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Memorable Messaging or Manifesto?

2012 July 10
by robertnew

The past few weeks should have been a nightmare for President Obama with one bad news story after another hitting the airwaves. But according to some polls he is managing to hold his own. How can that be you may be asking? The latest news that hit was another dismal month for job creation.

But before you stop reading and fire off a hate mail to me for bashing the President or railing on Mitt Romney, read on, this may not be the post you think it is.

In business seminars we often hear about the importance of having an “elevator pitch”. A one or two minute spiel you can rattle off about the benefits of your product, service, or business. Rarely have we seen a politician who can say anything in two minutes, and this year’s crop is no exception. Earlier this year during the Republican primary we saw Herman Cain, a business man, soar to the top of the pack only to fall almost as rapidly. What was one of Cain’s biggest selling points? His elevator pitch economic and jobs plan. Who cannot remember seeing Herman Cain on TV touting “nine-nine-nine”? It may not have been the greatest plan, but he stayed on message, was able to explain it, and people remembered it.

President Obama claims to have a plan, but it appears his plan right now is telling us what Romney did years ago and blaming his predecessor for our problems. He wasn’t elected to tell us what we already know; he was elected to fix the problem. The old saying “lead, follow, or get out of the way “fits here.

Mitt Romney wants us to believe he has a plan and his business experience gives him the skills we need to get out of this economic downturn. But Romney is failing at articulating his plan. Have you seen his plan? I heard him say the other day, “I have a 59 point plan that will move us forward.” A 59 point plan. Really? That is a manifesto, not a plan that you can easily convey to a skeptic electorate who’s struggling to put food on their table and gas in their cars. Romney’s 59 point plan is on an 87 page PDF file on his web site.

I’m sure glad I wasn’t sitting in his Bain board meetings! If Romney wants to win the voters over, he needs to whittle his plan down to something he can explain and we can understand. One business lesson we can definitely learn from this year’s campaigns is the importance of clear, concise messaging.

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