In the 250 hours that Anthony Scaramucci was the Communications Director for the White House, he was arguably the least effective person to hold that position in the history of the job, with the exception of one person we won’t touch on.
At best, Scaramucci was entertainment for the true communications professionals in the world, those communication pros that just like a good laugh. At worst, it was an embarrassment for our profession and I could argue that it cheapens our work as communicators.
I refuse to call Anthony Scaramucci a true communications professional. Not because he only lasted 250 hours in the White House, but because he does not represent what most communications professionals stand for. True professionals don’t act like Mr. Scaramucci.
Ethics, transparency, truth, respect, etc., these are all vitally important in any communication job and are qualities The Mooch lacked… bigly.
Here are a few points The Mooch should consider:
Messaging. This man was brought in by President Trump to fix a messaging problem (and a “leaking” problem). But what did Scaramucci do while in his position? He certainly didn’t fix messaging. Failing to “fix” might not be all his fault, but as a communications professional the responsibility lands on him. It might be an impossible job, since the President really acts as his own publicist. The least Scaramucci could have done was coordinate press briefing messages so they were consistent with the President’s message. Consistent messaging is key.
Treat reporters with respect. Listen, we all get it. Reporters, especially those in the political sphere, can be intense. But calling up reporters after something leaks out of the White House and threatening them into giving source information is just in bad taste. That tactic might follow the raw approach that President Trump uses, but that doesn’t mean it is the right approach. It is called “media relations” for a reason. Try developing a relationship and see if you get a better outcome.
Interacting with the press. “Off the record” conversations, like The Mooch had with The New Yorker, don’t really exist when you relentlessly trash people within your administration. To believe that a conversation of that magnitude and vulgarity, within this administration and current climate, would be off the record is just naïve. Mr. Mooch, did you really think your offensive language wouldn’t hit the front page of every major newspaper and broadcast lead the next day?
What advice would you give Scaramucci after being let go from his position? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Tweet me your answer at @austinomaha and let’s chat!
Austin Gaule is the PR Measurement Director at Universal Information Services