President Obama: Being Great At Public Relations Isn’t Enough

President Obama reminds me of clients we have had at my PR Agency – Bad clients who have unrealistic expectations following amazing launch campaigns for their company or product.  Obama’s that client who got huge amazing media – and won the election – but then his product simply doesn’t work – and he keeps pushing the same message not realising that good PR doesn’t make the product or company work or good.

PR opens doors and creates opportunities – but tangible, concrete results are what keeps the “engines” running.  Obama was elected in large part due to his charisma, persona and ability to sell himself via what I believe to be a brilliant PR campaign.  Unfortunately for America he simply hasn’t shown himself capable of being good at anything other than Public Relations (and even there he’s faltering lately).

Today his speech regarding the first-ever downgrade of the country’s AAA credit rating by Standard & Poor’s was a complete and utter disaster. During his speech, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped below the 11,000 mark and continued to fall as he went on – and the day saw the Dow fall 617 points.  He spoke of tax reform – and not job creation, economic spurs, or what emergency steps would be taken. All of these are classic elements of what not to do during a time requiring a crisis PR campaign. Crisis PR means standing up and addressing the issues – not following the same old same old.

Obama spoke in a monotone fashion and repeated his regular, basic talking points – rather than rising up and discussing leadership and what he would do to solve the problem, he blamed others.  Obama was the client we have had who refused to understand why after we got him amazing media and he got 100 meetings, not 1 of the potential people he met with bought his product.  That’s Obama not understanding that the markets have spoken clearly and are rejecting his messages – and without changing them, and his actions America is in for even more hurt.

And guess what Mr. Obama – as the world is saying – clearly and openly they doubt you, showing up nearly an hour late to your speech just aint the way to reassure, coddle or convince them of your way. PR 101 says show up on time and be humble in times as these.

Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5WPR.