What’s wrong with this picture? This week, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, just a couple of days after being forced to explain his “I’m not concerned about the very poor” comment, stood side-by-side in Las Vegas with Donald Trump to thank him for his blessing. From a public relations standpoint, the billionaire endorsing the multi-millionaire was really bad timing.
PR pro Linda Forrest talked about timing in a recent blog. “If real estate is summed up by the expression, ‘There are three things that matter in property: location, location, location,” she wrote, “PR could easily misappropriate a slight variation of that: ‘there are three things that matter in public relations: timing, timing, timing.’”
Whether Romney has much, some or no empathy for the poor despite his blurt, he truly needed to spend a few days in apology mode. This is a man who had been downplaying his significant wealth because the nation’s 99% is still reeling from the recession and in a touchy mood. So wouldn’t it have been best if he put a little bit of time between his seeming insensitivity and his highly public romance with The Donald, one of the richest and most seemingly insensitive men in the world?
Timing a message plays a very key role in PR. So does the public’s frame of mind. The two are so tied together that to misread it can be a terrible mistake. Romney needed to show the undecideds that he cares about those less monetarily fortunate than he. Publicizing Trump’s endorsement when the announcement could have been postponed was a “very poor” way to do show empathy. Your thoughts?