Restoring Confidence

The headlines of all our local and national publications are plagued with “rescues,” “bailouts,” “the DOW falls” and “stocks plunge.”

The entire world is watching as the global economy slips into a financial crisis. As I stay glued to the news I hear the words “investor confidence” over and over again. One of the major causes of the stocks plummeting is that the holders are making emotional decisions based on the fear of their financial future. Instead of making rational decisions on whether to hold or sell their stocks, the majority of investors are dumping them (and dumping them quickly), causing the market to crash. What do the experts say they need? Confidence.

One definition of public relations from PR News is: “The management function which evaluates public attitudes, identifies the policies and procedures of an individual or an organization with the public interest, and plans and executes a program of action to earn public understanding and patience.”

I can’t help but relate the recent measures taken to this definition: The government is seeing the growing anxiety in their citizens and knows something must be done. They then begin to formulate ways to calm the growing desperation (or at least try to). Next, they execute their plans for renewing our confidence.

Billion dollar bailouts are not the way to ease all of our audiences’ minds though. The United States is made up of a great variety of people, many not understanding the financial lingo put out by the government.

In order to create this patience within our country, we need to talk in terms of hope that is stripped of all jargon. And that is exactly what President Bush is trying to do. President Bush has made multiple public appearances in the recent times of turmoil in attempt to restore the confidence of our country and assure us that things will get better.

Today, President Bush discussed the economic credit crisis from the White House Rose Garden. He spoke directly to those who are struggling: “If YOU’RE struggling with your mortgage there are things that you can do.” He spelled out, in detail, the steps the government has taken and will take, and described exactly what the $700 billion bailout plan will be used for. “(The plan) is aggressive…it will take time to have its impact… it is a flexible, comprehensive plan, and it will work.”

Especially strategic were his words of confidence: “We’re in this together and we’ll come through this together.” “Our economy is innovative, industrial and resilient.”

Although he is sure to be attacked in the media as always, the government is laying out their plan of action, and a necessity in that plan is to use the leader of our nation to attempt to repair our nation’s confidence.

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