Lara Day, here. In honor of today’s primary elections, we should spend a few minutes thinking about those professionals whose job it is to “track” the stupid things politicians say during election season. Seriously, this is a person who gets paid (depending on political affiliation: see Denver Post article, July 22 to follow one or several candidates and record less-than-smart statements. Here’s the deal: we’re human. Most of us tend to say or do something stupid frequently. And, yes, even as a communications professional, I’m sure most of us qualify for that statement. How embarrassing if there was someone standing near me to catch it on camera. Sure, I, like most of us, get a kick out of reading or watching someone make those bonehead statements.
Heck, in some cases, we get work because of those statements. But how unfair. Or is it unfair?
Here’s what I know: these trackers aren’t going away. And, since anyone with a phone with voice recording, video or picture, could technically qualify as a tracker, there’s even more of a reason to be prepared. And that takes me to my second, most important point: solid media training for any politician or spokesperson is priceless. No matter how good they think they are, most, if not all of these bonehead statements would not have happened if the politician followed his or her media training coach. People, if you don’t want to hear it, read it or have someone repeat it back to you, don’t say it.