Welcome to Gordon Brown's Media Nightmare

Welcome back! I am writing this at the lovely :( Newark Liberty airport as I patiently await my (delayed) flight to Halifax. Such are the challenges of being a road warrior. I have learned a long time ago not to let very much upset me as I am travelling..no security meltdowns for me! Besides it's not good for the blood pressure or the career...as a few Canadian Cabinet Ministers have recently discovered.

Rahim Jaffer's Committee Disaster
Speaking of the former Minister, Helena Guergis, who did the training for her husband Rahim Jaffer in his Parliamentary Committee testimony? He made the Goldman Sachs officials look well...terrible too.

Although I did think it was a brilliant move to bring along Patrick Glemaud who ended up making Rahim look ....well not good....but better, at least!

Goldman Sachs....Repackaging Subprime Mortgages Means Never Having to Say You're Sorry

I was showing video of the Goldman Sachs Senate Committee disaster to the seminar I was doing today in New Jersey, and the participants asked me if I thought they were trained. Well, if they were they should demand their money back (I mean they do have lots of it, courtesy of the suckers who bought their worthless bonds). I would guess that the lawyers were in dominant mode as indicated by their complete lack of remorse or even apology to the people who believed in them and bought their junk.

Of course the grandstanding of Sen. Carl Levin speaks for itself. But let's face it, this is low-hanging fruit for all politicians, right?

Gordon Brown's Media Nightmare

Then there is poor British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, floundering around trying to salvage some dignity from a looming disaster on May 6th and.....he forgets that he is wearing a live mic! Take a look at this and some other politicos who also neglected to think of the microphone when they made their CLCs (Career Limiting Comments):


  1. Barry,

    In my humble opinion as a 20-year plus communicator, far too many organizations make the mistake of following the advice of lawyers when it comes to public communications. The Goldman Sachs debacle perfectively illustrates the point.

    Additionally, assigning a lawyer as a spokesperson is another fundamental mistake which tends to backfire more often than not.

    In this day and age of communications immediacy, it surprises me just how many large organizations fail to seize on the importance of adequately preparing for the inevitable PR pitfalls they are likely to encounter. An ounce of prevention...and all that.

  2. You are so right. The adversarial skills are not what's required but under pressure many people feel compelled to turn over the communications and spokesperson roles to their lawyer. Go figure.