I had dinner with my mentor last night, Walt Roberts, founder of Roberts Communications, one of upstate’s more successful advertising agencies. Walt’s in his 80s and has aged like a great cheddar — sharp with a satisfying, nutty flavor. He loves people, philosophy, political debate, journalism, linguistics, marketing and good thinking. Walt squinted and asked me what I am trying to accomplish with this blog. “What do you want to happen?” he asked.
I mumbled something that sounded lame and unfocused even to me. This is the most basic of marketing questions, and I — his protege and 20-year CEO of his company, the guy he handed the keys to — was making a hash of it.
After a restless night, here’s respectable clarity about my blog’s mission and goals:
1. For my grandkids’ sake I want to join with other citizens to force dramatic nonpartisan reform upon New York State’s governance in this new decade. To make it more responsive to the will of all the people, as well as to long term strategic planning and innovation (corporate best practices) that will improve quality of life for upstaters, downstaters, everyone…but especially for the paying customers — taxpayers.
2. I want to help arouse the citizenry to obtain legislative “circuit breakers” — primarily an early constitutional convention (well before 2018) and voter initiative (the public’s right and ability to put consitutional amendments up for vote in November elections). Also to gain nonpartisan re-districting, rules reform to restore legislative integrity, and fiscal prudence.
3. I want to use modern marketing strategies and communications tools (advertising, PR, web, social networking) to create passionate grassroots customers for these key changes and provide an easy avenue for their occasional energized political action. In other words, I want to help unionize and activate the common sense silent majority on a non-partisan basis and war against entrenched partisan, political Albany intransigence.
If you agree, wish me luck.
Enjoy your day. Paul