Dan M. Kahan describes the concept of "The Science of Science Communication" – the idea that there is a science environment where people form their perceptions of risk and gather facts that lead to policy consequences. Like our natural environment, which is essential to the health of individuals living inb a society, the environment for science communication is essential for "enlightened democratic self governance.
The city of Troy, Michigan was facing a budget shortfall, and was considering closing the Troy Public Library for lack of funds. Even though the necessary revenues could be raised through a miniscule tax increase, powerful anti-tax groups in the area were organized against it. A vote was scheduled amongst the city's residents, to shut the library or accept the tax increase, and Leo Burnett Detroit decided to support the library by creating a reverse psychology campaign. Yard signs began appearing that read: "Vote to Close Troy Library on August 2nd – Book Burning Party on August 5th." No one wants to be a part of a town that burns books, and the outraged citizens of Troy pushed back against the "idiotic book burners" and ultimately supported the tax increase, thus ensuring the library's survival.
We do not view Hoggan’s advice as one dimensional -- working solely on media or lobbying. We see their contribution as being far more strategic and best included at the outset before public engagement and/or crisis. In our market I am not aware of anyone else I would seek to provide such a role.
- Andrew Grant, President and Founding Partner, PCI Group