Being that PR is my passion (after my kids, of course) and finance is my husband’s passion (after our kids, of course), this article in yesterday’s WSJ was just…exciting. Finally something that combined our interests.
If you are interested in PR, I suggest you read it because it is a short course on why transparency is critical. I have a few clients that grapple with how much information to make available. One in particular has a gadfly who is a retired lawyer (bad for us, good for her copious writing) and challenges every step we take. Her presence forces us to consider every word and regard every email message as fodder for her angst. It has also pushed us to take extra steps in making information available.
While these extra steps may be cumbersome and expensive, the organization is taking the right steps: making more information available to its constituents as they have never would have before. From a PR perspective, we realize that much criticism directed at organizations (public and private) is due to their constituents feeling that they are being left in the dark. These “impressions”: sap the constituency’s confidence and suggest that shady back-room deals are going on even when they aren’t. I suspect that this issue of impression is much of the problem in our economy; We are suspicious. We fear that a privileged few are getting special deals and we don’t fully understand how the whole system works.
Isn’t that the cardinal rule in investing?? Know what you are getting into? Do your research? By not knowing what the government and the Central Bank are doing we are reluctant to reinvest in the “system” — the “establishment”.
Bernanke is taking an unprecedented step in lifting the veil. I think it will work but I would encourage him to do more. Start producing documents the public can read, that they can sink their teeth into. Let us LEARN how it works. Produce a television show. Produce videos for YouTube. Use our fabulous Web 2.0 to get the word out in the great open forum we now have. My industrious, idea-charged mind is bursting with ideas!