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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Taser hires Shift to trump negative brand perception

September 23, 2010
PR Week
Alexandra Bruell

SCOTTSDALE, AZ: Taser International selected Shift Communications as its AOR to help battle the public's negative perceptions about the brand, explained Jeff Kukowski, EVP of marketing at the company. He confirmed that the account is in the high-six-figures. The agency will handle media relations, social media, and consumer messaging and strategy around the well-known electronic control devices for consumers and law enforcement. Shift will also help launch a consumer product called Protector, which aims to prevent mobile use while driving, as well ...

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Note to Shift Communications: Your assignment - Put on a nice big pot of corporate communications coffee and keep it coming, pull up a big comfy corporate communications couch and begin by reading every word on THIS website (no subscription required). No really, I mean it - go all the way back to 1990 and read all 2,987 of the posts I`ve placed here - for a reason - from start to finish. Then read every single word at www.excited-delirium.com (again, no subscription required) - don`t even blink in case you miss something. Finally, read the Braidwood Report, Phase I and Phase II.

Once you`ve completed the above assignment, and have got all the pieces of this twisted puzzle put together, then and only then will your talent agency be all caught up with those of us who have been paying very close attention all along. At that point, you may want to revisit your corporate (and personal) code of ethics, your corporate (and personal) moral compass, consult your corporate (and personal) lawyer and then decide if this is truly the gig you want to align yourself with. Believe me, it ain`t pretty. We`re not talking about a few niggling `negative brand perceptions` here. This isn`t Domino`s Pizza or Pabst Blue Ribbon we`re talking about. Oh no, this is much, much more, by a long shot. And no amount of twittering, blogging, facebooking or any other social media cuteness can erase the sinister fact that 512 people who were alive one minute were dead the next. And, in every single instance, a taser was involved.

You will really want to consider your next move very carefully. If you do decide to proceed - perhaps you simply cannot live without the high six figures - you WILL (mark my words) end up in a place where you feel like the lawyer who defends his rich, sleazy client because he needs the money, even though he knows his client is no saint and is quite likely guilty on all counts. And where I come from, he/she could be seen to be guilty by association.

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