Public relations can be quite the minefield. It’s easy to say something that when quoted on the front page of the newspaper doesn’t look so good.
Like when the chief operating officer of Airbus, John Leahy, was quoted in the Wall Street Journal as saying, “The wheels are not coming off,” in respond to another delay in building more planes. The poor choice of words earned Leahy the Bimbo Award.
Every month Spaeth Communications offers a new list of bimbos. But more than a good laugh, it’s an opportunity to learn a few PR lessons:
- Choose your words wisely.
- Don’t bring up the worst possible fears (like bringing up Chernobyl when talking about a new nuclear plant)
- Don’t be callous about death.
- Don’t state the truth in a way that can be misleading.
- Don’t spin bad news. Bad news is bad news.
- Don’t insult people (they could be your customers, or in the case of churches, potential visitors)
- Make a positive statement when you have the opportunity.
From the few interviews I’ve given I will say it’s pretty easy to slip up. The best defense is practice, practice, practice. (link via bloggedy blog)