Wednesday, June 8, 2011

5 Signs Your PR Has Ended Your Career: Courtesy of Congressman Weiner

Days like Monday's cringe-inducing Rep. Weiner press conference admitting he not only had been sexting and carrying on online affairs but lied about it are embraced by PR pros everywhere for many reasons. Most obviously it makes for great TV but its also an amazing behind-the-curtain opportunity for us to study, critique and learn from the communication strategies of Washington's PR elite. Here is what I learned the easy way (for once) about national tabloid scandal PR:
  1. If you get caught with your hand in the cookie jar (no, I will not be making a Weiner joke here) fess up immediately! Take the hit, make your apologies and move on. Don't even bother with a cover story- particularly when you know pictures and texts are floating around buttressing your opponents' claims against you.

  2. When it becomes obvious more negative news about you is about to be shared- get ahead of it and share it yourself. Weiner's claims that he had been carrying on online affairs with six women over 3 years came way too late. This news should have been admitted the minute after he mistakenly Tweeted his now-famous underwear and got caught.

  3. Don't use ridiculous words like "certitude" to somehow deflect your guilt. Do you really think reporters will forget all about the question they asked you as they rush to their dictionaries to look up a word? You may as well be wearing a sign that says "I'm guilty but I believe I'm smarter than you so I will use fancy words and/or terminology to befuddle your feeble little mind."

  4. Don't make light of the situation you put yourself in until the dust has cleared. Weiner's smug little self-deprecating jokes about his unfortunate last name prompting the prank fell flat last week. No one believed him and worst of all he made his wife look like an idiot when he had to admit his culpability.

  5. Don't piss off journalists. Weiner's accusations of slander leveled against conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart showed just how out of touch he really was. Breitbart was telling the truth and could back it up and Weiner knew that but he still attacked the man. Breitbart is currently in possession of a full monty picture of Weiner he has said he won't release but you know he will if Weiner continues to try and stay in office .

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