A Communicator Loses Control

by Dan Ward



We’ve all been there.  We’ve all had long, trying days where it feels like everyone is taking shots at us.  And for those of us in public relations, we’ve all had days where reporters have made us want to scream.

But we don’t.  We keep our heads.

Mitt Romney’s traveling press secretary, Rick Gorka, did the opposite on Tuesday, and the result has been a heap of coverage his boss doesn’t need and certainly didn’t want.

When reporters shouted questions at Romney after he laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Poland, Gorka reportedly shouted back, “Kiss my a**.  This is a holy site for the Polish people. Show some respect.”

Kiss my a** … show some respect.  That might go into the Ironic Statements Hall of Fame.  It reminds me of the time my father told a man during an argument, “If you don’t stop cursing in front of my kids, you son of a (bleep), I’ll knock you on your (bleeping) (bleep).”

There’s a lesson here for all professional communicators.  Our role is to be the calm in the storm.  If you feel like you just have to scream, step outside and yell at a tree (or in this case, wait until you’re in the car and yell at the floor).

If you allow emotions to get the better of you, how can you possibly provide sound advice to your boss or client?

2 Responses to A Communicator Loses Control

  1. Sheridan says:

    Obviously, Gorka forgot his spokesperson 101 training–the “mike” is always on and reporters are not your friends! http://www.cnn.com/video/?hpt=hp_bn3#/video/politics/2012/07/31/exp-romney-press-aide.cnn

  2. Roger says:

    How about the Moronic Statements Hall of Fame? No matter how dumb the question, no matter how irritating the questioner, his lack of respect renders him useless to the Romney campaign.

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