Posted by David Oates 1 year, 10 months ago


Seriously I do. Think about what happened over the last two weeks. Scaramucci lost his job AND his wife all because he miscalculated the skills required to be an effective White House Communications Director.

It's a shame, but not surprising. Many share the same misguided belief that anyone can talk to reporters. You just need to say something with authority, and they’ll write it. Yeah…uh…not so much it turns out.

For all the social media and theatrical savviness of the Trump Administration, leveraging free or earned media is apparently lost on them. Only by understanding that this powerful communications vehicle takes its direction from its audience, not the messenger can they succeed in using this great marketing strategy to their advantage. News organizations will not limit their coverage of conversations to topics and statements favorable to the interviewee. The good ones will always obtain independent verification of the facts and point out inconsistencies if they exist.

Scaramucci set himself up for an epic fail; one that came only after running out two other highly visible White House staffers. Moreover, I don’t know if “The Mooch” even understands to complete detail what went wrong, and that brings me to my take away for Trump and any other politico wanting to set up an effective communications team. Doing so requires these five things:

Respect The Fifth Estate. They hold an important position and are vital to a thriving democracy. You may not agree with them most of the time or even at all. However, demonstrating a disdain for the profession will only create animosity with an entity for which you have no control, despite best efforts to the contrary.

EVERYTHING Is On The Record. I’ve been practicing the art of PR for more than two decades and can count on less than one hand the number of times I went off the record. I only did so when I wanted to offer something to the reporter on background that was germane to making sure they got the story correct but was not authorized to do so. Even when I did this, I told the reporter that he could tell other sources where he received the information so long as my name wasn’t used in the story. 

Avoid Histrionics. As an Irish-Italian, I appreciate Mooch’s proclivity to channel his ethnic roots but has no place in the press room. His profane-laced tirade did not make the point more convincing but instead, makes him look stupid.

Be Consistent In Your Facts. It helps if you try not to change the narrative at every turn. Stay on point. Seriously. Start yesterday.

Keep The Cameras On. These sporadic off-camera daily briefings are silly and counterproductive. All it does is make skeptics more skeptical, and middle-of-the-road folks left scratching their head.

Of course, I’m happy to help the Trump administration or any politico for that matter. Keep in mind, though that the rates triple. I figure that’s about right.


  • There are currently no comments

New Comment

required (not published)