Holmes Report Blog

The Holmes Report blog focuses on news and issues of interest to public relations professionals. Our main site can be found at www.holmesreport.com.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Counter-Productive Criticism and Crappy Political Correctness: A treasure trove of interesting content in this morning’s Financial Times, starting with an exceptional column by Lucy Kellaway, who is on the receiving end of a couple of leaked memos: one from Graham Copley, head of global equity research at HSBC, which appears to be an attempt to demoralize the company’s analysts; another from JP Morgan that illustrates “just how much literary value can be destroyed in 73 years.”

Of the Copley memo, she writes: “The message itself is the rudest, crassest, most ineffective “motivational” memo I have ever seen… [Copley] comes across as a power-befuddled bully, who has no interest in understanding why the research is bad and no interest in finding a way to make it better. He is correct in one thing only: he says that leaders are paid to motivate their teams. In which case it is he who does not deserve his salary. His memo will send any talented underlings scampering off to join hedge funds, and will surely make less talented ones even more demoralised. The only thing it has motivated them to do is to print the memo out and send it in brown envelopes to journalists.”

Meanwhile, in comparing JP Morgan’s recent document outlining “Our Business Principles” to the words of the company’s founder, she finds that clarity and elegance have been sacrificed to obscurity and political correctness.

Also worth reading: an article explaining that Glaxo SmithKline plans to adopt a policy of complete transparency on the funding it supplies to patient groups across Europe (no mention of the U.S., intriguingly); a story (not the first, but interesting nonetheless) about Procter & Gamble’s embrace of word-of-mouth and the tools it is using the track the impact of such campaigns; and a look at the need for companies to educate employees about personal finance, as more of the burden for financial planning shifts to the individual.


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