Seven points to keep in mind when your speaker is offered an unusual presentation opportunity
Every communicator who was watching winced at the same time. As soon as the words came out, we all — at least those of us not in the White House — grimaced and said, “Glad it wasn’t my boss.”
The words came last week from President Obama when he tried to joke about his bowling deficiencies with Jay Leno. “It was like the Special Olympics or something,” the president quipped.
And with one line, the real purpose of his visit — to bolster support for his budget and bailout plans — was overshadowed. It may not be fair but that’s still a part of our PC-heavy world. One slip of the tongue and even the most well-reasoned PR strategy gets second guessed.
And this was on top of the criticism that the appearance with Leno trivialized a very important subject. “At times,” Alessandra Stanley wrote in the Washington Post after the fact, “he may have seemed a little too removed (from everyday worries).”
After events like this, two questions naturally arise:
The answer to both rests with your expectations and your definition of success.