Thursday, 21 April 2011

Mercenaries in the Culture Wars

Assuming you're a bigwig in some Ideological group, with vast funds from a tiny handful of financiers, but very few people who actually support your position. How do you make it seem to politicians that you've got far more popular support - and hence influence at the ballot-box - than you actually do?

One way is to run an Astroturf campaign. From Wiki:
Astroturfing is a form of advocacy often in support of a political or corporate agenda designed to give the appearance of a "grassroots" movement. The goal of such campaigns is to disguise the efforts of a political and/or commercial entity as an independent public reaction to some political entity—a politician, political group, product, service or event. The term is a derivation of AstroTurf, a brand of synthetic carpeting designed to look like natural grass.

Astroturfers attempt to orchestrate the actions of apparently diverse and geographically distributed individuals, by both overt ("outreach", "awareness", etc.) and covert (disinformation) means. Astroturfing may be undertaken by an individual promoting a personal agenda, or highly organized professional groups with money from large corporations, unions, non-profits, or activist organizations. Very often, the efforts are conducted by political consultants who also specialize in opposition research. Beneficiaries are not "grass root" campaigners but distant organizations that orchestrate such campaigns.

Here's the "Win Points to Earn Valuable Prizes" scale for the National Organisation of Marriage. Which, oddly enough, actively campaigns against marriage. But only those involving gays, lesbians, transsexual and intersexed people.

That's from a spreadsheet recently made public by Louis J. Marinelli. You see, he was anti-same-sex-marriage on moral grounds. But.. one problem with having people who work for you out of a sense of morality. If you're obviously morally bankrupt, they're likely to defect.
As part of my job with NOM, I was instructed to create a point system to reward the propagandists. Everything they do will be tracked and NOM plans to reward them. In the future, when this team gets off the ground, NOM intends to use the technology behind Mr. Brown’s ActRight conservative activism website to facilitate tracking, create a competitive atmosphere between the propagandists and allow them to redeem the points they earn in a variety of ways, including lunch with Mr. Brown himself.
Cheapskates. From another article, about the financing:
I am sharing this with you because I want you to realize that NOM is a small group of devoutly religious Catholics supported by a couple of undisclosed sources. NOM is essentially made up of Brian Brown, its President, Maggie Gallagher, the CEO, a handful of other Board members (who are scattered across the country involved in other matters), a couple of advisors to Mr. Brown and a small and largely incompetent office staff.

Their social media management isn’t operated by NOM – they’re not big enough for that nor do they understand social media! As Jeremy Hooper detailed, Opus Fidelis manages NOM’s social media and websites.

From the Opus Fidelis website:
OPUSfidelis is an advisory services firm specialized in:

- Management Strategy (go-to-market and operations turn-around),

- Sales Acceleration (business development & sales coaching),

- New Media Strategy (Viral & Social media, and Cloud-based enterprise technologies).

Through its unique consulting approach, OPUSfidelis is delivering high value strategy advisory services to corporate customers, US Federal Contractors, Not for Profit (501c3-c4...), and political organizations & candidates.

OPUSfidelis is headquartered in Reston, Virginia, and works with local, national, and international organizations. Our portfolio of customers include Fortune 100 REIT (Real Instate Invesment Trust), US-based leading Real Estate Services provider (commercial, corporate, residential), political organizations including congressional and senatorial campaigns, US Federal contractors (technology and consulting), IT companies (software vendors, system integrators), international engineering firms, and Non for Profit organizations.
And... the "non denominational" "no contact with any religion" National Organisation for Marriage.

Also, it's "Estate" not "Instate". "Investment" not "Invesment".And "Not for Profit" not "Non for Profit".
We provide solutions for a dynamic environment where business and technology strategies converge. Our work team approach focuses on new ways of business combining best practices innovation and adoption while also leveraging an organization's current human talents and IT assets.

We are distinguished by the technical expertise of our staff and partners, our solid foundation in business strategy and operational improvements.

Business Performances are paramount to us and are the drivers to our customers’ relationship: we accelerate schedules with a high degree of time and cost predictability. OPUSfidelis helps industry leaders make crucial business decisions; increasing agility, slashing schedules. A chain reaction of success that dramatically improves efficiencies and positively impacts the achievements of an organization.
That's obscene. Not their secrecy or dishonesty, the Dilbertesque Full Buzzword Compliance, together with a lack of actual professional competence. Not even bothering to check the spelling of words on their website.

No comments: