By: Cole Buergi, Leonard & Finco Public Relations
I’m a political junky and watched the first presidential debate from start to finish.
I didn’t take political sides but, instead, I viewed the debate from the perspective of a PR professional, examining each candidate’s responses to questions and thinking out loud (much to the dismay of my wife) what they could have said differently, better, or, in some cases, say nothing at all.
It was hard not to critique because, in my profession, we often work with our clients to prepare them for public speaking.
This preparation covers all aspects of public speaking including what to wear, what mannerisms to display and how to appropriately respond to questions. Most importantly, we train speakers on how to deflect questions that may be inappropriate by using bridging techniques that get them back to their key messages.
Throughout the debate, I noted the missed opportunities by both candidates to reinforce key messages and pointed out times when the candidates should have used a bridging technique. For certain, I was commenting a lot throughout the debate.
Do other PR professionals do this during debates? What other events / activities do you find yourself evaluating responses to things from a PR perspective?