


The tea party brand is built on a grassroots movement dedicated to standing up to bloated government, runaway spending, and taxes. So, why is the movement suddenly taking on media bias? That's a great way to dilute the brand. If you try and be all things to all people, you wind up, usually, having a muddled message.

The movement is in its infancy in taking on big government and before they've done anything tangible, but holding a massive set of rallies, they are now taking on media bias. The movement could promote a small government bill, small government candidate, but instead, it will start a massive campaign to take on CNN.

Worse yet, who cares? CNN has made itself irrelevant through its own bias. Hundreds of thousands of people will get an email about holding CNN responsible and many of them will say "this isn't what I signed up for". They signed up to take on bloated government not media bias. If they wanted to take on media bias, they would have signed up with the Media Research Center.

Now, after coming out for hundreds of rallies to protest big and bloated government, the first cause they are told to champion takes on media bias. When a brand is in its infancy, as this is, that is when it is most vulnerable. When it gets diluted, as this campaign does, it also loses purpose. The so called foot soldiers will get confused about its purposes. Are they taking on media bias or are they taking on bloated government? Right now that isn't clear because the first cause following a series of successful anti bloated government rallies is media bias. When exactly are they going to taken on bloated government? No one knows because the most immediate order of the day appears to be taking on CNN.

This is exactly how movements fizzle out and it's also, usually, a sign of hubris at the top. Those at the top aren't happy just to champion the cause it was intended for, so they branch out. They don't realize that branching out only dilutes the brand. They don't realize that confronting every wrong isn't what they were created for. This movement was created in response to runaway spending and that's what it should focus on. By taking on CNN, it loses focus. Soon, people will wonder what the purpose is. It's simple marketing 101, and by pivoting so quickly the movement fails it.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Absolutely correct. There are easily a dozen ways to diffuse and defuse this budding movement.

Media bias
Veterans new target of DHS
Appeasing tyrants (Chavez, Castro, Ortega)
Takeover of private businesses
Carbon cap & trade
Feinstein's husband getting sweetheart foreclosure dispoal deal

etc;

There is so much this administration is working to get away with, virtually all of it immensely destructive.

The tea party needs to stay on message, a single message.

THINK before acting.

Thanks for your comment, I heartily agree.

Tor Hershman said...

A provacateur video???
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_m6qC6FCiY0

Gail said...

Thanks for the insight...both timely and worthy of serious consideration. I have been boycotting the media for quite some time and given the decreases they are experiencing, I am not alone.

This does not need to be the primary effort of the Tea Parties. We need to address govt spending. My recommendation is via repealing the 16th Amendment.

If the govt cannot tax income, it will be effectively restrained. When you have an irresponsible, drunken teenager with a credit card and that card is abused. You cancel it. You pay the debt on the consummables and return all goods purchased that can be returned.

That should be our next action. The bills passed so far are a "promise" to spend. Most of the funds have not been disbursed and we need to prevent that from happening.

We need to cancel the fed's credit account by removing ourselves as collateral.

Best to all,
Gail S

Anonymous said...

Don't be dismayed. It's critical, critical, critical, to take on the old media head-on, and push back against their nonsense. For too long they've had the floor all to themselves, to spew whatever garbage they wish. The more we call them on this, the more pressure they'll feel to change their ways.

EdSki said...

Agreed, excellent point. There are more than enough people taking on the media, leading the pack is Rush. Leave that battle to him.

Anonymous said...

Taking on the media will get you nowhere. For one thing, its like playing a game and whining about the officiating. Secondly, the last thing you want is a repeat of the 2008 election, where there were reports of people assaulting the media at McCain/Palin rallies.