How Not To Sell A State That’s Feeling The Pinch

From The Economist:

Hello, sunshine!

Oct 8th 2011 | COLUMBIA | from the print edition

IT’S a great day in South Carolina, and if you don’t believe it, ask Governor Nikki Haley. On September 27th the governor ordered the 16 directors of cabinet agencies under her direct control to change the way their employees answer the telephone. So now when phoning, say, the Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services or the Department of Employment and Workforce, callers are supposed to hear this cheery greeting: “It’s a great day in South Carolina. How may I help you?”

Ms Haley says the new greeting will boost the morale of state workers and help her to sell the state. “It’s part of who I am,” she declares. “As hokey as some people may think it is, I’m selling South Carolina as this great, new, positive state that everybody needs to look at.”

The blogosphere has been inundated with people mocking the new salutation and proposing alternative greetings. One suggestion: “It’s still better here than Mississippi. How can I help you?” Another was more explicit: “Thank you for calling South Carolina where unemployment is high, morale is low and political leaders are very busy wasting your resources. How may I direct your call?” Continue reading