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The Strategic Storyteller by Alexander Jutkowitz

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2The Age of the Educated Consumer

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Why Politics Won't Teach You about Marketing

The path from politics to marketing and strategic communications is a common one. It is the path my own career and the careers of some of my most respected colleagues have taken. In some ways, the crucible of politics is excellent preparation for marketing. Working on campaigns teaches you that a communications strategy has the power to shape reality, first in the minds of voters and then in the real‐world effects of policy. It teaches you that reputation and brand can be both durable and fickle. A single well‐phrased comment can make or break a political reputation, but it can also pass by entirely unnoticed in the stream of political life. Working in politics also teaches you that branding and reputation is an endurance activity. You learn how to work well when you are tired, to work without complete information, and to improvise, improvise, improvise.

An early major donor to Bill Clinton's first presidential campaign once related to me how Clinton, then a relative naïf in the realm of foreign policy, sat and listened to him talk off the cuff about the state of nuclear policy with China. Later that evening, when Clinton was asked in a round of public questions to expound on exactly that issue, he was able to take the donor's disorganized thoughts and turn them into a coherent speech that did not ...

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