Tom Garrity

Posts Tagged ‘Perception’

The Garrity Perception Survey 2018: The Law

In Reputation on November 30, 2018 at 3:00 pm

Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 1.35.13 PMNew Mexico’s legal system is ripe with opportunity to gauge public opinion when compared to community conversations.

The Garrity Perception Survey measures four areas related to the New Mexico legal and justice system.  It includes favorability of the courts and justice system as well as measures trust of judges, lawyers and law enforcement officers.

Favorability of the courts and trust of lawyers do well to hover in the lower quarter of favorability.  Based on a seven-year statewide average, the courts system averages 26 percent favorability and lawyers average 21 percent favorability. Geographically, the two areas are hard pressed to find any pockets of significant support in any part of the state. It is safe to say that despite some very good people and qualified professionals, favorability of the court and trust of attorneys is difficult to increase given awareness of high crime rates, drunk drivers and repeat offenders.

Interestingly, while New Mexico residents are not favorable of the courts they are trusting of its officers, the judges.  An 18 percent gap exists between trust of judges and favorability of the courts.  Geographically, judges have higher trust among residents living in the Eastern and South/Southwestern parts of the state.

Police officers and law enforcement officers are the most trusted when compared with their two counterparts, judges and lawyers. However, New Mexico residents didn’t always have this level of trust (a 49 percent average) of police officers.

In 2013 and 2014, a series of high profile incidents captured local, statewide and national attention.

In 2013, the New Mexico State Police pulled over a van carrying the suspect and her five children.  After the second time the driver tried to speed away, officers fired three shots at the van’s tires. The police dash-cam video captured the exchange which made national coverage.  The officers were cleared of the shooting as a judge said they were justified to shoot at the tires.

Also, in 2013, the Deming Police Department and the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office conducted a full cavity search on a person who was pulled over for allegedly for not coming to a full stop at a stop sign in a Walmart parking lot.

In 2014, the Albuquerque Police Department was involved in the fatal shooting of a homeless man who also suffered from mental disorders. After the shooting, the suspect was found to have knives in each hand.  The incident was one of several officer involved shootings faced by the department in as many months.

The APD shootings captured the media attention and attracted attention of the United States Justice Department.  Police Chief Gordon Eden, an experienced law man and relatively new to his role as police chief, led changes to the force.  With the help of the Mayor and Albuquerque City Council, the Civilian Police Oversight Agency was established.

These actions helped to rebuild trust among Albuquerque residents which in turn increased trust of police offices statewide.

Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 1.35.44 PMMore information and analysis of this information is available online at www.garrityperceptionsurvey.com.

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The Garrity Perception Survey 2018: Healthcare

In Reputation on November 29, 2018 at 3:00 pm

Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 1.33.13 PMFrom 2011-2017, perceptions of healthcare in New Mexico have been impacted at a variety of levels.

Consider these milestones at the Federal and State level.

2010 inaugurated the Affordable Care Act (or ACA), also known as Obamacare.

In 2013, the New Mexico Human Services Department halted funding to 15 behavioral health providers in response to allegations of Medicaid fraud this resulted in coverage interruptions for 30,000 of the state’s most vulnerable residents.

Also in 2013, the New Mexico Healthcare Exchange was created by state law to help residents get affordable health care coverage.

In 2014 the Veterans Health Administration was embroiled in a scandal where allegations of negligence were reported in the treatment of United States military veterans.

As if 2013 didn’t have enough activity, New Mexico Governor Susanna Martinez expanded healthcare coverage, through the ACA, to include recipients of Medicaid. The expansion provided coverage for residents with household incomes up to 138 percent of the Federal poverty level.

And according to US Census data, the uninsured rate in New Mexico fell from 18.6 percent in 2013 to 9.2 percent in 2016 — a drop of more than 50 percent, versus the national average drop of a little more than 40 percent.

A 2015 report issued by the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center shows that New Mexico only has “nineteen hundred” primary care physicians. When compared to the State’s population, at the time, that equaled one primary care physician for every “thousand ninety-nine” New Mexicans in the state.

Politically, in 2016, a unique political showdown developed between the legislature, Attorney General, State Auditor and Office of the Superintendent of Insurance.  At the center of the issue, the release of an audit claiming the Insurance Superintendent failed to collect nearly $200 million in taxes from insurance companies.

The seven-year period also included new hospital construction and improvements as well as the creation of and merger of various insurance and medical groups.

Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 1.33.34 PMDespite the changes, New Mexico residents are generally consistent in how they feel about the medical system.  Favorability, hovers just below the 50 percent mark with the most fluctuation occurring in 2013 when it dropped from 49 percent to 46 percent.  Over the past seven years, the medical system has averaged 47 percent favorability among New Mexico residents.

Geographically, residents in the Albuquerque area are the most consistent and generally have the highest levels of trust and favorability regarding doctors and the medical system. Residents in the Northwest have the largest swings in favorability of the medical system with a low of 45 percent in 2015 and high of 75 percent in 2016.  Trust of doctors also saw some extreme swings in North Central New Mexico with a 39 percent favorability in 2014 followed by 70 percent favorability in 2015.

Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 1.33.57 PMInterestingly, the oldest and youngest residents have the highest level of trust in physicians. The youngest (18-34 years of age), typically the lightest users of insurance and healthcare, have an average 66 percent trust of physicians compared to residents over the age of 65 years, the most frequent users of insurance and health care, who have a 69 percent average of trust in doctors.

More information and analysis of this information is available online at http://www.garrityperceptionsurvey.com.

The Garrity Perception Survey 2018: Energy

In Reputation on November 26, 2018 at 3:50 pm

Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 1.28.29 PMThe energy industry will singlehandedly shape New Mexico’s future. Oil and gas coupled with “wind and solar” will respectively shape future state budgets and could become the state’s largest export to the west coast over the next 20 years.

According to the Legislative Finance Committee, “New Mexico typically receives about $2 billion in direct revenue from oil and gas production through severance and property taxes and royalty and rental income. Additional indirect income is generated by sales and income taxes on “oil and gas” drilling and service, which generate about $300 million. The State of New Mexico’s 2018 budget is $6.3 billion.”

According to the Wind Energy Foundation: “New Mexico stands out as an emerging windScreen Shot 2018-11-23 at 1.29.15 PM.png powerhouse, adding wind power capacity at a faster rate than any other state in 2017. Wind farms supplied over 13 percent of the state’s electricity generation last year, enough to power over 422,000 average homes. New Mexico is now ranked 15th in the nation with installed capacity. A wave of new wind investment will soon advance the state’s leadership” in this arena.

Over the past seven years, favorability of the two industries traditionally has had stark differences.  On average, 60 percent of state residents are favorable of the “solar and wind” industry versus 44 percent favorability of the “oil and gas” industry.

Politically, those who identify themselves as republican are favorable of oil/gas while those who identify as democrat are just as favorable of solar/wind.

Breaking down favorability of the industries by age reveals the 35-49 demographic is the most favorable of solar/wind while the 50+ demographic is most favorable of oil/gas.  Interestingly, the 65+ age group is least favorable of solar/wind compared to the 35-49 age group which is least favorable of oil/gas.

Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 1.29.42 PMGeographically, residents in North Central New Mexico are the most favorable of solar/wind  versus residents in Eastern New Mexico are the most favorable of oil/gas.

Gender and ethnicity don’t really come into play as a differentiator for the solar/wind industry.  Male/Female and residents who identify themselves as Hispanic or Anglo are, on average, favorable of the renewable industry.

The oil and gas industry is viewed with greater favorability among males versus females as well as residents who identify themselves as Anglo versus Hispanic.

Post Script – August 26, 2018 – Since the 2018 Garrity Perception Survey was printed, the State of New Mexico announced a 1.2 billion dollar surplus… the result of increased revenues from the oil and gas industry.

More information and analysis of this information is available online at www.garrityperceptionsurvey.com.

Some #PR insight for my second cousin, James Comey

In Crisis Communication, Life, Messaging, Reputation, Uncategorized on May 19, 2017 at 6:26 pm

 

The second most polarizing figure in America today is the former Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation James Comey.  Yes, at one point, he was number one, no doubt.

Mr. Comey’s grandmother on his mom’s side and my grandmother on my dad’s side are sisters.  I always knew his grandmother as Aunt Irene.  Mary and Irene Broderick grew up in New York and got along tremendously well. Ensuring that future generations were connected was not on their watch, just a casualty of the nuclear family.

Despite the distance, I am proud of the bloodline that connects our lineage. Yes, I had thought about giving him a call at the office; the potential thought of discussing public relation approaches with my second cousin sounded kind of cool. But in lieu of the awkward telephone handoffs of explaining the family relation for a dozen or so times with federal agents, only to leave a message with a very capable civilian, I opted to put a few of my thoughts on this blog.

As a public relations practitioner for the past 24 years, what insight could I possibly someone who has “been there and done that” in the gauntlet of public opinion?

First, I’d give former FBI Director three quick recaps:

  • The New Yorker story and 60 minutes interview resulted in solid media coverage to share who you are as a person. This is key to creating credibility and likeability.
  • The multiple news announcements about the Clinton e-mail server could have been handled better. While I am convinced that in your mind you were doing the right thing, it came across as disjointed and politically motivated.
  • Conducting an overview briefing to discuss the process for the respective Flynn and Trump/Russia investigations would have helped to shape future media coverage and conversations without giving away any of the investigative findings.

Then I’d ask, “ok, what’s next for you?”  And follow some of these questions (which would surely spur other questions):

  1. What does a win look like? Why?
  2. Where do you want to be professionally three years from now?
  3. How do you want the news headlines to read six months from now, or a year (if you care)?
  4. Are there any pressing issues or public activities taking place within the next 48-72 hours? List them and explain how they might impact the responses to any of the first three questions.

Based on his answers, we’d develop message and a strategy. As a result of that conversation, some exclusive one on one media interviews would be proposed unique to print (New York Times), radio (Michael Smerconish) and television (60 minutes).

Last question that I would ask: tell me about Aunt Irene!

Navigating the Conservative Divide

In Messaging, Uncategorized on March 27, 2017 at 4:39 pm

Foothills

The congressional stalemate over repeal of the Affordable Care Act and the inauguration of the American Health Care Act should not have come as a surprise if perspectives of New Mexico conservatives were taken into consideration.

The increasing split among traditional “republican” institutions like the oil and gas industry or the church and religious organizations are testament to the changing tide of conservatives, akin to Moses’ parting of the Red Sea.

This split, identified in the 2016 Garrity Perception Survey, served not only as a precursor of the national presidential election but also as a guide for what is playing out during the first 100 days of the Trump administration.

While I touched on some of these splits in this May 2016 blog post “A Political Divide as Scenic as the Taos Gorge” , it is important to revisit some of the key items that have surfaced and will surface in some form or fashion.

Medical System – Conservatives are more favorable than those who identify themselves as “somewhat conservative” (SW/C).  Interestingly, according to this quantitative study, liberals and conservatives are aligned in one group just as moderates and somewhat conservatives are aligned.  Insight: National healthcare policy should play to the middle if politicians want to win popular opinion.

Solar/Wind – Conservatives are not favorable toward renewable energy; only 37 percent of residents are favorable toward the industry.  This is in stark contrast to those who identify themselves as SW/C, 55 percent of whom are favorable toward the solar and wind industry. That 18 point divide is significant.  Also, the SW/C and moderates are more aligned than those right of center. Insight: The Trump Administration’s unraveling of the Obama Administration’s Clean Energy Plan should focus on the political middle ground of those favorable toward the solar and wind industry if there is desire of winning public approval.

Church/Religious Institutions – The 19 percentage point split between conservatives (82 percent) and SW/C (63 percent) should be a red flare for how some social issues and belief systems are perceived by New Mexico residents.  Recently, the Catholic Church, under its new papal leadership, has been reaching more towards the middle ground on some hot button language; even if it has just been in its message and tone.  In contrast, some other belief groups have been pushing more to the fringe.  Insight: Public opinion over current and future Republican Supreme Court Nominees, and their ability to successfully navigate the confirmation process, will need to find a way to mimic the tone being exhibited by the Catholic Church when trying to reach the middle ground.

These are interesting times, indeed.  While research provides only a snapshot in time, the glimpse can help elected and appointed officials navigate difficult terrain.