PR industry analyst and publisher Paul Holmes pulled no punches in a column today (below), imploring business and brands to take a stand when it comes to navigating a world turned upside down by President Trump. And he left no doubt as to which side he thinks is right.
Like anyone who has covered a global industry for years, Paul has attracted his share of criticism, occasionally from me. But his stand on this is worth noting. He's no naive cub reporter, covering his first rough-and-tumble business or political story, and far more likely to mock conspiracy theorists than commune with them.
He's also no apologist for dishonest, misleading PR.
Those of us paid to advise clients often feel a little nervous expressing our *own* views on politics, especially in these uncertain times - and far less certain about telling those clients how to behave. Far easier to debate "fake news" or the place of celebrities in political commentary (I have done both) than to take a stand on the policies of a Trump administration.
So I'll say this about Paul's column: thanks for saying it like it is. In normal times, business can avoid taking sides, and probably should.
But these are not normal times.
The events of the past week have provided even more evidence that neutrality is going to be difficult to maintain for four years. Many, many companies are going to be forced to decide whether they are going to collaborate with the Trump regime, or join the resistance.