When faux pas threaten the PaRty

With all the experts, all the planning, and all the care that went into America’s two recent political conventions, somehow some very important words got lost in the shuffle.

For the Democrats, their supremely well-executed convention was almost marred when it was “discovered” that the party platform had left out any mention of God or the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. For the Republicans, their top-of-the-ticket candidate made his acceptance speech without a mention of the men and women serving in our Armed Forces. Both faux pas were unforgivable, especially in light of the razor-sharp election taking place just a few weeks from now.

So how could the planners and the political professionals involved have prevented these potential PR disasters?

In public relations, when we work to manage risk and crises, the best practitioners know to plan from the outside in. This means we take the time to step back and ask ourselves, “What will our publics expect us to do or say when it counts the most?” This seems like an obvious approach; after all, don’t people usually consider who they’re talking to before they say what that say? Well, that may be true, but people often do forget to say something they were supposed to say.

We can be quite sure that a lot of attention was paid to the look and the feel of the conventions, and plenty of effort was devoted to the speeches and the platforms. But in all the preparation, a few of the most obvious words went missing. You can’t forget to mention God and the troops when you’re a presidential candidate making a major speech, or a committee writing a significant political position paper for your party. Somehow, both the Democrats and Republicans did just that. Fortunately for both, their faux pas didn’t derail their big parties. Your thoughts?


40 thoughts on “When faux pas threaten the PaRty

  1. publicrelationspro

    I think that it was definitely and obviously an error on behalf of both parties. After all, the troops are the reason why the rest of American citizens get to enjoy their lives relatively peacefully. Leaving out any mention of the very people who fight to keep this country’s freedoms is an essential and crucial part to any presidential campaign as it conveys the importance and appreciation for the work that they do. Also, leaving out the mention of God in their speeches leads to an unfavorable perception among the people because the majority of Americans are religious and that plays a big role in their lives.

  2. Kerry Kiddoo

    I find the two topics of things left out of their speeches ironic. I think it is funny that the party that wants to remove the words, “Under God” from our pledge of allegiance had absolutely no mention of Him in their speech while the party that stands behind our troops the most gave no mention to the service men and women. I just find the two topics ironic.

    As far as the PR aspect is concerned, I think the parties both did a good job in handling this situation, as it was mentioned that this blunder was not detrimental to either party. People make mistakes, and during the election people are more likely than usual to call candidates out on their fumbles. But, it isn’t like they are making a policy change or bashing anyone, it was a simple mistake. For that, the PR recovery was handled very well.

  3. Christine Brazeau

    In some cases while focusing on being as perfect as you can be, as well as being politically correct while gaining your audience, things can be lost in the shuffle. Although the two pieces of information left out by each candidate were important, it’s not something that would have been easily picked up on during their respective speeches. I would assume that most of the nation didn’t immediately change their mind on a candidate at the end of the speech when they realized they forgot to mention God, or thank our armed forces. A PR professional could have looked over certain criteria that they believed the publics would like to hear and made sure they were in the speeches, and hopefully saved the campaign from such heavy criticism.

  4. Sherrell B

    It occurs to me that both parties failed to realize that their public(s) heavily judge each candidate by their speeches. With that said, They didnt take into account voters who are of the “unsure” percentage.

    The unsure crowd may place their vote based on what “they” desire to hear from each candidate. Since the Democrats spoke about troops, that just may be the ticket to winning votes from the unsure crowd, and vice versa in regards to the Republicans comments.

  5. Casey Madsen

    I don’t believe that the Democrats committed any major faux pas by not mentioning God. Religion shouldn’t play a role in the election of the President. Religion is strictly a personal belief and it doesn’t concern me what religion President Obama practices. Although religion comes into play involving issues such as abortion or same-sex marriage, it’s not something that should be involved in the election.

    In regards to PR and preventing/cleaning up potential disasters, I think both sides did a great job of handling their mistakes. As you said, it wasn’t detrimental to either party and that really says it all. In campaigns and huge public events mistakes are inevitably going to happen, so it’s really important to be prepared to cover them up.

  6. pumpkin117

    Even before reading this post, I held strong opinions about both Obama and Romney’s speeches at e Democratic and Republican Conventions. I think it was notable that the Democrats fixed the situation, and the fact is that they did the write thing. The Republicans on the other hand were not as successful in my opinion. I felt that not only was there a lack of mentioning the troops, but there was lack of content in a majority of his speech. Romney spent too much time saying what Obama was apparently not doing for our country rather than saying what he will do to fix the problems that exist. Obama addressed these types of issues which makes him seem more credible. The PR professionals should have been on top of the fact that Romney has yet to address that he made a mistake by not mentioning the troops in his speech, yet he has still not done or said anything to help the situation. One of the major principles in crisis PR is to admit you are wrong. By not doing so the public will come up with their own conclusions thinking that he does not care, and that is a bad move on his part when the troops are the ones fighting for this country while he is fighting to be president. I also do not believe that it is just one mistake and can be fixed in the future because it was only one speech. The speech made at the convention was the one speech that should of been perfect. And the one thing to fix the problem, apologize, has still not happened.

  7. John Bifone

    Personally, I don’t feel that leaving “God” and “Jerusalem” out of the Democrats’ speeches was unforgivable, nor do I think leaving the troops out of the Republicans’ speech was. Would it have been a smart strategic move for them to bring these subjects up? Absolutely. But I think “unforgivable” is a bit too strong. In the upcoming months, we’re going to be hearing a lot more from both sides, so while the conventions are important, I feel like they’re more of an introduction for us.

  8. Kristen Kelly

    Public Relations professionals have their own ways to create, organize and finalize speeches. The main focus would be to base the speech around what the public want to hear, and that is just what the Obama team wanted to do.
    The Obama team tested the president’s speech in dial groups, a type of focus group where they brought in voters and placed dials in front of them. The voters would twist the dials to register approval or disapproval of specific passages. Sounds great, right? Taking the results of the study to organize and tweak his speech based on what the voters found interesting. Obviously, from the response after the presentation of his speech, this study doesn’t seem so effective. The Daily Beast call the result, “a tepid media consensus that after the stirring speeches by Michelle Obama and Bill Clinton, the president had given a B speech at best.”

  9. Corey Wagner

    I have to agree with Anand. It’s almost comical that something like this could be so poorly planned out. To me, it seemed like the Republic convention was just one big unplanned joke, so its no surprise that Romney’s speech did not include a mention of the armed forces . I am surprise however that Obama, who has already done this once before, did not address all important topics. Political campaigns for the most part are pretty tactical and Obama’s campaign has been doing well so far. We all have slip ups and make mistakes..even the president.

  10. Anand Patel

    It’s actually rather comical that these presidential candidates who are so specialized and specifically trained to not only speak eloquently but to actually speak about most pressing issues, could not even remember to bring up these issues of importance. They literally go to camp to learn how to best carry out a presidential campaign and debate and did not work to their target audiences’ favor, eg Democrats with the Israel issue and the Republicans with the armed forces. This shows a lack of either spontaneity or rehearsal depending on how one views it, really. I do not believable it will be easy for them to come back from this.

    1. Rachel

      Separation of Church and State. Is this not a principle which we value highly in our great nation? Considering the persecution many religious citizens undergo in other, restrictive countries, we should keep in mind the fact that no one is forced to hide their beliefs in America, but there is also (or should also be) no standard that everyone must abide by, no pressure to believe in or mention God. If there were a religious standard for candidates, their statements would be forced and fake. Therefore, if the addition of a God comment were made where one had been originally neglected, simply to avoid seeming heathen, that would be pandering to the carefully calculated religious masses. PR is legitimate promotion of ideas and no spin, correct? So let’s keep that in mind; no spin, no pandering, just issues the candidates find unequivocally relevant and pressing. In the future Americans should consider that the issue of a presidential candidates’ personal beliefs is entirely unrelated to his or her policies and goals for the future of America. We’re electing a president, not a Pope, correct?

      As for the neglect in mentioning the troops, not only is this a PR Faux Pas, it’s disheartening as a voter. Coming from a candidate who claims to focus on veterans, forgetting a mention of our troops, means forgetting those who serve to protect us, to protect the president himself even! It’s disrespectful and Careless. Military families, friends, and communities touched by the lives of these service people will be discouraged, and perhaps their esteem of Romney will be irrevocably dashed. This is bad news for the Romney Camp; his approval ratings with veterans and others with military involvement, both before and after the convention, would be interesting no doubt.

  11. Spencer MacDonald

    When considering which faux pas is more serious, I would argue that the Mitt Romney’s omission of the military is more worrisome. Since a major Republican “selling point” is that they believe they are heavier supporters of the military and aim to make it stronger, it seems odd that it was not questioned before Governor Romney made the speech. I would think that this is more of a “crisis PR” situation as he omitted something very important to conservative/Tea Party America.

    President Obama’s lack of religiosity in his speech is less of an issue as he’s running on a party that does not rely so much on heavy emphasis of the Church as it is a more diverse party. It is still strange that it was omitted based on all the “Obama is a Muslim” accusations. However, while this may be considered a faux pas, it could still be argued that he may have taken some inclusive high road.

    However, I do not believe these “faux pas”‘s should be what we are getting out of the DNC and RNC speeches. We are ignoring the content of the speech and are paying way too much attention to what was NOT said.

  12. Kellie Sahagian

    After reading this entry, I believe that criticizing the Democrats for not having mentioned God is kind of ridiculous. If someone was not very religious/not religious at all, I think that they would feel weird or awkward if Obama continuously mentioned God and made it known. I don’t think that this topic should be focused on, because there were many other parts of their speeches that were important that should indeed be discussed.

  13. Karli

    I completely agree with the fact that leaving out god and the armed forces was a mistake for both the democratic and republican parties. With that being said, the speeches made by both of these parties were clearly thought through and put together carefully and the two most important parts about our country were left out. If they can leave out god and our troops from their speeches than it is obviously not an important aspect to them.

  14. Kristin Mancuso

    I may not be the most educated person when it comes to politics; however, I do hold many opinions regarding these overlooked issues at the recent political conventions.

    Despite the active role religion has held in the past, I indubitably believe that religion no longer has a place in politics when there are issues such as the financial crisis and unemployment, which foremost need to be addressed by both parties. Personally, I find these issues more concerning because they are prominent and important in this day and age and I applaud both parties showing concern for these issues. Additionally, religion is a highly controversial topic therefore I support the decision of the Democrats to omit mentioning it at the recent conventions. Personally, I would find it somewhat aggressive if one of the parties mentioned religion.

    Unlike how I felt with the Democrats, I am very disappointed the faux pas made by the Republicans in the recent RNC convention. In the past Romney has shown immense support toward the Armed Forces when just last year he claimed that the government shouldn’t cut any funding from the defense budget. This therefore makes his omission of the military at the RNC, a potential costly PR disaster for him. Ironically, I recall reading an article that was published earlier this year that stated about 60% of veterans favored Romney in comparison to Obama who only received around 30% of the vote. With the extreme unemployment rates and homelessness of veterans across the US, this issue should surely be addressed during every convention. I also find it somewhat upsetting that the issue of veterans was such a point of focus in the last election, however it seems to be virtually non-existent in the current one. In addition to this, Republicans failed to mention the troops despite the recent eleven-year anniversary of 9/11. Personally I find this faux this disrespectful to those impacted by 9/11 as well as those who are concerned with the armed forces.

    It is a possibility with topics such as unemployment and education taking up many headlines, perhaps religion and the armed forces was not a priority for either party. I wouldn’t be surprised if parties decided to touch upon issues in the forthcoming weeks.
    Despite all the controversy, it is impossible to please everyone. In conclusion, both parties tackled an array of important issues and the Democrats should be exonerated for their failure to address these issues at the conventions despite how late in the game it is.

  15. Caitlyn Hutchison

    Every detail counts when it is this close to the election, a slip up at this time in the election season is shocking. It would be understandable for something to be left out at a local level, but at a national level, when billions of people are critically watching and evaluation the candidates, there should be no excuse for the slip ups.

    There is also a different degree of faux pas that happened too. I personally feel that the RNC’s faux pas was a major slip up in not mentioning the serving men and women protecting our country in the Armed Forces. However, the DNC’s faux pas did not seem to be as big of a deal since I do not believe in a connection of religion and government.

  16. jmorosoff Post author

    Just to clarify: President Obama didn’t leave God out of his speech; the Democratic Party left any mention out of the official party platform, realized the omission, and then voted to put God back in during the Convention.

  17. Kerri Sheehan

    I think that criticizing the Democrats for not mentioning God is a little bit faux pas. In today’s society I don’t think the mention of God is necessary in a political war. As someone who is not very religious I would actually be slightly offended and uncomfortable if Obama put an unnecessary emphasis on it. While I do believe it was little bit weird not to mention the Armed services, I do think it is a little nit-picky to zone in on this when Romney talked about so many other things.

    With such a short allotted time to give a speech which must encompass a lot, certain issues were certain to be left behind.

  18. Jenny Rowe

    I agree that both parties SHOULD have discussed God and the troops, but I also consider the fact that both parties somehow managed to avoid these topics is almost commendable. Not that I think it was right, but considering how much damage could have been done for a party because of a single speech, I absolutely believe that it was intentional. It is a definite possibility that both Republican and Democratic PR people could have told their candidates to just leave out the topic if their chances of winning were in jeopardy. On the other hand, there are other extremely important topics that needed attention, and that very well could have been why other topics were left out. I just think it is highly unlikely at this point in the game. 55 days until the election!

  19. passportstories

    Although I agree with everyone who felt that mentioning God was superfluous in today’s day and age, I think there is a deeper meaning of this idea of religion. Yes there is religious freedom in our country, so many American citizens may call their godlike figure something other than just “God”. The importance of mentioning God or religious affairs when running for President is not what one believes in. People who are religious usually are perceived to be more moral and more charitable than someone who may not be religious, whether or not this assumption is accurate. Even if the person is not religious or moral, just mentioning God in their speech subliminally sends a message to the listeners that they are reliable, charitable and for the good of mankind. The Democrats not mentioning God in their speech may not make or break the election for them, but they may have won over more voters if they had not made this large mistake. In addition, they did attempt to fix the situation by admitting to press that they were wrong, yet their attempts were pitiful in my opinion because they did not formally made a statement. This mistake may have been worse than forgetting to mention God in the first place.

    The republicans on the other hand made two HUGE mistakes. Not mentioning the men and women who fight for this country could have cost them many voters who may know someone who is in the armed services. Another reason this was crucial this year in particular because it was the 10 year anniversary of 9/11. Even after 10 years this is an extremely sore subject for America. Right now patriotism is high and we as proud Americans want a president who wants what is best for Americans. On top of this, not correcting the situation was even worse. This sends a message to voters that he doesn’t really care about the troops, which may cost him the election.

  20. Jon Fisco

    Pleasing everyone is impossible, and trying to please everyone is the easiest way to fail. That being said I think these speeches were the one and only time that the candidates are “allowed” to mention each and every topic of importance because that was their “rah rah” time for their respected parties. It’s the time to pump up the crowd and their party members and put everything out there in a positive light because the audience there is going to cheer as long as the candidate is somewhat following the party’s beliefs. Honestly I think as the months roll on the talks about each and every topic need to boil down a bit but that probably won’t happen. As far as the missing topics go I find it incredible that topics like those can be missed, or not even mentioned in passing, but I’m sure both parties will focus on them to make up for lost ground in the coming weeks.

  21. Hillary Alexandre

    Although the omission of mentioning God and the armed forces are considered a faux pas in a political speech, I do agree with some of the comments that religion is not as important to our generation as it once was. I believe that the omission of mentioning armed forces was a bit more offensive. I did not watch the RNC or DNC but I do believe that if the mistake of not mentioning these words did not cause great commotion, then perhaps the candidates said what was needed to be said after all. Perhaps God and the armed forces was not at the forefront of everyone’s mind?

  22. Katlyn Catubig

    I enjoy the point being made that the best public relations practitioners work from the outside in. “What will our publics expect us to do or say when it counts the most?” In politics, maybe even more so than public relations, this phrase rules all. How do we make the public trust us, have confidence in us, believe in us? We must give them what they want to hear. And while I completely agree that the absence of God and the armed forces in the speeches were massive mistakes on behalf of both parties, I have to ask myself: if we only say what we’re supposed to be saying, are we being honest? Now, we all know that honesty is rare nowadays on the political forefront. But what about in the PR world? Are we supposed to be fully truthful with the publics, maybe at our clients expense? Or should we just say what they want to hear? Which is more affective in this day and age?

  23. Lauren Means

    It seems like a recently popular politician move is, if your stance on a hot issue doesn’t jive with the rest of your popularity, then skip over it and hope no one notices. As we all learned in PR 101, the first step of any savvy PR approach is to be up-front about anything one will be questioned on. In this race, nothing is off-limit, and all opinions and political stances should be talked about before the critics can point out that, hey, isn’t so-and-so being suspiciously quiet right now?

  24. Alecia Detka

    Yes, of course is was considered “bad” for both parties to neglect mentioning these details. What I believe is sad is that sometimes the specific details take away from what the entire picture is.

    Should both candidates have mentioned the details that you listed above? Yes. Should their speeches and conventions be considered a failure because they didn’t? I believe not. I’m not saying that because they did not mention these concepts people are looking at both conventions as a failure, but with the success that both had, it’s sad that this is becoming the more important issue. On the other hand, this is why PR is so important. The public puts so much importance on not only what people say, but what they neglect to say as well.

    I also would like to state that these concepts seem so simple to miss! They are supposed to be experts at this sort of thing and it is surprising to me that they hit so many other points but neglected some of the most simple ones.

  25. jillarchibald Archibald

    In all honesty, I didn’t watch much more than five minutes of the DNC so I’m a bit in the dark on the issue, however, I do believe that the RNC’s faux pas seems to be bit worse than the DNC’s. I agree with Julie in the sense that the issue of a lack of mention of God in a speech is not as big of a deal as it once was. I feel as though, my generation especially, is not as religion focused as older generations, and therefore it may not be as serious of a faux pas as not crediting the men and women serving the country. Not crediting the men and women of the armed forces is even more serious of an issue because Romney aspires to become the Commander in Chief.

  26. alexcoughlan

    I think that there is no perfect way to perform politics no matter what they do and what they say someone is always going to be screaming about being left out and forgotten about. I agree that these are two large issues that should have been at least addressed by both parties but sometimes in PR and even in politics less can be more.

  27. Julie Rafatpanah

    I feel that mentioning God is something that is not exactly necessary in 2012. I personally think that religion is something personal, and that it is important to separate church and state; even if it were mentioned, it would probably be a more symbolic addition based on tradition, like saying “God bless America” at the end of the speech, rather than actually talking about God or faith. While there are certainly religious members of the Democratic Party, I’d say that they don’t focus on God as much as a whole. I also felt that talking about Israel during this convention would not have fit the overall theme, although it is an important issue that needs to eventually be talked about. The DNC focused on issues that were at the forefront for the American people; the economy, jobs, and our overall domestic future. However, if a PR professional wanted to prevent this criticism, they could have mentioned God towards the end of the speech.

    Romney’s PR team could have easily prevented the PR disaster of not mentioning the Armed Forces by incorporating it into the speech. They could have easily tied it to patriotism, American resilience, and the sacrifices we have all been making. His team should have reviewed his speech more thoroughly.

  28. brittanywalsh

    One of the primary roles in building a campaign is to determine the particular audience being addressed. From that point on, every effort within the campaign should appeal to this audience. With in the major efforts put forth by the public relations professionals in charge of the presidential election, it is absolutely crucial to ensure speeches not only appeal to the American public but that they evoke emotion, gain support and increase patriotism. It is the job of the PR professionals to consider each and every topic that will do this for their candidate. However, it seems that both the republican party and the democratic party were not adequately prepared because they neglected two of the most crucial topics in the eyes of their audience. The topic of God, ignored by the democratic party and the men and women serving our county, overlooked by the republican party, are fundamental to American society. It seems completely incompetent that the campaign speeches weren’t completely prepared considering the levity of the event. After the mistakes were made the PR team should have turned on crisis mode and addressed their wrong doing immediately.

  29. jmorosoff

    Some clarification: The Democrats, in effect, “fixed” the problem during the Convention when they modified the official platform. There was no formal apology issued; spokespeople and politicians told the press that the unfortunate omissions were discovered and the language was put back. On the other hand, Mitt Romney, to my own knowledge, hasn’t publicly acknowledged that he left out a mention of the troops during his Convention speech.

  30. Kellianne

    When it is getting down to the wire and the election is so close, I believe that it is unforgivable that two topics such as those were forgotten. There should be no excuse for forgetting both topics, but crisis PR is something that should be used in a matter to prevent this from happening. It is important to reach each audience being that everyone has a say in the voting process. Although not everyone is religious, there are those that are very religious. Candidates for the presidential election need majority votes; without reaching these certain publics, they will not get there point across. After discussing the missing pieces to the speeches, it is now very important to try and fix these issues as quick as possible.

  31. Michelle Soslowitz

    I think it was bad that both parties forgot to discuss both topics that were missed out. However there are other topics that also needed to be discussed and that may have been why they weren’t included in the speeches. It may not have been intentional for the PR people and political people to leave them out but they could have mentioned them in the speeches.

  32. Nicole Chiarella

    When faux pas such as the ones being discussed occur it is not easy to make up for it. It is expected through PR that all grounds are covered so slips like this do not occur. I am sure that there were numerous outlines and meetings that went on so their speeches were flawless but a slip such as not addressing the Armed Forces is unforgettable.

    I agree with Leias response, there absolutely should be more awareness about the audience and who they are and their beliefs. It is definitely a loss for the parties because now their followers are reconsidering their feelings toward their chosen party. It is a problem at this point in the game when important topics are not mentioned in their speeches.

  33. Jenny Zheng

    I thought it was very irresponsible of both parties to not mention God and the troops, especially so close to the election. These errors can go a long way, and it’s unlikely that they just forgot to mention these things. Obama and Romney are being scrutinized by the world over, and it seems strange that they would just ignore such topics. Maybe they didn’t want to focus too much on the nitty gritty. In any case, they clearly didn’t think about the repercussions of their choice.

  34. jeena

    I believe that forgetting the word god or not mentioning god is setting the democratic party up for a PR crisis, as well as the republican candidates who did not acknowledge the US troops. First off the word god is used in the pledge of allegiance which is very important to the United States and expresses patriotism as well as loyalty to our country. Not mentioning the troops can be hurtful to many Americans due to the fact of the many lives that were lost of individuals who were fighting for our country. They deserve respect and recognition and never should go unnoticed. If the candidates are questioned about their forgetfulness it should be their responsibility to recognize their mistake and turn their crisis into an opportunity and redeem themselves.

  35. Lindsay Shulman

    Perhaps in not mentioning g-d, the school of thought was to avoid a touchy subject. However, when it comes to the troops, the only reasonable explanation is that they simply overlooked it. Often times for these political events- especially the DNC/RNC, it is more of a show than an information tool for the public.

  36. chloelambros

    In response to Leia’s comment about the reference to mentioning “God” in speeches, that actually may have answered my question in my own response. I can now understand why it might be of importance to mention God in which it would appease the general public. Yes, not everyone is religious, but I understand that it is important to acknowledge those who are. I can see how it is essential to mention this religious factor in order to connect with all publics. Connecting with more publics = better relations with audience = more votes. So thank you Leia for helping me understand why the reference of God in presidential speeches is essential.

    1. Amanda Brennan

      I’m going to have to agree with both Leia and Chloe. I don’t necessarily agree with the use of God in speeches, but the candidates need to touch base on all aspects of what the country may want or need. Someone will in fact go so far as to switch candidates based specifically on religious findings. From a PR perspective, thankfully this incident won’t necessarily cause any crisis communications due to the fact that both the Democratic and Republican party are always the two main contenders. It’s hard to derail the major competition…realistically we need a strong 3rd party candidate in every election to possibly take down and change the government. That would be awesome.

  37. Leia Schultz

    I agree that both political parties made gaffes that could have been easily avoided. It’s almost laughable, in fact – almost, but not quite, because in this age of hypersensitive media coverage people should know better. People should know when they are working to develop these conventions that the elements of every speech will be critically examined and every potential flaw magnified in an attempt to cheapen the message.

    The Democrats should have been aware that, individual beliefs aside, omitting God (that omnipotent selling point of many American value systems) would be foolish: I’m not a religious person, but even I would throw a “God” in every speech or two to appease the general public. While the Democrats messed that one up, I think that Romney failing to mention the American men and women who devote their lives to protect this nation is truly unforgivable. While the faith in God is not a nationwide belief, individuals who serve in this country’s Armed Forces do represent the nation as a whole, and deserve to be recognized for their commitment to America. I’m sure that many military families were more than a little disappointed not to hear Romney give any amount of praise to their loved ones.

    As you say, “the best practitioners know to plan from the outside in.” If the individuals responsible for developing the Democratic and Republican National Conventions had been thinking from an outside in perspective these omissions could have been totally avoided. They should feel ashamed for not doing that. I don’t doubt that they had a lot on their plates (an understatement, I’m sure), yet these types of errors are so frustrating because the solution is seemingly simple: take a step back from your own point of view and imagine yourself in the position of your audience. It is the audience and the publics that decide the success of your work, so take time to consider how they will be affected by what they witness in your creation.

  38. chloelambros

    Professor Morosoff,

    First off, let me just say how interesting I think crisis PR is, and I really enjoyed how you connected this type of situation back to a crisis PR standpoint. And secondly, I completely agree with you and the points that you chose to highlight through this piece.

    As you had stated, “in public relations, when we manage to work with risks and crises, the best practitioners know to plan from the outside in.” This is indeed true, and it is obvious that the crisis management team for both political parties did not do this. Now that the damage has been done, the only thing that the crisis teams can do is possible damage control.

    Two big items that are almost mentioned in all speeches (especially during these campaigns) were forgotten, and that is going to be taken note of. It is not going to help to ignore the situation, but to be fully honest about mistakes that have been made, which is key in crisis PR. With that said, all that the teams can do to redeem the reputations of both parties is do acknowledge their mistake and make sure that God and the troops are to be mentioned from here on out. Everyday is a new day to get something right, so instead of looking at the past they should look to the future and rise to the occasion, with all the right words.

    It is understandable that with so muh preparation there is a chance to forget the most essential things, is the most obvious ones. However, I always wondered, why does God and the troops have to be mentioned so frequently? I knew it was something that was known to be mentioned is most presidential speeches, but why is it so important? The menition of the troops I can understand because they are citizens who are fighting for their country and should get recognition for their strength and courage. But what about those who are not religious and don’t strongly believe in the existence of God? There are many who feel this way which is why it makes me question the importance of Gods name. It is just a thought that has always been in the back of my mind when it came to presidential speeches.


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