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Simple Rules for Creative Agencies to Have Constructive Conversations About Politics. (Yes, It Is Possible!)

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Public relations agencies and other creative agencies like mine can still host honest, even divisive conversations about everything under the sun. Creative people need room to talk out loud and think through problems. They should face criticism and argument to help refine their ideas. Shutting down conversations does not generally lead to good outcomes.

To be sure, I don’t know if big companies can encourage a free-thinking culture. I sure admire the companies like Basecamp that are trying in these weird times. But the signs aren’t good. Recently, woke Twitter (which is to say, Twitter) sure hated it when Basecamp’s founders announced they were effectively banning “societal and political discussions” on the company account.

The reason? “Sensitivities are at 11, and every discussion remotely related to politics, advocacy, or society at large quickly spins away from pleasant. You shouldn't have to wonder if staying out of it means you're complicit or wading into it means you're a target… People can take the conversations with willing co-workers to Signal, Whatsapp, or even a personal Basecamp account, but it can't happen where the work happens anymore.”

Which is to say, divisive political conversations were demoralizing and time-wasting. These are generally things that businesses try to avoid. That goes double for a company that’s all about fostering productive project management and team communication.

Nonetheless, the digital hunting bands on social media platforms were annoyed. Heck, so were many of Basecamp’s employees. A third of Basecamp’s workforce has quit. Yikes!

Related: Do Politics Affect Business Financing?

Basecamp is far from the first company that’s gotten hurt by too much politics by the water cooler (or lately, on Zoom, Slack, or however we talk to each other under lockdown). Coke went woke (and then pressed pause, indicating the problem was not enough internal discussion at........

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