By Danny Cavanaugh
It’s no secret that President Trump isn’t the most popular president of all time. But, is it just me or does it seem like the presidency has been based on a popularity contest, rather than on policies to improve America?
On Inauguration Day, (Jan. 20,2017) it was reported that a smaller crowd (in comparison to former President, Barack Obama’s turnout) had come to support the new president. Press Secretary Sean Spicer shortly thereafter was accused of spinning the truth about the actual turnout.
Of course this was a mistake by Spicer, but I don’t think he was knowingly trying to “spin” the truth. I agree with Beki Winchel when she states, “PR pros should think twice about how they present details of a recent event or an executive’s move that has elicited backlash,” prdaily.com.
It’s interesting to me how a man’s failure to elaborate and tell the whole story can have such backlash. Now, rather than focusing on President Trump’s first actions as president, we see the media talking about that “popularity contest” with the turnout for Mr. Trump’s inauguration.
With that said, PR pros can learn a lot from this situation. The availability and access to information via social media can cause a crisis in a matter of seconds.
So, how do we avoid these crises?
Answer: tell the truth, tell it all, tell it fast, and move on.
This leads back to my initial point, give Spicer a break! The man is human and he simply forgot to elaborate on what the turnout was.
At least Spicer was able to see the mistake he made, and create a statement about his lack of communication and specification on the matter.
As a society we need to stop nit picking every little thing somebody says, it isn’t healthy. As we have seen, Spicer meant that the turnout was the largest in years with people tuning in via web, television, and social media (along with in person).
PR pros should be warned from this. Somebody is always looking to fact check what you are saying. Be careful, and remember to tell the truth, tell it all, tell it fast, move on, and don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know.”