Tom Garrity

Posts Tagged ‘advice’

Some #PR insight for my second cousin, James Comey

In Crisis Communication, Life, Messaging, Reputation, Uncategorized on May 19, 2017 at 6:26 pm

 

The second most polarizing figure in America today is the former Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation James Comey.  Yes, at one point, he was number one, no doubt.

Mr. Comey’s grandmother on his mom’s side and my grandmother on my dad’s side are sisters.  I always knew his grandmother as Aunt Irene.  Mary and Irene Broderick grew up in New York and got along tremendously well. Ensuring that future generations were connected was not on their watch, just a casualty of the nuclear family.

Despite the distance, I am proud of the bloodline that connects our lineage. Yes, I had thought about giving him a call at the office; the potential thought of discussing public relation approaches with my second cousin sounded kind of cool. But in lieu of the awkward telephone handoffs of explaining the family relation for a dozen or so times with federal agents, only to leave a message with a very capable civilian, I opted to put a few of my thoughts on this blog.

As a public relations practitioner for the past 24 years, what insight could I possibly someone who has “been there and done that” in the gauntlet of public opinion?

First, I’d give former FBI Director three quick recaps:

  • The New Yorker story and 60 minutes interview resulted in solid media coverage to share who you are as a person. This is key to creating credibility and likeability.
  • The multiple news announcements about the Clinton e-mail server could have been handled better. While I am convinced that in your mind you were doing the right thing, it came across as disjointed and politically motivated.
  • Conducting an overview briefing to discuss the process for the respective Flynn and Trump/Russia investigations would have helped to shape future media coverage and conversations without giving away any of the investigative findings.

Then I’d ask, “ok, what’s next for you?”  And follow some of these questions (which would surely spur other questions):

  1. What does a win look like? Why?
  2. Where do you want to be professionally three years from now?
  3. How do you want the news headlines to read six months from now, or a year (if you care)?
  4. Are there any pressing issues or public activities taking place within the next 48-72 hours? List them and explain how they might impact the responses to any of the first three questions.

Based on his answers, we’d develop message and a strategy. As a result of that conversation, some exclusive one on one media interviews would be proposed unique to print (New York Times), radio (Michael Smerconish) and television (60 minutes).

Last question that I would ask: tell me about Aunt Irene!

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Run Tom Run!

In Life on November 26, 2012 at 4:30 am

Forrest Gump ran for 3 years, 2 months, 14 days and 16 hours.

As of the writing of this blog, I’ve been running 2 years, 9 months, 26 days and 13 hours.  During that time, I’ve had the opportunity to train for and complete three marathons, three half marathons, two cross-country relays and a handful of fun run 5K and 10K races.  The reason I run has been addressed in previous blogs.

My latest adventure is scheduled to be an Ultra Marathon, in Big Bend National Park on January 20th.

During my training, I’ve had the chance to be schooled by some great coaches who have provided group and personalized training.  The group I have been running with for the past three seasons is call the Oxy “Gen” Morons.  The name is funny because we are all an oxymoron in some form or fashion.  Our chant “Go Mo!”

So you don’t get any ideas.  My times will not qualify me for the Boston Marathon. And, the only way I am getting to the US Olympic Time Trials is if I buy a ticket to watch.  Here are a few of the things I’ve learned from my coaches and Runner’s World calendar provided to me last year:

  • “The healthiest competition occurs when average people win by putting forth above average effort.” – Colin Powell
  • My runs are more productive when I think about possibilities rather than reliving past mistakes.
  • “Fear is probably the thing that limits performance more than anything – the fear of not doing well, of what people will say. You’ve got to acknowledge those fears, then release them” Mark Allen, won six Ironman championships.
  • “Running is the greatest metaphor for life because you get out of it what you put into it.” Oprah Winfrey
  • “Running affords the perfect integration of body and spirit.  It makes for a fullness of life.” – Sister Mario Irvine, the oldest woman to qualify for the US Olympic Marathon Trials (She was54 when she ran a 2:51 at the Trials in 1984)
  • You train your body by running 444 miles so your mind can make it for 26.2 miles
  • “Don’t ever accept anyone else’s preconceived limitations.  If there is something you want to do, there isn’t any reason you can’t do it.” – Any Dodson, broke the 26.2 mile women’s leg amputee record by 24 minutes, 13 seconds
  • You create what you state.  Think positive!
  • “Continuous effort, not strength or intelligence is the key to unlocking our potential.” William Churchill
  • “Sport is not about being wrapped up in a cotton wool… sport, like all of life, is about taking risks.” – Roger Bannister, the first man to run a mile in under four minutes.