There is an indescribable affinity between the Brits and their very own take on humour. Evidently, even the most conservative of Britons appreciate what could well be the pinnacle of British humour. And perhaps through this appreciation, they bow down to their marketing advisors and consent to make use of humour in their defending of competitive advantage. A most apt example of this is when Margaret Thatcher actually quoted from John Cleese’s glorious parrot sketch - during the Conservative Party Conference in 1990, no less.
Which brings me to her modern-day counterpart. There is no doubt in my mind that David Cameron’s PR advisors are as close to genial as they come. And the poor sods have had their fair share of action, time after time. The British PM’s recent antics include having impersonated German militia, in 2009. He asked “Ver are your papers?” and, in true Basil Fawlty style, later brushed this off with an “It was meant to be light-hearted”. That, to his credit, he so responded without having seemingly been prompted by others to do so, does not diminish the danger he unwittingly imposed his party to.
But his last antic ought to have granted the advisor who conjured up the reparatory strategy his or her very own George Cross; s/he must have drawn up a quick mental SWOT and turned a looming threat into a veritable opportunity. So, unlike Obama, who ended up as being the disgraced protagonist of the affair (a “selfie” shared between Helle Thorning-Schmidt; the Dutch PM, Cameron and Obama during the Nelson Mandela Memorial; caught on camera), by responding “I thought it was only polite to say yes”, Cameron not only positioned his party above the competition but moreover prodded his personal approval ratings with a much needed jab of life. Remember that the Dutch PM is also the daughter-in law of the former leader of his party’s major competition; the Labour Party.
There is far more to PR and marketing than twitter, facebook, and their ilk, ladies and gentlemen. Given the right tools (such as the journal, if you’ll pardon the pitch), the good that a great marketer can do for you is absolutely priceless. And yet we tend to forget that the major source of value creation in organisations lies within our marketing departments and not our finance ones. This significant discrepancy is thus explored within the article submitted (and gratefully accepted) in this issue by Professor McDonald, who the journal is most proud to have been introduced to by The Chartered Institute of Marketing’s Malta branch.
Expect to see more of his writings herein in due course.