September 20, 2011

Unsolicited PR advice for Cynthia Archer

Archer had been ordered not to discuss the investigation. That means don't discuss the investigation, including your involvement or non-involvement. It also gives you a convenient excuse to shut your pie hole. — Unsolicited Public Relations Advice
A new blog that promises to be pretty entertaining.


Briane said...

Whoever UPRA is, he/she lacks some political insight.

In politics, not speaking creates a vacuum and into that vacuum rush opinions and other people talking. The only thing worse than not speaking is lying.

The best possible thing to do in a political scandal (aside from not having boxes the FBI is interested in in the first place) is to get out in front of it. Talk as quickly as possible to let the story die immediately, if it can. (If the story won't die immediately, you can still air your side of it.)

"Don't talk" is what I tell the subjects of investigations... to avoid their being charged or worse. If your advice is "don't talk" it's too late to save face.

Robert Chappell, Unsolicited PR Advisor said...

Remember -- it's never the crime that takes you down. It's the cover-up. Cynthia Archer may be covering something up and not even know it.

In politics, speaking creates a record of your side of the story, which in many cases is not entirely true. Which means you are lying, which, as you say, is the only thing worse than not talking.

You are 100% right that in most cases, it's best to get ahead of the story. To that end, Walker should have rooted out and exposed everybody who ever did anything wrong in his County office long ago.

Remember when Eliot Spitzer resigned, and David Paterson took over? He came out and admitted an affair before anyone could even ask about it. That's what I call getting ahead of a story -- and it worked. He did fine in the press, right up until he turned out to be really bad at being governor.

But Walker didn't do that. By the time the FBI shows up at your house, there is literally no way to "get out in front of it." It's out, it's gone. They're never ever going to be in front of it again.

So now, they're on defense. Not a good place to be. And it's best, when on defense, not to panic, and almost the only way not to panic is to shut your mouth for a couple of days. Just until you are calm enough to speak strategically.

- UPRA, who has at least a little political insight

illusory tenant said...

Wouldn't one Cardinal Rule of PR be, "Don't be your own spokesperson"?

Robert Chappell, Unsolicited PR Advisor said...

Also allow me to add one more qualifier ... in the post, I said my second rule of crisis communications is "When in doubt, be quiet." That "When in doubt" is important. If you know "with certitude" that it's not your private parts in the Twitter photo, say so, as loudly as possible. If you know without a shred of doubt that it's not your money in the freezer, say so, again and again.

But in this case, Archer herself admits that she doesn't know what they're looking for, so she can't say with certainty that she's not involved or that she's "done nothing wrong." When in doubt ... see what I mean?

Robert Chappell, Unsolicited PR Advisor said...

"Wouldn't one Cardinal Rule of PR be, "Don't be your own spokesperson"?"

That could certainly be a rule of crisis communications, if not PR in general. I think people can speak for themselves, but should do so with the advice/supervision of a PR professional, especially in sensitive situations.

Also, "I don't need a lawyer" are pretty famous last words, aren't they?

illusory tenant said...

Especially when you have a lawyer.

Anonymous said...

New article tonite by PMarley @ jsonline-says the State by wants with withdraw an affidavit by Archer that was created earlier this year...looks like nobody wants her to have to be pulled in while on FMLA time to be deposed.