Tag Archives: White House

Who’s Not Talking About Bin Laden?

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On May 1, President Barack Obama announced to a live television audience the death of Osama bin Laden.  It was a seminal moment in both the nearly ten year old “War on Terror” and in American history.  However, the days following bin Laden’s death have been filled with missteps that would make even a first-year public relations student’s stomach turn.

The key point in a crisis or important news situation is to have one voice and only that voice should speak. Therefore, no confusion would be caused.  That hasn’t been the case post-bin Laden’s death. CIA Director Leon Panetta opened up a can of worms when he said to NBC News that, “ultimately,” a photo of the dead Al Qaeda leader would be shown. Panetta did several other interviews, including one with Time magazine. Senator Max Baucus, a Democrat from Montana, even stated that he expected a photograph would be released “fairly soon.” Continue reading

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Serving PR’s Dual Constituencies

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“I work to promote the president and the message that he’s trying — the messages he’s trying to convey to the American people. But I also work with the press to try to help you do your jobs, to help you cover the White House, cover the administration and report on what we’re doing here.”

— White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, explaining his dual role of serving the President and the press, Feb. 16, 2011.

A ha! Finally we have a high-profile public relations executive saying what we all know to be true but far too often neglect to properly explain: in public relations, like many other professions, we’re playing a constant back-and-forth internal battle between our clients’ best interests and serving the public good. Continue reading

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