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Lessons On How Not to Act During A Press Conference

By Arthur Solomon for PRNews

The indictment of former president Donald Trump provides a lesson that young PR pros should remember: Like other powerful CEOs of Boeing, BP and Wells Fargo, to name a few, all the best PR minds combined can’t save a person or entity from the judgments of the public or law officials.

Many of the former president’s actions should be used as “what-not-to-do” PR tutorials. Arguably, at the top of the list should be how he acted during his press conferences.

On May 11, President Biden will officially announce the end of the Covid-19 emergency regulations, which have been in effect for more than three years. That does not mean that the coronavirus has been eliminated from the United States. But it does provide a good segue to revisit Trump’s press conference PR miscues during the early days of the pandemic.

Trump’s faulty pressers should be required watching because there are many “do not copy” lessons for PR people.

Below are several of the most important:

Lesson #1: Not permitting another featured speaker to finish a statement will result in negative coverage.

Lesson #2: Before suggesting a press conference (which in my opinion is almost never), consider the news value of the presser, its purpose and the quality of the speakers.

Lesson # 3: Take responsibility. The former president said he feels no responsibility for the Covid situation and blamed others for it.

Lesson # 4: Keep press conferences short. Trump’s pressers often ran about two hours, giving reporters more than enough time to think of questions that the president disliked.

Lesson # 5: No one likes a bragger. The former president always praised and applauded himself, using self-congratulatory, self-aggrandizing phrases.

Lesson # 6: Not all clients have the temperament to be questioned by journalists. How a client replies to a question can determine how the individual is portrayed by the media.

Lesson # 7: Press conferences should be held only when important news will be announced.

Lesson # 8: Press conferences often disappoint a client who expects major news coverage.  For more, click here.

Image by Pixabay

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