Monday, June 28, 2010

The PR of Changing PMs

This past week has has been history making in Australian politics. In a late night party coup Kevin Rudd was dumped as Prime Minister and within 24 hours his deputy Julia Gillard became Australia's first female Prime Minister.

In public relations actions always speak louder than words, so it will be instructive to see the impact of these events in the minds and attitudes of ordinary citizens ... in the lead-up to the next election and beyond.

Most likely we will see self referential communications come into play.  For those who like Mr Rudd last week's events will be seen as dastardly and disloyal.  To those who support Ms  Gillard they will have been necessary actions to get the Government and Australia back on track. 

However the rest of us - the so called silent majority - may feel a little queasy about the way Mr Rudd met his fate.  Australians pride themselves on giving everyone a "fair go".  In the workplace or market place the treatment Mr Rudd received - instant dismissal - is usually  reserved for those who commit criminal offences or whose performance seriously endangers the safety of others.

In the long run and in public relations terms the "Rudd dismissal" may have more impact on shaping how people view the character of politicians than on any changes it causes in government.

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