DILC and the Problem Lady; Phase 1, the industry

The Dialectic Issue LifeCycle Model (DILC) is a very cool heuristic for thinking about how some societal problems become issues, what industry does when the problems climb the political agenda and how the issues are (or aren’t) ‘resolved’.  Here’s a video starring its progenitors.  The DILC has five phases, and looks at three categories of actors in detail – those trying to get the issue onto the agenda, those trying to keep it off/to shape the problem into a soluble issue, and the state functionaries (elected and non-elected).

Last year I came up with the idea of each of these ideal types writing letters to an agony aunt during each of the phases, seeking her strategic advice.  I am posting these 15 (well, 16) letters and responses, one per day, over the next two weeks or so.

Today, Phase one, industry.

Dear ProblemLady,

we’ve found out via, ahem, friends that some activists from some group called Raise the Alarm are trying to kick up a stink about our core business. They claim we are rapacious planet-raping monsters. Or something.  Should we get our legitimate business associates Guido and Larry to explain the facts of life?

Company Under Relatively Timid Suspicion.

Holy shit no, CURTS. Are you crazy?  Ignore them.  Nine times out of ten (at least) these sorts give up and go away. Especially if there’s a bigger sexier issue that their fellow problem-mongers are campaigning on.  There’ll be another war in the Middle East soon enough, and your Raise The Alarm irritants will be alive (ixnay with the Guido and Larry!!!) and kicking against other pricks.  Do NOT contact Guido and Larry. Sheesh.

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