Media Memo IV, to the White House

May 12, 2017

TO:   Kellyanne Conway, Sean Spicer, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and others advising President Trump

FROM:   John Kerezy, an associate professor at a community college who’s also practiced public relations for 30+ years

RE:   Timing of negative news in the digital/mobile news cycle

DATE:   Friday, May 12, 2017 at 4 in the afternoon

This is the precise day of the week and the moment of the day in which you should have announced the firing of former FBI Director James Comey.

  1. Major news media outlets go into “weekend” mode by late Friday. The bad news released on a Friday afternoon doesn’t travel as long, or have as much legs, as something bad dropped on a Tuesday afternoon.
  2. It’s too late for the news networks to make major changes in the Sunday morning news analysis programs, so the bad news gets minimized on those programs.
  3. You know that negative coverage is inevitable in many instances. But you can mitigate it by better managing of when it happens. The late Larry Speakes, deputy press secretary to President Ronald Reagan, said, ”You don’t tell us how to stage the news and we don’t tell you how to cover it.”
  4. You lose opportunities to focus on tax cuts or other aspects of the Trump Administration’s policies when you have to keep dealing with negative news.
  5. You might have reduced President Trump’s need to Tweet explanations of the firing by at least 50 percent, thus keeping a national focus on much more important matters which our nation faces.

That’s it. Good luck in convincing the boss of this in the future.

SOME SOURCES FOR FOLLLOW-UP:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887324712504578133452941243908

http://www.nytimes.com/1984/04/06/us/the-bad-news-hour-4-pm-friday.html

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesleadershipforum/2012/05/30/10-commandments-for-delivering-bad-news/#7f218c072169

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=113804852

IMAGE SOURCE: https://www.inspirationde.com/image/57612/

 

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