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Psaki Statement Offers a COVID Disclosure Guide for PR Pros

From Sophie Maerowitz, writing for PR News…

Yesterday (Oct. 31), White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki disclosed that she contracted COVID-19.

In a statement posted to Twitter and published by the Associated Press, Psaki shared the circumstances of her positive COVID test result, as well as the actions she has taken since. The timing and content of Psaki’s disclosure could well become a pandemic-era guide for PR pros should an executive, client or other public-facing figure test positive for COVID-19.

The statement was well-timed, getting ahead of news stories that might question why Psaki was absent from President Biden’s trip to Glasgow for today’s (Nov. 1) COP26 Climate Summit.

A notable twist on a classic, Psaki used the phrase “out of an abundance of transparency” to explain her choice to go public with the diagnosis.

Jenny Wang, VP, Clyde Group, supports Psaki’s “having led with transparency.” She cites the move as a best practice for high-level, high-visibility executives.

Gene Grabowski, partner at kglobal, says Psaki’s disclosure provides a solid model for how to share important information. With an eye to Psaki’s statement, Grabowski lays out steps that, he says, government agencies, corporations, nonprofits, universities and other organizations would do well to follow when sharing sensitive information.

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