Arthur Page, the Capitol Hill and the First 100 Days

It’s a fascinating time to be in Washington, DC right now.  The first 100 days of any new administration (sort of a fake deadline, but one that the media loves) is always a time of intense focus.  And it is true that when a President’s popularity ranking is high, THAT is when it is time to expend political capital in the capitol (could not resist a short grammar lesson on what is a pet peeve of mine).

So President Obama is going to try to ramrod some rules and legislation through, most Democrats will support him and there will be wailing from the Republicans. Happens every time.  Lots of rhetoric that people dissect, but I ignore.

So since I am sure that President Obama is reading my .rss feed on his $3,300 mobile device (what a commercial for the company), I harken back to what I think are the fundamental keys of acting in such a way to gain public acceptance — and that is the Arthur Page Principles.

In 1927 (this is not a typo), Arthur Page, a former VP for “American Telephone and Telegraph”) set our the fundamental principles for what has become the modern-day public relations practice (and I consistently argue, the basis of both offline and online- the Page Principles).  Here’s my combination of Mr. Page’s advice along with my unsolicited input for the incoming administration as well as the new Congress.

  • Tell the truth. Let the public know what’s happening and provide an accurate picture of the company’s character, ideals and practices. [My note:  Nothing could be more true for me.  Most people feel that politicians don’t tell them the truth.  If you are going to raise my taxes, tell me.  I am a big boy].
  • Prove it with action. Public perception of an organization is determined 90 percent by what it does and 10 percent by what it says. [My note: If you are worried about “the little guy” or the unemployed, isn’t it a little incongruous to spend millions on an inauguration, even if it is paid for with private money?  What if one — just one — incoming President said that the best way to thank supporters would be to donate the money what would have been spent getting drunk and shouting (and I have been drunk and shouted at inaugural balls) and start some sort of job retraining center for the unemployed?]
  • Listen to the customer. To serve the company well, understand what the public wants and needs. Keep top decision makers and other employees informed about public reaction to company products, policies and practices. [My note: In this case, the “customer” is the American public and you are going to get 300 million different opinions.  This one is a little harder, but there has to be a better way to listen/govern than opinion polls].
  • Manage for tomorrow. Anticipate public reaction and eliminate practices that create difficulties. Generate goodwill. [My note: This actually fits pretty nicely with “political capital.”  Generate good will amongst supporters and hurry up and spend it.  But I am also curious if things like “manage for tomorrow” include the looming social security problem that no one wants to talk about.]
  • Realize a company’s true character is expressed by its people. The strongest opinions — good or bad — about a company are shaped by the words and deeds of its employees. As a result, every employee — active or retired — is involved with public relations. It is the responsibility of corporate communications to support each employee’s capability and desire to be an honest, knowledgeable ambassador to customers, friends, shareowners and public officials. [My note: Not a lot to say about this except that how many times has an administration come to town and said “THIS IS GOING TO BE THE MOST ETHICAL ADMINISTRATION IN HISTORY!”  ‘Nuff said.
  • Remain calm, patient and good-humored. Lay the groundwork for public relations miracles with consistent and reasoned attention to information and contacts. This may be difficult with today’s contentious 24-hour news cycles and endless number of watchdog organizations. But when a crisis arises, remember, cool heads communicate best. [My note: Remember Ronald Reagan, his good humor and charm that earned him the nickname of both “The Great Communicator” as well as the “Teflon President?” ]

Just my thoughts, but it still amazes me that a set of guidelines that were laid out more than 70 years ago would still be SO relevant today.




  1. Mary Musgrove Says: January 26, 2009 at 7:46 am

    Re: all the spending on the inauguration…I’ve always thought the same thing about the conventions. Their original purpose is outdated–we all know who is going to get the nom anyway, why spend Goddess-knows-how-much on ballrooms, grandstands, balloons, confetti, etc? Scale down one convention, and you’ve instantly funded health care for all American children for the next year.

  2. Kevin Kaveski Says: January 26, 2009 at 9:10 am

    All of these fundamental principles are extremely important for any industry. Taking time to read them closer, I realized that these could be fundamental principles (Business code) for any profession or industry to follow.

    If someone would follow these principles, it would be highly likely that they would be successful in their endeavors, whether it would be practicing law, practicing medicine, being a politician, or a PR professional.

    These three principles particularly strike me as important:

    “Telling the truth” may be the most important. If you lie or even give the hint of being dishonest it will become public knowledge in today’s society! If a political candidate made a town hall speech 2 years ago, or the CEO of Dell computers made a speech in India last year, or you posted a negative blog there’s a good chance it’s on the web. The safest action is to be honest and forthcoming, meeting confrontation head on.

    “Listen to your customers.” Success hinges on understanding and listening to our client’s needs and wants. If our customers needs and wants change or evolve, then our services need to evolve with them. If we fail to adapt, customers may look for a new company to represent their best interests (whether it’s hamburgers or consulting services.)

    “Manage for Tomorrow.” Being pro-active rather than re-active allows us to be prepared for any situation that may arise whether its crisis or celebration. Generating and maintaining goodwill creates a healthy relationship between the client, business, and the public.

    If the incoming administration is able to adhere to all of these principles mentioned it would be impressive, but referring to the second principle, many Americans (possibly Mark?) will prefer the administration show it through their actions rather than rhetoric.

  3. Raquel Fuentes Says: January 26, 2009 at 10:45 pm

    Even though Arthur Page wrote these principles most likely with corporations in mind, they also apply to government since maintaining a mutually beneficial relationship with its publics should be the goal of companies and government alike. With barely one week under his belt as President, Obama has already demonstrated his innate understanding of these principles through his actions. A good politician, and I consider Obama to be one, should be a master PR person at heart. I think he is.

    He posted a statement on the White House website about his three priorities: communication, transparency and participation. He gives the public the opportunity to be engaged by signing up for email updates and provides a form for two-way communication with the White House. In addition to generating goodwill with the American public, he is creating a powerful tool that will help him listen to his constituency and receive constant feedback. He is laying the groundwork for creating and maintaining an engaged public.

    He instituted a pay freeze for White House employees making more than $100,000. This is a largely symbolic act that will have no real effect in the economy, but his actions are bound to generate goodwill among the public and will create a sense of “we’re all in this together”. When it comes to the econony, he is also managing for tomorrow. Not only does he get security briefings, but according to NPR, he also gets economic briefings every morning, he clearly wants to stay on top of this issue.

    He allowed easier access to records and government information which will give greater public access to government documents. While the average person may not care about this, the media, another public for Obama, certainly does. Again, another act of goodwill and one that speaks of his ideals: telling the truth, being open and honest about what’s going on. Ultimately, the more the media knows, the more the general public know, and that’s a positive thing.

  4. Keith Parent Says: January 27, 2009 at 7:17 am

    Kevin makes a good point, in that telling the truth is now a critical part of successful political office. As a result of the dishonesty over the last decade in American politics, public trust now plays a major role in the execution of all of the listed principles. Regaining trust in many ways will dismiss some of the issues that must be dealt with in the first 100 days, and will allow for more time as well as leniency in regards to the angle of execution.

    The current climate of economic and political crisis strengthens the importance of these principles and their job of creating and executing the perception of success within the first 100 days of Obama’s presidency and the 111th Congress. The connection between effective communication and trust dominates politics and allows President Obama to use the media created deadline of 100 days as a first test. Although success surely can not be attained in such a short period of time, the perception of success garnered by a new found trust for government could surely set the tone for the next four years.

  5. Keith Parent Says: January 27, 2009 at 7:18 am

    Kevin makes a good point, in that telling the truth is now a critical part of successful political office. As a result of the dishonesty over the last decade in American politics, public trust now plays a major role in the execution of all of the listed principles. Regaining trust in many ways will dismiss some of the issues that must be dealt with in the first 100 days, and will allow for more time as well as leniency in regards to the angle of execution.

    The current climate of economic and political crisis strengthens the importance of these principles and their job of creating and executing the perception of success within the first 100 days of Obama’s presidency and the 111th Congress. The connection between effective communication and trust dominates politics and allows President Obama to use the media created deadline of 100 days as a first test. Although success surely can not be attained in such a short period of time, the perception of success garnered by a new found trust for government could surely set the tone for the next four years.

  6. Erinn Dumas Says: January 27, 2009 at 8:57 am

    On the political side of the posting:
    To date, President Obama has followed all of the Pages Principles.

    1 & 2) Tell the Truth & Prove It with Action – President Obama vowed to run a clean and transparent campaign and did just that, and now going into the presidency he is fulfilling the promises that he set forth during his campaign.

    3) Listen to the Customer – The President has proven this principle time and time again; he first began listening during his days a Community Organizer and then when he was running for Illinois Senator. As you said, it will be harder for him to do this now, but I think he has a pretty good understanding of what the American people need and will provide the proper solutions to these concerns.

    4 & 5) Manage for Tomorrow & Realize a Company’s True Character is Expressed By Its People – These are hard to speculate, but once again, I think the President will prevail.

    6) Remain calm, patient, and good-humored – President Obama showed this when the economy went from bad to worst towards the end of his campaign, specifically, the stock markets continued to drop and Federal Chairman Ben Bernanke was constantly cutting the interest rate. During this time, Obama remained calm, thought about the best approach, spoke with economic advisers and then spoke to the public about his economic plan.

    On a general tone:

    All of these principles are very important to all businesses as Kevin stated, but it is hard for CEOs and other C-suite employees to live up to all of them; the most difficult one to follow is Tell the Truth. While people have good intentions and want to tell the truth, everyone utilizes Machiavellian practices and will say what is needed to achieve the desired results.

    If people realized principle # 5, then companies would operate differently. You wouldn’t have people like me, bounce from job to job. Companies need to reinvest in their employees and their employees will work hard for them. The best way to describe this relationship is to look at the employee as your body and the more you take care of your body, the better it will work for you.

    Lastly, if people Managed for Tomorrow, then the economy wouldn’t be in the shape that it’s in today. Wall Street wouldn’t have taken on these mortgages, which would’ve trickled down to people not buying houses they couldn’t afford. Also, if people lived within their means, then money wouldn’t be as tight and people could help boost the economy by spending more.

  7. Erinn Dumas Says: January 27, 2009 at 9:07 am

    The only thing that I disagree with what Kevin said is that “If you lie…it will become public knowledge in today’s society”. I disagree because not in all cases will lies become public knowledge. In most cases, especially when it’s a blatant lie, yes it will be public knowledge, but I doubt that all lies have been made public. Again, most people, even politicians use Machiavellian practices and will say or do what’s needed to achieve the desired results.

  8. Zhazira Bukina Says: January 27, 2009 at 10:42 am

    The Arthur Page principles and the fundamental keys of acting for the President Administration are the contradictory issues. It’s obvious, that the ethical principles and professionalism must go hand in hand in any field. In reality, in PR and especially in the politics people are not in a hurry to “tell the truth.” Rarely, politicians and the PR managers “prove it with actions.” Remember, G. Bush assumptions about nuclear weapons in Iraq. Who cares now that nuclear weapons in Iraq were a fake reason to invade this country? Or, let’s take dollmaker TY Inc owners’ PR action to promote new dolls “Sweet Sasha” and “Marvelous Malia.” It’s seems an ordinary, but successful PR flimflam to debut new dolls saying that they are not modeled on the first daughters. Moreover, Deputy director Amy Mitchell told that creating of Obama girls, Obama cookies is a part of a free market system in the country, of commercialism. Besides, Obama family has chosen to be public people, and now it’s their destiny to become icons. So, who care in the U.S. that these two girls just kids and their mother wants them to grow up as private citizens but not for marketing purposes? No doubt, new dolls will be sold with success and manufacturers will get their profits. Nobody will even criticize them. As times goes, the winner takes it all.

  9. Catherine Avery Says: January 27, 2009 at 10:57 am

    Having a friend who served in the Bush administration in the communications office, I was a frequent visitor to The White House As someone who struggles with her political affiliation and was not even able to vote in this election because my absentee ballot was “lost” or so claims the woman at the Goochland County courthouse, I am not necessarily overly critical about either administration. With that said, I recall that The White House’s website during the Bush administration was a bit rigid and bland in content. In all fairness, it probably was that way, as it had to fit some type of protocol.

    Thinking of my friend who no longer works in The White House, I visited the website, and to my surprise, the website had completely changed. With a campaign centered around change for America, of course the website for President Obama’s home and office would change. In line with some the new media tools that Obama’s campaign used to attract voters, the website features a blog and a place to sign up to receive email updates from the President, to name a few.

    Macon Phillips, the Director of New Media for the White House clearly understood Arthur Page’s fundamental principle of “ Prove it with action. Public perception of an organization is determined 90 percent by what it does and 10 percent by what it says.” The new website reveals that the Obama administration is standing by their commitment to bring change to the White House even in the form of communication strategies and different ways to reach the American public. The administration is proving their commitment to connect to the American people and to the world through the use of the new website.

    In the first blog post on the website, Phillips writes that the three priorities of the new media efforts will center on communication, transparency, and participation. In addition to adhering to the Page principle of “prove it with action,” these three initiatives reflect two other principles: “tell the truth” and “listen to the customer.” Within the first week of the new administration, the American public and the world has already had the opportunity read about the President’s executive orders and proclamations.

    Casting an even wider net, Obama’s savy new media team has tapped into Apple’s iTunes, where they have President Obama’s weekly address on a podcast free of charge. If the administration continues to implement some of the Page principles mentioned above, I believe that the government will not only have changed, but will have transformed into a democracy that better reflects the needs and wants of citizens of the United States in the twenty-first century.

  10. Yinka Olajide Says: January 27, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    While we make mention of the amount of money spent on the inauguration, we should be aware of the tremendous economic boost that was enjoyed by Washington DC area merchants. As a matter of fact quite a large number of people were able to pay their mortgages from money realized from renting out their homes. We can then say that at least something good came out of that. Compared to previous inaugurations, this was the most attended anyway so I guess the end justifies the cost.
    I also think we are yet to see the Teflon President, President Obama might not have the sense of humor of President Reagan but we can be sure his oratorical skills and charms will not be lacking in any way.

  11. Alec Jeffries Says: January 27, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    Injecting Arthur Page’s fundamental principles into the legislative system will renew confidence into a government image severely tainted. The democratic foundation must also embrace constituency resilience before restoring capital markets, domestic welfare and sustainable growth.

    The immediate past-administration was labeled, among other things, as the “C.E.O. Administration,” and failed to present a transparent, understanding and patient government. Conversely, the new administration has bestowed confidence by implementing a progressive initiative to solicit policy recommendations from ordinary citizens.

    Congress and the Obama Administration have yet to “prove it with action,” however the expectations looming over Washington are pressuring lawmakers to seek sound public relations practices.

  12. Jacqueline Sibanda Says: January 27, 2009 at 5:58 pm

    The Page Principles struck me as a timeless and common sense approach to our profession. As a practitioner constantly being presented with new tools and ways to reach that increasingly elusive ‘key public’ the Principles are a valuable reminder that the most effective communication is about going back to basics.

    As regards the first 100 Days, there is already tension between the promise and the reality. Little things like the White House not inviting broadcast media to the Oath do-over or to witness the signing of a controversial order have fanned a debate on how realistic it is for the Obama White House to be open.

    Unfortunately you cannot have openness with a caveat, that is to say – we’ll let you in unless we think you don’t need to be there. As someone who believes in the ideal of openness and transparency, I know from past experience that the reality can be difficult.

    Sometimes the job of being open can become more time-consuming than the job at hand. I have yet to answer the question of how to strike that fine balance and I am watching with interest to see if the new administration can pull it off.

  13. Shakirah Hill Says: January 27, 2009 at 6:39 pm

    These fundamental principles can be used across various business spectrums and would enhance the creditability of a company or politician, I would argue that many of them are easier to say than to actually execute. I am going to take issue with the first bullet point, “telling the truth.” Do I think politicians and businesses should lie? Of course not. The idea of what the truth is today is a lot different from what it used to be 70 years ago.

    Our society believes that we are entitled to be informed on every piece of legislation and information that goes across the president’s desk. Perhaps we are, however, the sad reality is that many of us cannot handle the truth. And by truth I mean all of the dangers and potential losses we face. There is a fine line between being an honest politician and giving out too much information. If the Obama administration released every single terrorist threat America received everyday the country would go into panic. The trick is to get your constituents, or customers involved in an open dialogue that only involves what directly matters and impact them. From there you can tell the truth.

  14. Tzu-Ying(Daisy) Chen Says: January 27, 2009 at 10:07 pm

    This article is really about political matters. To some extent, politics is just like public relations, assuming the responsibility to understand, to communicate with, and, the most important of all, to have a positive impact on the public.

    Not until I read Mark’s article did I know who Arthur Page is. His philosophy of these seven principles is not new as they were put forth around 80 years ago; however, these seven principles are both the most simple and difficult aspects of practicing either politics or PR. I do believe the saying, “easier said than done,” which reflects the real world, as most people fail to act on their promises in terms of Page Principles. Otherwise, we would not be pursuing them as the essence in most industries, 80 years later.

    Meanwhile, I regard President Obama as an excellent and attractive speaker. However, how he can realize the dreams and hopes of American people in this new era will depend heavily on the extent he fulfills Page’s principle. I deeply hope that Obama can successfully deliver on his 500 promises, or he will just leave more disappointments rather than expectations.

  15. It is an interesting time in D.C. right now and the biggest question on many peoples mind’s is if President Obama will be able to fulfill his promises. Following Arthur Page’s guidelines, it can be seen as of now, President Obama is the perfect example of when accomplishing all of these key ways of acting, they do work and you will gain pubic acceptance. President Obama has gained public acceptance and favor on many different levels. Obama is the perfect example of truth because he is realistic. While he promised certain things on his campaign and gave people hope, he is also now warning them the road to fulfill his promises will be tough and times could get worse before they get better.

    While, following President Obama and his actions to see how he gains public acceptance, it is also good to show people what could happen if any one of these keys of acting were not taken seriously. It is easy to think that these keys of acting are no problem to fulfill when you see them working perfectly for another company or politician, but it is important to see the repercussions of what could happen if these key fundamentals are not followed through on. Enron is a classic example of a steady decline when the CEOs and others in power were not truthful and corrupt in their company. Today’s financial situation with the liquidation of Lehman Brothers and the governmental stimulus for Merrill Lynch are other prime examples of not handling the public relations correctly for the company therefor not gaining public acceptance. Merrill Lynch would have been smarter if they came out stating everything they spent money on and why, rather than have the media out them on purchasing a fifty million dollar french private jet for their CEOs.

    The fundamental keys Arthur Page provides the PR world with have been in practice for more than eighty years and there is a reason for that. Whether the fundamental keys be used for politics or big companies they are something everyone should follow to gain public favor to improve their work.

  16. Correction to my statement about the fifty million dollar private jet. Citigroup is the company not Merrill Lynch. Still have a problem with Merrill Lynch though and their approach to PR, especially when considering the CEO.

  17. The principles set by Arthur Page in 1927 became the fundamental principles of PR and are still practiced – regardless of the industry they represent – because they help establish communication and mutual understanding between organizations and their audiences.

    President Obama and his communications team understand the principals and have been practicing them with traditional and online media. Throughout his campaign and in the first seven days of his term he has shown that he knows people and PR very well. Below is an excerpt from his acceptance speech given on November 4, 2008 in Chicago after winning the election for President. The full transcript of the speech can be found at The Baltimore Sun.

    There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who won’t agree with every decision or policy I make as president. And we know the government can’t solve every problem. But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree.

    And, above all, I will ask you to join in the work of remaking this nation, the only way it’s been done in America for 221 years — block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand.

    In this section of his speech he touches four of the fundamental principles established by Arthur page.
    -tell the truth
    -listen to the customer
    -manage for tomorrow
    -realize a company’s true character is expressed by its people

    The first principle “tell the truth” Being honest and transparent is more important today than it was in 1927 because of the technology and peoples access to information.

    Obama recognized the value in truth and told the public, “But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face.” People are not dumb, and should not be treated that way with the excuse that they wouldn’t be able to handle the truth – if it didn’t work for Jack Nicholson in “A Few Good Men” it won’t work for Obama or anyone else

    The statement, “I will listen to you, especially when we disagree” in his speech stood out and gave me a sense of value after being ignored by the Bush administration. That line was also twittered throughout the next day showing others felt the same way. If organizations or politicians fail to listen then the communication’s process in incomplete and they will lose customers.

    The third principle, “manage for tomorrow” is about anticipating problems that may arise and taking the necessary steps to either avoid or prepare for them. The President inherited a country in a state that I don’t think any President has had before, and he also has the pressure of being “the first.”

    Aware of his responsibilities and expectations people have he stated in his speech, “There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who won’t agree with every decision or policy I make as president. And we know the government can’t solve every problem.”

    As President, he froze government pay raises to generate goodwill showing that his administration will do what it takes to cut spending and put money at programs that will help the country.

    In the last section of the excerpt of President Obama’s speech he calls upon Americans to help re-build the nation, expressing that it won’t be possible without them. He continues to tell the public that the United States is shaped by the public not by the administration.

    The principles, “remain calm, patient and good-humored” and “prove it with action” will be closely watched by the media, and will likely be their main focus in the first 100 days of his term. I’m confident that if the administration follows the fundamental principals they will succeed even when the media doesn’t show them in the best light.

  18. Sunaina Bhatnagar Says: January 28, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    The first 100 days of a presidency that the professor is referring to are known as the “honeymoon” phase. This is where the public and the press corps let the new commander in chief settle into the post. Once that time passes, the president faces increased criticism and pressure over his policies. Thus, as pointed out, it is in Obama’s benefit to capitalize on as much of the good will he has built as soon as possible. He would be wise to follow Arthur Page’s principles.

    In 1927, Page, a former vice president for American Telephone and Telegraph, laid the foundations for modern-day public relations practice. I was extremely surprised at the date and that his principles could still be so relevant. Over 80 years have passed but the guy clearly knew what he was talking about! Here are my thoughts on some of Page’s points:

    1. Telling the truth: I could not agree with this more. No matter the PR situation we face, it is always best to be honest and upfront. Not only will you be respected but you will earn trust and really display a company’s humanity.

    2. Perception is determined 90% by action and 10% by words: I believe in this but still think that too often, companies get away with making promises and not following through with their actions. Case in point is AIG who after being bailed out by the government promised to be more responsible. Instead, they went about planning a lavish corporate party for their executives. Too often I think companies can get away with simply speaking a positive message while their true actions go unchecked.

    3. Manage for tomorrow: A true sign of responsible and professional PR practice is to always be prepared for the future. Always assume that anything that can go wrong will go wrong, and have a plan in place to deal with it.

    4. Realize that a company’s true character is expressed by its people: This is very clear cut. A company’s employees are its first line of PR. How they behave and carry out the company’s vision is key.

    These were a few of the principles that really stood out for me, but that’s not to say that the rest of what Page preached wasn’t important. No doubt that were he alive today, he would be a tremendously successful PR practitioner.

  19. Patrice Danet Says: January 28, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    For all major corporations, it is extremely important to maintain the reputation and uphold the company’s mission. And Yes I agree honesty is the best policy! Perception is also important and one should always take into consideration how any decision made on a corporate level might directly affect the client. Another important factor in maintaining a company’s reputation is to establish a messaging plan throughout the company as a whole. Messages are easily misconstrued, so it is important to have designated spokespersons for all areas of expertise throughout the company.
    The media has a big impact in the world of PR, so managing online activity and controlling employee individual opinions are advised. Major corporations should be aggressive in attaining public opinion in order to revise or revamp policies that will continue to drive profit. Major corporations should also participate in giving back to their communities. This will help to establish a part of the company’s character. We also want to manage for tomorrow by staying current on global trends. Also hiring quality professionals and providing the proper training and development will continue to keep top dollar corporations ahead of the game.

  20. Alicja Patela Says: January 28, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    Arthur Page’s Principles can be applied to any work environment, not just Politics or Public Relations. Page nails the core ethical and professional fundamentals that all working individuals should try to follow, or at the very least be made aware of. “Prove it with action,” is essential to any kind of success; personal, professional, and intellectual. These days, we are all far too familiar with empty promises and wasted expectations. Anyone can make promises but only the determined few follow through with action. The New Administration is going to be held to this principle by the American public and everyone else around the world. All will be watching with eagle eyes and with extremely high expectations.
    If we were all to live honest lives, the world would be one step closer to perfection. “Telling the truth,” seems simple enough but we all know how “complicated” the truth tends to get in most situations. You can’t go a day without hearing about dishonesty or questionable credibility, yet instead of cracking down, it seems like the public has no problem overlooking certain mistakes or character flaws. Take Timothy Geithner, newly appointed secretary of the Treasury and tax- evasionist. Even after information had been disclosed that Geithner owned over $40,000 to the IRS, the vote still managed to pass and his appointment became official. Where’s the public outrage and disgust? People just seem to be apathetic, maybe because lying elected officials are quite common these days.

  21. Felicia Akoh Says: January 29, 2009 at 9:08 am

    These principles are very good and run across any field in life.Any organisation,be it private or public which puts any of these principles together would surely succed.
    The successes of a company for example, depends on its publics;the employees,stakeholders and what have you.Any company which do not give an ear to what its publics think or yield to their opinion is bound to go down the drain.
    The very first principle “Tell the truth” is what every organisation should put in practice.If there is any problem in an organisation like bankruptcy its better to inform the publics on what is going on so everyone could put their hands on deck and look for a solution to that problem.Rather than concealing the truth.This destroys the image of the the corporation totally.

  22. sakshi jain Says: January 29, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    Truth be told, honesty appears to be in limited supply these days. As corporate America buckles under the strain of poor fiscal strategies executed by a glut of ruthless corporations, a few CEO’s, whilst lobbying for more bailout funds from the Federal government, have been caught with their hands in the proverbial cookie jar. Just two days ago, Citigroup made the news in an unsavory way as the company’s intention to follow through with the purchase of a private jet (price tag: $50 million) caused a stir, this despite the billions of dollars pledged by the Federal government to aid the ailing bank amid the current credit crisis. As damage control, the company issued a statement to indicate that it intended to reduce their current fleet of private planes from five to two, in addition to canceling the private jet purchase. But Citigroup should have taken a cue from Ford, GM and Chrysler who deeply irked citizens everywhere, causing an outcry after attempting to fly on private jets to Washington D.C. and beg Congress for bailout bucks. These same corporations have laid off thousands of workers, frozen pension funds (in the case of the automakers) and frozen pay raises, yet executives continue to coddle and preserve their lavish lifestyles.

    These instances highlight the importance of two of Arthur Page’s Fundamental Principles: tell the truth and prove it with action. How the executive branch of a company conducts itself within its own walls is as important as its PR efforts with external stakeholders. Not only do employees intentionally or unintentionally become brand ambassadors, they are also PR representatives that convey the attitudes and internal goings-on of a corporation, especially during tough economic times. Perhaps it is timely for companies everywhere to revisit Arthur’s Fundamentals.

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