(It must first be said, we are no political analysts, nor do we publicly endorse any candidate running for public office, unless it’s the mother of Above Promotions Company founder (whose name we’ll give at a later date so you can write in on the ballot in November). Now that’s out-of-the-way, let’s get down to our very brief post for today, President Barack Obama’s timing of his support of gay marriage.)
Kudos to journalist Robin Roberts for making media history for getting the first U.S. President currently in office to openly admit his stance on gay marriage during an interview on ABC. And although the topic is controversial to not only the citizens of the United States, but also his supporters. In reflecting on various stories this week and the crisis communications methods used behind the major ones, such as President Obama’s support for gay marriage, we have to give some respect to his political team and the strategy behind the announcement.
Of course there is the obvious, it’s election year so a big announcement such as this could be expected. However, it’s not just about what is being said, it’s about the timing of it. Let’s take a look at how many experts say one should deliver emotional, controversial or “bad” news.
The Spin Method requires more looking for a positive bright side in unique ways. For example, “I may have eaten the last Edy’s All Natural Fruit Bar, but I just saved you from getting one of your brain freezes. You know how they can really bother you.”
The Sandwich Method is very much taking a little bit of the bad and putting it directly in the middle of a good you started off with and a good you’ll end with. i.e. “I love how blue looks on you. It really compliments your youthful skin. But do you think the blue shirt you have on today is too fitted for going to Mass today? You know I do think the blue one you wore the other day made you look really fabulous. In fact, you look fabulous most of the time no matter what color you wear.”
The Move On Method is just simply that. Let’s take a topic that will eventually come up anyways. Quickly talk about it on my own terms. And let’s just move on to other things which can be taken as positive. i.e. “Yes, I know I missed the shot which could have helped to clinch the win today. But we have more games to go and we’ll move closer to securing a seat in the playoffs.”
It really depends on when you started following or noticing President Obama’s campaign moves. You can see a little bit of all of the methods above coming from his camp. A group of keen strategists is one thing his team has been known for since 2007 and they are obviously still in this mode today.
So yes, we know it’s a political year and this topic would have come up eventually as campaigning became more visible. Perhaps for some the thought is he may need to do damage control. But in looking at the various methods listed above, it is obvious this announcement was no accident and there’s some strategic timing associated with it.
Yes, it may help him to win more liberals than lose conservatives, but you have to admit, a person who can strategically address something controversial on their own terms may be “winning” in the larger scheme (for lack of a better word) of things. Only election day will tell the effects of his moves.
Which method do you like to use when delivering news that can be emotional to the receivers of it? Have a good story to share in using or not using these methods?
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