By now you’ve heard the news that newly hired White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci pulled an Icarus maneuver flying far too close to the sun and thus was promptly removed from his position after a mere ten days. Within his short tenure, The Mooch, as he prefers to be called, broke just about every basic tenet that exists in effective crisis communications management.
What Scaramucci perpetrated in his first days was nothing short of malpractice. A good spokesperson should be very unmemorable. Similar to a referee at a sporting event, the spokesperson is there to provide guidance and interpretation of the situation. If done correctly, you should never remember who officiated a game. They are not participants in the process. Nor should you recall a good flack.
His efforts to shine the light on himself doomed his tenure from the start. His salty language and bombastic nature are exactly what you don’t need in positions like this. A crisis spokesperson is there to get their client’s message out accurately, calmly and on their terms. They should never offer subjective opinions on the situation, and deal only in fact.
Let’s be clear, every day in the Trump Whitehouse has been a crisis situation for their communications team. They are under siege from a boss who tweets directly, without a filter, to the masses. They must manage an adversarial relationship with the “liberal media”. They also are under attack constantly from Democrats who have demonstrated their visceral hatred for the Commander in Chief at every turn since January 20th.
You can have all the Ivy League degrees you want and have made mountains of money in your career, but to stand up in front of the world and manage a highly leveraged messaging situation is a skillset that must be learned and fostered. To do this with respect and concern for all audiences while making it look easy is the sign of a true professional. And to be clear, The Mooch was not, nor will he ever be, a true communications professional. And for this I am truly grateful.