martes, febrero 13, 2007

Public Relations: Handsome spokespeople

Marginal Revolution is like "Tipping Point" in blog format.

Tyler Cohen made wrote a post analysing if it is a good idea to have a beautiful woman as Segolene Royal as the next President of France:
1. French men will swoon, roll over, and play dead while she passes further protectionist measures.
2. Other women will never trust her.
3. Men, at the meta-level, know that beautiful women trick them all the time, so they will never trust their trust in her.
4. She needs to prove she is tough, and that implies hawkish, nationalistic behavior. She will be especially constrained.
5. She provides a national and global public good, but the Modigliani-Miller theorem holds and each part of her persona is evaluated separately, and accurately.
6. She will be an especially effective diplomat on the world stage.
7. No one cares, or is influenced by looks.
8. If the median voter model were true, the President would be so beautiful every election. Some other model must hold.
I don't specially agree with the effects of Royal's looks indicated by Cohen. My vision is that beautiful women could be as effective, candid and sincere as good looking men in diverse aspects of life, including business, politics, etc.

Nevertheless, I can see the point in the combination of aspects stressed by Cohen: most of the times good looking or people with strong personality could deliver messages better than regular (with little charisma) spokespeople. They grab attention easily and, if they have something logical and clever to say, they will be heard.

Some spokespeople are seductive and use this quality on their own advantage and on behalf of a company. This apply not only for politicians.

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