COMMUNICATING A FREE ECONOMY

COMMUNICATING A FREE ECONOMY

Part One

Message Construction

a. Defining Free Market Principles

Choice and Plan, Focus on Results, Lack of Full Knowledge and the Spontaneous Order, Controlled vs Free Entry, Success and Failure, Elite Change vs Elite Permanence, Equality and Freedom

b. The Essence of Competition

Free Market Principles allow State Intervention only for furthering of Competition

Competition indispensable for fair economy and for realization of open/capitalist economy benefits. New findings have concluded that basic premise for growth is increased productivity. And this cannot be realized without the existence of an intense and fair competition regime. It is competition therefore that distinguishes countries between rich and poor, strong and weak, successful and miserable. Trusts and Cartels distort workings of free market and produce negative results for consumers and for the state.
A dysfunctional market produces social tension, poverty and eventually political instability. Careful monitoring of competition rules eases market functions, corrects distortions and safeguards stable growth.

c. Competition Violations and Their Aftermath

Monopolistic practices raise abruptly consumer costs and downgrade usually quality of services.
Monopolies stifle free market entry thus impeding new investment and fostering unemployment.
Monopoly and Trust power impedes growth, violates citizen rights, raise social tensions and produce long-term underdevelopment.
Monopolies and Trusts may appear in various forms (coordinated practices, vertical and horizontal agreements, barriers to entry etc.), which the state needs to recognize and fight against.

d. Problems of State Intervention in the Economy

State Aids and open or hidden subsidies to various enterprises are likewise harmful to smooth economic growth. They distort fair price formation, impose heavy burdens upon unsuspected taxpayers, introduce injustices by unequally impose and lift economic burdens, limit genuine investment in various sectors of the economy and in the long term damage the health of the economy as a whole need for fair balance between requirements of rapid growth and necessary social measures for protection of the needy Natural Monopolies need close scrutiny of market behavior, price formation, terms of service provisions and handling of procurement processes and their commercial providers.
Market distortions may result from excessive state bureaucratic involvement in acquisition of permits, in market entry procedures and in various state inspections. These distortions may hamper free competition, favour indirectly specific business interests and finally harm consumers.

e. The Message of Competition

Competition is a means to an end. In a free market regime it is the instrument of the state to ensure fairness, justice and energetic growth for the economy.
Competition is the tool bestowed by the government to the average man on the street to fight powerful economic interests, which threaten his welfare.
Competition presupposes fiscal discipline on the part of the state to abstain from market interventions, which may distort market processes and eventually outcomes
Competition is an economic principle leading to growth and subsequently to citizen welfare and wealth improvement

Part Two

Message Communication

a. Groundrules for Communication Campaigns

Setting – up of a Public Relations Unit complete with well versed on the issues personnel and fast writing staff organizing a pool of interested journalists (complete with addresses, mob. tel., faxes and e-mails) for rapid delivery of messages and print-outs.
Initiation of “competition events” where critical issues of current value will be presented to the public and the media inviting comment, analysis and criticism. Production of easy to read and understand booklets and pamphlets concerning the competition law, its applications and the way the public and independent businesses can utilize its clauses and bring cases to the authorities. Set up small display areas with easy to use print outs with most cases of competition violations dealt with by FAS.

b. The New Communication Environment

Communication Policy in the past and in the present. In the past politics was communicating its activities, its policies, its achievements. Today, politics is communicating messages. Communication transmits to the people its techniques and its reaches (or abilities).
Politics today does not take place in neighbourhoods, in public meetings and in mass rallies. Politics springs today from the messages transmitted by the Media and other means of communication. The media are thirsty for news. It is their lifeline. Especially for events containing pictorials and are impressive.
The average citizen spends a lot of time in front of a TV set and listens to Radio. The phenomenon of the “busy inactive” individual. For whose attention compete print and, mainly, electronic media outlets.
Wider and diverse public because of gradual expansion of consumer power. Trend of media outlets towards approaching the all powerful average. Since almost everyone becomes a receiver messages are so tuned to appeal to the average intellect. Considerably below the median educated citizen. Confusion and ambivalence of messages erodes ideological convictions and differences. Important is the medium and the image (picture), not so much the content of the message.

c. “Spinning” Strategies for Message Penetration

Communication environment “needs” news to devour. If there are no news will seek them out and possibly construct them. Need to provide a “maelstrom” of news to be consumed by media. To achieve exposure you need to present news in the way the media desire it. The message has to be short, simple, comprehensive, attractive, impressive and easily digestible. A dry press release will not do the trick. It must have substance. That is comment, association, effects and benefits. Total control of communication activities of an organization. Messages should flow from one and only source. Central control of message flow indispensable.
Essence of the strategy is not the achievement of information but the implementation of persuasion. This can only be achieved by the projection of images. Iconicity is the essence of all successful campaigns. Relate the stories to virtual or real visual perceptions.
On a second level the effort should be directed at changing the perceptions of the message recipients. Not reinforce what they believe but transform what they believe. Discover what it is that can make them change their mind

Part Three

Persuasion and Crisis Management

a. Techniques and Dynamics of Persuasion

Discern the Anatomy of Persuasion. When possible do not stress the differences between opposing views. Search for the common ground. Exploit the “power of suggestion” by reinforcing already pre-existing perceptions and beliefs. Accept minor defeats in peripheral skirmishes to achieve crucial central victory. Change of attitudes of the message recipients. By means of inter-personal relations and by the use of electronic media. “Communicating unreality” is an aggressive way of message penetration. The media formulate today perceptions about our environment and our life. With systematic campaigns we can impign concepts about reality that can be favourable to our ultimate efforts. Exploit the “culture of the soundbite”. Nothing should be done without the final all – inclusive punch phrase. Any campaign should culminate around the final message – statement. No interview should be conducted without a predetermined catch – phrase that should produce titles and steal the essence of the overall narrative.

b. Damage Control Strategies

List of anticipated negative comments and pre-prepared affirmative responses for usual damage inflicting allegations. Before possible negative press coverage of a negative development issuing of a bombardment of positive policy outcomes (real and perceived) Communicating out of a crisis. Frequent drills on possible crises and negative outcomes for evaluation of ability to respond, individual staff skills and capabilities and usage of technical means (TV appeals, journalist contacts, radio messages etc). In case of an emergency with possible negative media outcomes take the initiative (“unanticipated behavior”) to disclose the problem, recognize publicly the existing difficulties and possible damages and display realistically existing means for dealing with it. “Rally sympathy” approach by utilizing transparency and facilitating the credibility of efforts to restore public confidence and normalcy.
First response in case of crisis should contain messages familiar to the public and the attitude of the response should be along the lines of the publics expectations and not the opposite direction (The Mark Anthony speech after Ceasar’s murder example).

Part Four

Leadership Style for Advocacy Campaigns

a. Motivating Staff for Communication Campaigns

Install a feeling of self awareness and overall importance for communication deliberations encourage and facilitate public recognition of members of staff that contribute substantially in PR campaigns. Allow key staff members to cultivate media connections and take the initiative in press conferences and” spinning” news. Encourage staff to write articles in newspapers on competition issues and publish books based on their (unclassified) knowledge and experience

b. Leadership Capabilities for Successful
Campaign Management*

Self – Awareness. Emotional self-awareness in the sense of ability to read and understand your emotions and their impact upon your work. Accurate self-assessment in ability to evaluate your strengths and limitations. Self-confidence in the sense of a strong and positive sense of self-worth.

Self-Management. Self control, in being able to keep disruptive emotions and impulses under control. Trustworthiness, in ability to consistently display a sense of honesty and integrity. Conscientiousness, in ability to manage yourself and your responsibilities. Adaptability, in adjusting easily to changing situations and overcoming obstacles. Achievement Orientation, in the drive to meet an internal standard of excellence. Initiative, in readiness to seize opportunities.

Social Awareness. Empathy, in the skill to sense other people’s emotions, understand their perspective and take active interest in their concerns. Organizational Awareness, in reading organizational patterns, build decision networks and navigate politics. Service Orientation, in ability to recognize and meet current societal or regional needs.

Social Skill. Visionary Leadership, inability to take charge and inspire with a compelling vision. Influence, in ability to wield a range of persuasive tactics. Developing others, in skill to bolster the abilities of others through feedback and guidance. Communication, ability to listen and send clear, convincing and well-tuned messages. Change Catalyst, eager to initiate new ideas and ready to lead people in a new direction. Conflict Management, fluency in de-escalating disagreements and orchestrate resolutions. Building Bonds, capability to cultivate and maintain a web of relationships. Teamwork and Collaboration, able to promote cooperation and build teams.

*
This part from: Daniel Goleman, “Leadership That Gets Results”, Harvard Business Review, March-April 2000)