"Everything is possible to him who believes." Mark 9:23

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Romney's Challenges

Public relations is a learning experience no matter how "seasoned" you are or how much you think you know. That's why I love my public relations classes. We talk about real life situations and how we would handle them as the PR practitioner for that client. The other day, we talked about the recent Mitt Romney incident. Now, I'm not a true follower of politics because I'm easily swayed and like to see the best in everyone. When it's a political season I usually learn the basics and go from there. The Romney fallout occurred when a secretly tapped video of Romney at a charity event in May was released. We talked about how we would have handled the video leak if we had been Romney's pr person. At first I didn't see anything wrong with the comment. Yes, Romney's word choice could have been more eloquent but I could see his point. In class, we discussed what our options would be to redeem Romney's campaign and voter support. 

After our class discussion and thinking about the situation on my own, it's hard to say what I would have done in that situation. There are so many factors that play into a proper response that it is difficult to say exactly what I would do. The challenges that are presented in this situation directly affect what Romney's response should have consisted of. 
  • The video: The fact that the full video was not release poses a challenge. Seeing only part of the video takes the answer out of context. 
  • Crucial timing: November is slowing closing in and the video was released at a crucial point in the political race. Just as Romney was beginning to gain some momentum the video caught on like wildfire.
  • Mr. Right: Some of what Romney commented on was correct. His facts were not completely correct, but the point Romney was trying to get across was on the right path. If he had just thought about what he was saying before he said it, maybe the footage wouldn't have been so detrimental to his campaign.
From a pr practitioner's standpoint, these three challenges can be huge obstacles in responding in just the right way. I think that Romney and his team has done the best they can to mend this situation. Various statements and responses have been released and Romney has chosen more eloquent words. Sitting here now, I don't know what I would have done in this situation, but by the end of the school year I hope that I will learn and experience what I should do in any given situation.  

Below is the video from YouTube of Romney's response:

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