Do PR folks always have to sound like PR folks?
Have you seen the video of North Carolina Congressman Bob Etheridge getting in a physical confrontation with what looks to be a young student? You can read all the details and see the video over at WRAL. I have also included the video below.
Wow, someone was having a bad day. Rep. Etheridge cursing the invention of the video camera knew he had no choice and issued an apology. WRAL has the whole story here and here is his apology:
“I have seen the video posted on several blogs. I deeply and profoundly regret my reaction and I apologize to all involved. Throughout my many years of service to the people of North Carolina, I have always tried to treat people from all viewpoints with respect. No matter how intrusive and partisan our politics can become, this does not justify a poor response. I have and I will always work to promote a civil public discourse.” – Rep. Bob Etheridge (NC-02)
I am not writing this to call to arms all the trolls and hammer Etheridge for doing something dumb, I majored in dumb and continue to excel at it today. I would like to discuss Etheridge’s apology statement that he released. To the PR/Communications staffers in Rep. Etheridge’s office who wrote this, I have to ask one question. What are you talking about???
“No matter how intrusive and partisan our politics can become, this does not justify a poor response. I have and I will always work to promote a civil public discourse.”
What does partisan politics and public discourse have ANYTHING to do with this event. You weren’t having a debate on the House floor Representative. You were walking down a public street and two “students” (Maybe? Rumors are this might of been a setup) asked you whether you supported the President of the United States agenda. Not only are we allowed to do this, our constitution empowers us to question our elected representatives.
Can’t we get to a place where we as marketers and communication professionals effectively communicate to our target markets without throwing in a whole lot of double-talk and BS? I am far from a PR person, but I would like to try rewriting this apology. You have seen Rep. Etheridge’s response, now here is how I would of wrote it:
“There is absolutely nothing I can say other than I am deeply sorry. My actions were inexcusable and no-one has the right to lay their hands on another person. I want to sincerely apologize to the young man in the video and I also want to apologize to my constituents who deserve to have someone in office that represents them much better than I did today.”