Corporate PR by kitsch

If the Brad Garlinghouse Yahoo “manifesto” hadn't been branded a peanut butter one, would the “leaked” email-memo-report have gotten so much derivative play in the media?Yahoo appears to be “OK” with last weekend’s strategically published “document” in the Wall Street Journal, saying it is a sign of the "open, collaborative culture" inside the company, according to Financial Times reports.

If the Brad Garlinghouse Yahoo “manifesto” hadn't been branded a peanut butter one, would the “leaked” email-memo-report have gotten so much derivative play in the media?

Yahoo appears to be “OK” with last weekend’s strategically published “document” in the Wall Street Journal, saying it is a sign of the "open, collaborative culture" inside the company, according to Financial Times reports. 

No surprise, the “leaked manifesto” is infused with uplifting corporate PR sounding phraseogolgy:

The magnitude of the opportunity was only matched by the magnitude of the assets.

The measure of any person is not in how many times he or she falls down - but rather the spirit and resolve used to get back up.

We are charting a course for fundamental change.

The race is a marathon and not a sprint. 

While a corporate executive may genuinely employ inspirational clichés to rally the team, the kitschy peanut butter branding of the “document” bespeaks a broader, deliberate corporate communications mission.

The WSJ published the Garlinghouse “document” (see "Do Yahoos bleed purple?) under the headline: “Yahoo Memo: 'The Peanut Butter Manifesto,' Yahoo is spreading its resources too thinly, like peanut butter on a slice of bread.” 

What if the WSJ had published the “document” under the headline “Yahoo exec leaks internal memo, Calls for organizational restructuring and reoptimization of resources.”

Such a revised headline would be more aligned with hard news editorial objectives of a “business paper of record,” but would most likely not be as “popular” or peanut butter “sticky” in the online, inbound links as currency world. 

The peanut butter branding succeeded in garnering attention to the Yahoo “document,” as well as to the media outlet that publicly delivered it.

The author(s) however, apparently do not subscribe to “less is more.” Besides hammering home the “I hate peanut butter” theme, the “document” incorporates additional kitchy quips: 

I proudly bleed purple and yellow everyday!

 

I'm proud to admit that I shaved a Y in the back of my head. 

 

Garlinghouse may be proud of such declarations, but their disingenuousness risks provoking queasiness, same as too much peanut butter!

 

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