10 PR lessons from Obama’s post-election news conference

The president maintained his characteristic composure in taking difficult questions from journalists. Here are the takeaways for you and those you’re advising.

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President Barack Obama’s first news conference since the election of Donald Trump offers more than additional fodder for a politically divided nation.

Business executives and communicators should study the news conference for lessons on how to navigate tough questioning during difficult times and about competitors. Here are 10 takeaways:

1. Focus on key messages. Critics of President-elect Donald Trump fear a drastic turn in America’s relationships with other countries. However, Obama asserted that the United States will maintain core relationships with other countries and said he expects a certain level of continuity. This is a key message to quell public anxiety.

2. Explain it simply. When a reporter asked about the future of the Democratic Party, Obama did not go into information overload. He recommended that the party go through a time of reflection while maintaining inclusiveness and not wavering on its core beliefs and principles.

3. Avoid lingo. When discussing the Democratic Party’s defeat, the president did not take the tone of a political science professor. Instead, he pointed out the importance of politicians’ showing up and competing everywhere.

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