The remarkable 10-day career of White House Communications Director, Anthony Scaramucci, was amazing. The most remarkable part to me was his total and complete lack of, that's right, COMMUNICATIONS experience.
There are those who believe that anyone can do communications. That it is easy! Guess not.
So if someone hires you off the street to be White House Communications Director, because I hear they are looking, here are a few helpful tips to get you started:
1. Every time you talk to a reporter it is ON THE RECORD - that means everything you say and do can be reported. Full stop. If you use 4-letter words, they may bleep them out, but they will be reported.
2. Everything you have said or done up until that point in your life is public record. You want to a credible Communications Director? Be an honest and trustworthy person. I'm not saying you can never have made a mistake, but if that's all you've made, perhaps we should rethink our career choice.
3. Clean up your own house before you clean up the White House. Maybe have a conversation with your spouse before accepting the most high-profile job in the world (and make your start date AFTER your baby is due).
4. PR should NEVER be the PR problem. You are there to provide messaging to further your boss's agenda. If all the stories are about you, you are doing something wrong.
5. Communications is a real thing. It is a career that takes time to learn and is ever changing. PR professionals hone their craft. This White House has changed the discipline, I'll give you that. But if the public is yearning for something authentic and real, that is not the same as insulting or cruel. We can be honest and respectful at the same time. The press has a job to do and is there to be a watchdog. I respect them, but am always careful, they do bite.
As a communications person, I'm not sorry to see Anthony Scaramucci step down. Much like health care reform, communications is hard.