Monday, July 06, 2009

How not to do PR - Sanford-Palin style

We've already seen the shambles that has been S.C. Gov Mark Sanford's revelations ad nauseam about his Argentinian affair.

And then there was the rambling news conference by Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin saying she would step down because she's a lame duck -- a news conference that kept the pundits atwitter all Independence Day weekend.

Now, Palin's lawyer is out with a letter threatening legal action against anyone who writes about the allegation that Palin is under federal investigation in connection with her involvement, whatever it might have or might not have been, in construction of the Wasilla Sports Complex while she was mayor.

As Politico notes: Still, the decision to issue a public statement reciting all the facts in the case now all but ensures that there will be mainstream media accounts of the situation.

Who exactly is advising these folks? Have the Republicans opened a whole new PR agency, Bumble, Fumble and Stumble LLC? First rule of "crisis" management -- and this is a form of crisis -- don't give anyone an opening to keep talking about the stuff you don't want them to keep talking about.

Instead, with this letter, Palin's lawyer now invites everyone to comment on it and, in the process, spotlight the supposedly defamatory information.

The late Molly Ivins famously said about newspapers that it wasn't their dying that angered here, "it's watching them commit suicide that pisses me off."

Ivins was no friend of the GOP, but one could imagine her trotting out that line to characterize the Republicans were she still alive.

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At 7/6/09, 4:43 PM, Anonymous Jonathan Bernstein said...

Great commentary, Doug, I'm gonna blog about your blog soon!

At 7/6/09, 5:22 PM, Blogger Doug Fisher said...


At 7/16/09, 12:10 PM, Blogger Tene said...

Is it an American tradition to "let it all hang out"? European politicians have at least as many things they don't want the media mentioning; they just keep quiet. Mr. Sarkozy even ended an interview with an American journalist, when she insisted on speaking about his divorce. As for the rest of the world--we have no idea what the politicians are up to, most of the time.

At 7/16/09, 1:20 PM, Blogger Doug Fisher said...

Nah. This was pure Sanford. Most pols are not so loquacious about their sex lives, even when caught.


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