|Mon., Oct. 21, 2013|
|Hungary Hungers for Good PR Amid Rise in Anti-Semitism|
|By Kevin McCauley|
Hungary has hired Burson-Marsteller’s Prime Policy Group for government relations work, media management and outreach to Hungarian-Americans and members of the Jewish community.
The move follows a rise in anti-Semitism in Hungary, coinciding with the growing strength of the right-wing Jobbik party.
More than nine-in-ten (91 percent) of Hungarian-Jews believe anti-Semitism is on the upswing, according to the Oct. 17 Budapest Business Journal.
Hungary deputy prime minister Tibor Navaracsics pledged a crack-down on anti-Semitism on Oct. 1.
According to Reuters, he told a European conference on anti-Semitism in Budapest “we cannot allow, especially knowing our own responsibility, anti-Semitism to gain strength in Hungary.” PM Victor Orban denounced anti-Semitism at the conference.
More than 500K Hungarian Jews were murdered during the Holocaust.
PPG chairman Charlie Black and vice chairman John Tanner lead the firm’s eight-member Hungarian team.
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|Joe Honick (Oct. 22, 2013):|
More than 500k Jews were murdered during the Holocaust, you might note, without much objection from the locals or the government. It is commendable that Hungary wants some means to paint a better picture than what really exists, but how does revise the truth. The rise in anti-Semitism throughout Europe is worrisome and apparently well financed and in countries one would not have thought to be the case as with Norway, Sweden etc. One could hazard a guess where the stuff comes from when you hear calls like that of the Ayotollah Khomeini that there is virtual commandment to kill all Jews while destroying Israel. But he was not on the phone with our president when the nice chat took place.
|Ronald N. Levy (Oct. 22, 2013):|
What the client wants may not be what the client needs most but a beauty of hiring Burson-Marsteller, FleishmanHillard, Edelman, Weber Shandwick or one of the other great firms is that they tell it to the client like it is and if you don't want to hear it then thanks but go elsewhere.
We can see from the story above that what the client WANTS is "government relations work, media management and outreach to Hungarian-Americans and members of the Jewish community."
What the clients NEEDS but may not want to hear, top PR execs can immediately recognize, is three things.
1. A NATIONAL EQUIVALENT OF "INTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS" to reduce anti-semitism.
Not a holocaust museum that Jews will go to and Jew-haters won't, but the kind of booklets, VNRs and Awards of Excellence that beer companies put out on what great achievements for America blacks have made. Not just Jackie Robinson and Joe Louis but great doctors including the one who found a way to do kidney transplants and then heart transplants, great lawyers who have protected all Ameticans, great educators including heads of top "white" universities,
great soldiers who helped save America, and more.
We all of us appreciate our benefactors who make our lives better, safer and more affluent, so even innermost revulsion about blacks, gays, Jews and others may well be changed hen we know more about how people in each group have been blessing to us and helped our lives to be better.
Burson-Marsteler has the communications savvy to do this in Hungary to reduce hatred and actually increase appreciation of the Jews. Whether the government will allow and pay for this needed internal communications program I don't know.
2. HUNGARIAN LAWS that say you have a right to feel whatever you want but if you beat up Jews or kill them or burn down their houses, you will go to prison for a VERY long time.
3. A FACTUAL PRESENTATION to America's media, legislators, Jews and the general public--not "how much do we love thee, let us count the ways and look at the museum we put up" but the kind of honest and persuasive polling numbers that whoever took over Penn's job knows how to find showing "here's the improvement and here's what Hungary is doing to increase the improvement even further."
The beautiful capital of Budapest is divided by a river with what
Hungarians call "Buda" on one side and "Pesht" (as they pronounce it) on the other. Burson-Marsteller has the skill to encourage similar division of people by attitude--not the Jew-haters from the non-haters but the violent from the "live and let live" people.
Hungary is blessed by one of the greatest restaurants on earth, some of the most beautiful sights on earth--really awesome--and some of the brightest people. Hungary deserves to be one of the most admired countries on earth. Not because PR has "talked America into it" but because Hungary deserves it and because Burson-Marsteller can help make this happen.
|Kevin Foley (Oct. 21, 2013):|
One of the most poignant reminders of the Holocaust can be found on the banks of the Danube River in Budapest. There are a line of dozens of bronze shoes, including children's shoes. Before they were lined up and shot by Hungarian Nazi collaborators, the Jews who wore those shoes were forced to remove them. Their bodies fell into the river, so the bastards didn't have to bury them.
I'm surprised liberty-loving Hungarians are putting up with this.