Check "This" Out

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It’s been out for a couple of weeks now, but make sure you don’t miss this article in “This” Magazine – a smart, thoughtful publication, grown locally up here in Canada.

It’s a good primer to the way that public relations has been employed in Canada with regards to climate change. If you’ve been listening at all to the discussion north of the border, you’ve heard the phrase “made in Canada” a hundred thousand times. But did you know where that came from? It’s a legacy of the Canadian Coalition for Responsible Environmental Solutions, which was a coalition manufactured in 2002 by National Public Relations, Canada’s largest PR firm.

The Canadian Coalition for Responsible Environmental Solutions was a classic example of an “Astroturf” organization—a fake green group—set up by a PR firm to make it appear that an industry’s agenda has grassroots support. And while the coalition was short-lived, it did leave behind at least one thing besides its old and obviously expensive website: the super-sticky, media-friendly catch phrase “made in Canada,” a gift to Kyoto opponents who use it to frame their opposition in reasonable terms.

Sticky indeed… it’s everywhere in Harper’s government’s rhetoric.

It’s a great article and you should definitely give it a read if you haven’t yet. My favorite quote, though, is from our very own Jim Hoggan, and right at the end…

Being against climate change is pretty stupid from a PR point of view. If you don’t want to end up looking like those cigarette executives standing in front of Congress a few years ago, telling us that there is no evidence that cigarettes cause cancer, don’t fight something that you are inevitably going to lose.

And there you have it, folks.

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