Media Minute: They never learn
By Jerry Brown, APR
Former Congressman and would-be mayor of New York Anthony Weiner is the latest politician to become a member of that club.
Weiner resigned from Congress in 2011 after being forced to own up to sexting a half dozen women.
Turn the clock ahead two years and Weiner is a candidate for mayor of New York.
And now we learn the sexting didn’t end with his resignation from Congress.
In a painful news conference with his wife at his side, Weiner acknowledged he continued the behavior that forced him out of Congress after he left office. And then we learned more than one woman was involved in the post-resignation round of incidents.
Several newspapers including The New York Times have joined a number of prominent Democrats in urging Weiner to get out of the mayoral race. At least a couple of the women who were targets of his digital attention have spoken out against him. And his campaign manager has quit.
The Weiner saga keeps unfolding, one news cycle at a time.
For now, Weiner says he’s staying in the race for mayor. But two things ultimately will force him out: His poll numbers will drop drastically and the donations he needs to sustain his campaign will dry up. Stick a fork into Mr. Weiner. He’s done. And he’s probably destroyed any chance for political redemption this year — or ever.
I normally don’t comment on political races in the Media Minute. But Weiner’s behavior is such a classic example of people who never learn when it comes to crisis management I couldn’t resist.
So, let me repeat what I’ve noted here many times before. Crisis Management 101: When you mess up, acknowledge your mistake, fix it and then explain to the rest of us what you’ve done to prevent it from happening again. And when you find yourself in a crisis that’s making headlines, try to find a way to limit the number of news cycles in which the media mention you and your problems.
Telling us you’ve fixed it and then having us learn later on you didn’t is a guaranteed way to destroy your credibility. And keeping a story alive with serial disclosures just makes the problem worse.
So, Weiner may not be able to learn from his own mistakes. But the rest of us can. If you tell us you’ve fixed a problem, make sure you have. And find a way to get your problems out of the news as quickly as possible.
That’s my two cents’ worth. What’s yours?
Listen to Jerry’s Tips for Telling Your Story every Tuesday at 10:05 a.m., Mountain Time, on the Experience Pros radio show, KLZ 560AM in Denver or at www.560thesource.com on the Internet. Missed it on the air? Listen to the archives. And check out Jerry’s content-focused blog at www.JerryBrownPR.com.