GWU Issues Management

A blog established for the George Washington University School of Political Management's Issues Management course.

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Location: Washington, D.C., United States

A middle aged white guy, who likes to think, talk and, too infrequently, write about politics, religion and gadgets.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Now That's What I'm Talkin' About

OK, thanks everyone who commented on the previous post. I truly enjoyed reading your posts. I am going to have to develop a scorecard so I know who's who.

I learned some things. For me, these new technologies tend to amaze. For you guys, they are simply tools. If they make things easier for you, you use them, if not, you don't. Very practical approach.

I remain convinced that anyone seeking to master issues management must be conversant with these technologies and where this is all heading. On the other hand, it is important not to get distracted by the latest fad. I was around to see the "Newton." Anybody every heard of that? I think it was an Apple device and was the original hand held. It was about the size of a brick and was supposed to be able to read handwriting. It couldn't and eventually became the source of much ridicule. So, it is right to be a point.

Be that as it may, let's move on.

On Tuesday, we will have an event that is "issues management" writ large, the President's State of the Union address. In general, these speeches generally don't move issues on their own, but they do identify issues in a pretty powerful way. The President has a unique ability to put issues on the policy agenda every day of the week. But State of the Union is where he lays it all out.

I don't think this one will have the drama of Clinton's 1998 State of the Union, which was delivered the day after Monica Lewinsky burst upon the American stage. But it is the first one delivered with the public largely in opposition to President Bush, both in general and in specific. The only issue where he commands a majority of the public support is terrorism. But advanced word suggests that healthcare will be a big topic.

So, here's the kind of comments I would like. Please give a review of the speech on Tuesday night or Wednesday. Identify the top three issues and give him a rating from 1 to 5 on how effectively he "managed" those "issues." Elaboration is welcomed, but not necessary. "One" suggests he was very effective and would likely enhance his chances for successful policy change on that issue. "Five" suggests total disaster in that he reduced his ability to achieve whatever goal he set out.

As always, comments can be lengthy and in-depth or just identify the issues with the ratings.

Oh, one final point of personal privilege. I take offense at anyone calling someone's desire for a plasma TV as "desperate." I resemble that remark.

See you Thursday.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

You Are the Millennium Generation, What Does that Mean?

At its core, issues management is about communication. While the list of corporate functions involved in issues management is extensive, as I indicated in last week's class, issues are managed almost exclusively through communications. We are in the early stages of a communications revolution whose implications can only be guessed. But this revolution has huge implications for issues management and it's important for practioners to know where things are heading. Clues about the future exist in how your generation uses communications in your daily life. An article in the Sunday New York Times analyzes this phenomenon by describing the daily lives of some selected "millennials." Millennials are described as the generation born between 1980 and 2000. The significance of this generation is that it is the first generation who have never known life without the Internet and other new communications technologies. So, how millennials use these communications technologies are very suggestive of how everyone will use them in the years to come.

Here's my question: How does this compare with your daily life? Which of these communications technologies do you regularly use? Ipods, text messaging, instant messaging, TiVo, etc. etc.? Does this group accurately represent you or your contemporaries? Or is it different in Washington?

Here's where you can teach me. I consider myself an early adopter, at least for my generation. I have a blog (besides this one). I have an Ipod (which has changed my life). But, while my fifteen year old son is an inveterate instant messenger, I've never picked up that particular technology.

So, tell me, does this article, (link pasted below), tell the truth about your generation?

A Generation Serves Notice: It's a Moving Target - New York Times: "'We think that the single largest differentiator in this generation from previous generations is the social network that is people's lives, the part of it that technology enables,' said Jack McKenzie, a senior vice president at Frank N. Magid Associates, a market research and consulting firm specializing in the news media and entertainment industries. "

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Calling all email addresses

I very much like to communicate by email. If you, a student with the issues management course, have an email address, please send to the address listed on the syllabus. I will then send you an electronic version of the syllabus, which has links to the required reading. And I will also build an email list for necessary communications during the course.

Here's an incentive. Sending me an email address will count as a comment on the blog for purposes of the grade, since it will show that you've visited.

I enjoyed meeting you all on Thursday.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Welcome to Spring Semester Students

Welcome to the George Washington University Issues Management blog. The purpose of this blog is two-fold. First, it is designed as a mechanism but which the teacher and students can opine upon current issues that have relevance to the topics and techniques being discussed in our course. Secondly, it is hoped that this blog will familiarize students with blogging, which is an increasingly significant factor in issues management campaigns.

In many ways, this blog is an experiment. My hope this that it will be a "no holds barred" forum in the true spirit of the blogosphere. While it is a graded activity, grades will not given based on the content of posts. Grammatical and spelling errors will be ignored. Provocative is good. Participation will be graded on a pretty formulaic basis. A simple one sentence comment most weeks will earn a B. More active involvement will generate an A and no involvement, a C. We'll evaluate as we go along, maybe bring the discussion into the classroom, if appropriate. I will also welcome comments about the path we're taking in the course and make corrections as needed.

I look forward to a lively course, both here and in the classroom.