Posted by David Oates 1 year, 11 months ago


Before you scream “NO F#$%!N WAY,” hear me out. I’m of the firm belief that we all learn best from our mistakes or, at the very least, errors of others.

And holy schnikes is this administration providing some great ones!

Think about it. In one week’s time, The Donald lost his legal team spokesperson and press secretary. He then topped it all off with the appointment of Wall Street hedge fund manager and a top Republican fundraiser Anthony "The Mooch” Scaramucci as the new White House Communications Director.

I'm sorry...what?

I certainly agree that this team needed an infusion of new blood. Spicer’s demotion in the press room didn’t do much to “wipe the slate clean” so to speak with reporters. The public gaffs of alternative facts, off-camera daily briefings and dodging reporters behind bushes made any attempts at restoring credibility fruitless. The briefing room needed new faces and quickly. Scaramucci’s presence won’t help, though. He maintains little to no credibility as a front person for discussing administrative policies, and his regular presence as a Fox Business contributor does not help.

Through this ginormous fecal weather pattern, I see three important lessons from Trump’s Communications Team for organizations to embrace. 

Respect The Profession - Hire Professionals

I know and fully appreciate that some members of the PR community should find other employment. Many fail to adhere to the industry’s code of ethics and continually earn the monikers “flack,” “spin doctors,” and  “truth twisters.” The majority, and most especially ones that hold the coveted APR designation, see their role as facilitating conversation being an organization and the public. They take this job seriously and, while certainly looking to advocate on behalf of a particular entity, carry out their duties with high integrity and in the spirit of working to give the media and other stakeholders the information they need to do the job well.

Hiring professionals will ensure that your company’s side always gets an audience. While it doesn’t mean that the stories will show the organization in a favorable light, you run an excellent chance to receive fair and impartial treatment; the primary goal of any communications team when dealing with the public. The Trump’s Administration attempt to discredit and distance itself from the press has fueled the opposite; a press corps that will continually questions every statement and fact presented.

Be Transparent

Back in Trump's Communications Team made the unprecedented move to make many of the daily press briefings off-camera events. The move caused many of us in the PR world to shake our heads for many reasons. For starters, the President gains nothing in the process. In fact, the move makes it look less authentic and credible. Second, every word, every phrase and every sentence uttered by Sarah Huckabee to the White House reporter pool will undergo intense scrutiny with the risk of getting taken out of context far greater without being able to read her body language.

Opening up dialogue in a respectful atmosphere built on a culture of mutual respect will foster a greater sense of trust between the media, influential bloggers and the general public. Walling off access will only generate greater distrust and skepticism.

Be Humble

No one likes an ego maniac. Moreover, the White House Communications Team can demonstrate confidence and steadfastness without the self-aggrandizing tactics they seem to exhibit. It comes across as condescending and, at times, like a bully. Don’t expect reporters to know what you know. That’s why they ask the questions. PR practitioners must explain the concepts and positions in such a manner that they are readily understood and put into context. The onus is on the organization to make this happen, not the media.

Keep a close eye on what happens with the Trump Communications Team moving forward. I expect more lessons will certainly come!


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