Obama and The First Rule of Public Relations – And I’m Back


In yesterday’s post, I promised to become more of my own irasible, smart-ass self.  I didn’t think that it would happen this soon.  But, ah, how fate impacts one’s life.  It didn’t take me long to find something that makes me call people out – big time.  But this is the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. Oh, and ABC News.

I am about as far from someone who follows awards shows as possible (I am not sure that I would slow down if I saw Joan and Melissa Rivers at a crosswalk) but apparently, some guy called Kanye West jumped up on a stage, drunk as a skunk the other night and acted like a jerk to some woman.  BFD.

I awaken this morning to read in Politico that President Obama called Kanye West a “jackass.”  And ABC reported it;  Tweeted it actually (tweet above).  But here’s where it gets interesting:

  1. The first thing that I taught on the first day of my class was the Rule #1 when you are in the public spotlight is that NOTHING IS EVER — EVER — OFF THE RECORD. Especially when you are, ummm.. the President of the United States.
  2. What is equally unfathomable for me is that ABC freakin’ APOLOGIZED:

“In the process of reporting on remarks by President Obama that were made during a CNBC interview, ABC News employees prematurely tweeted a portion of those remarks that turned out to be from an off-the-record portion of the interview. This was done before our editorial process had been completed. That was wrong. We apologize to the White House and CNBC and are taking steps to ensure that it will not happen again.”

  • President Obama:  See Professor Mark’s Rule #1.
  • ABC News:  See a doctor about your “premature” problem and grow a pair.  He said it.  You tweeted it.  Stand by it.


How’s that for returning as my irascible self?  I’ve got to have someone to poke besides Lou Capozzi.


P.S. I first learned of this by reading Lauren Fernandez’s tweet.  Her blog is pretty awesome too.



  1. Thanks for your post, Mark. Now, more than ever, it’s important to remember that nothing is off the record. Ever. I’ll share this post with my students at Georgia Southern.

  2. Barbara,

    It is so kind of you to comment and tweet. I too, used experiences from other academic colleagues when I was at Georgetown.

    If it is of any help to you, anything on this blog tagged “georgetown” is all about online public relations; there are even some lesson plans.

    Feel free to borrow from anything you would like and thanks again for commenting.


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