05/31/11 09:06 AM Filed in: Public relations politicsMedia
Saying nothing when you have
nothing to gain by saying anything
When an old friend worked for a former governor of New York, the governor always arrived late to his own news conferences. That's because just before the governor left his office, my friend would stop him and ask him the most obnoxious, asinine question he could imagine the media could produce that day.
The governor's face would turn red, he'd curse and respond with lines that would make Trump blush. Then my friend would say, "Got that out of your system, Governor?" and lead him to the podium.
If that question popped up in the news conference, the governor already knew what not to say.
Counseling what not to say – or even to say nothing – is as much the art of the public relations professional as is the fine crafting of spin or the distillation of key facts that win an argument. As media has become more targeted and edited for quick hits, a response that cannot be cast as a gaffe can be priceless. Saying nothing when you have nothing to gain by saying anything can be your best response.
That governor of New York listened to my friend's advice because he trusted and respected my friend's judgment. At Executive Media, we have the confidence to say what we believe, even if it's not what the client expects or wants to hear.