Go to contents

[Opinion] Message Consulting

Posted November. 24, 2008 03:10,   


Former First Lady Lee Hee-ho, the wife of former President Kim Dae-jung, portrayed former First Lady Yuk Young-su, wife of the late President Park Chung-hee who persecuted Kim, as a woman with a warm nature in her recently released autobiography. Author Nam Ji-sim said in a critical biography of Yuk, "I was surprised to see that the some 2,000 people who visited Yuk`s grave every year were ordinary people. The 30 years of the people`s devotion to Yuk is in stark contrast to the short-lasting political glory."

Author Hong Ha-sang says the people still deeply love Yuk because of her "power of sincerity." "She always cared for the poor. She shed tears for the people in pain and fought for them. No wonder her sincere behavior won the people`s hearts," he said. Though no professional political consultants or public relations experts existed in her time, the former first lady delivered her message to the people.

In his 2001 book "Eyewitness to Power," David Gergen, former White House adviser to U.S. presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, said the ability to move the people`s hearts is the key to becoming an outstanding president. Reagan possessed this admirable ability. When the economy was floundering, he appeared in Washington as a warm-hearted grandfather figure who came to save the United States. President-elect Barack Obama is also seen as an inspirational leader who can lift the people`s spirits, an ability which comes from the heart.

In Seoul, the presidential office of Cheong Wa Dae has announced that it will commission the president`s Independence Day and New Year`s speeches to a high-profile consulting company to perfect the messages as well as the sentences and words to inspire the people. More important than presentation, however, is the message itself. Choi Jin, head of the Institute of Presidential Leadership, said, "Cheong Wa Dae has entrusted speech writing to outsiders and this is proof that they have no idea what the people want. If they grasped what the people really want, they could write an excellent speech. There is no better message than the president`s sincerity to help and inspire the people in this time of difficulty."

Editorial Writer Huh Mun-myeong (angelhuh@donga.com)