Romney’s Offshore Accounts Wash Up Again

 Romneys Offshore Accounts Wash Up Again

The PR Verdict: “C” (Distinctly OK) for Mitt Romney.

Things are looking a little uncomfortable for Mitt Romney as chatter builds about his offshore tax dealings. Vanity Fair this month went into forensic details over Romney’s affairs, describing the “murky world of offshore finance, revealing loopholes that allow the very wealthy to skirt tax laws.”

While there is no smoking gun, it is clear that Romney’s financial advisers were disciples of tax minimization. Trouble is, no one likes to read about a presidential candidate with offshore accounts. As Newt Gingrich said repeatedly during his campaign, “I don’t know of any American president who has had a Swiss bank account.”

So far Team Romney has given a robust response: Romney’s affairs are in a blind trust and have been for some time. Romney is a smart businessman who doesn’t want to pay more tax than is necessary, but his team insists he pays the full whack of tax, according to U.S. rules, no matter where the assets are located. But is this enough to cut the chatter?

The PR Verdict: “C” (Distinctly OK) for Romney’s handling of the issue so far. But what is the unanswered question that won’t go away?

The PR Takeaway: If a story won’t die, listen carefully for the question that is going unanswered. In this case, Romney’s campaign has done an impressive job in batting back the questions–they have disclosed some (certainly not all) of his tax records and details about his tax bill and trusts. The nagging issue continues to be; why was the money sent  offshore in the first place? Until Team Romney comes up with a convincing soundbite (if there is one), they should keep including the issue in their presidential debate rehearsals.

What do you think about Mitt Romney’s offshore accounts? Give us your PR Verdict, below!






What’s A Mean Girl To Do?

Sarahmacintyre1 Whats A Mean Girl To Do?

The PR Verdict; “F” for Sarah MacIntyre and her future relationship with the media.

It clearly was a bad day for  Canadian Sara MacIntyre, the new Director of Communications for British Columbia’s Premier, Christy Clark.  The spokeswoman made headlines, culminating in an entire news segment on CBC,  for her PR style.  Probably  best described as “Mean Girl” PR.

What got journalists agitated were her tone and demeanour at a public forum where the press were clearly invited.  Taking on the mantle of an overly officious gatekeeper, the Premier’s communications head simmered with visible irritation and anger, declining to make the Premier available to reporters despite the fact that her boss was only several feet away.  While it was her debut week in the role, (she was previously with the Canadian Prime Minister’s office),  MacIntyre came off as an uppity sorority girl, gate-keeping a drinks party, rather than the communications head of a public official with a commitment to transparency.

A bad start for the first week in the job.  From now on have someone else front the cameras.

The PR Verdict; “F” for Sarah MacIntyre and her future relationship with the media.  Claiming the Premier is unavailable and is not taking questions should only be used rarely as a PR tactic.  And preferably when the Premier isn’t there in the room.

PR Lesson: Choreography matters. Stage manage these encounters so that every journalist feels there was at least some justification for attending the event.  Next time, if the Premier doesn’t want to answer questions (for whatever reason) shepherd all the journalists into one area, set aside three minutes and call on one of the friendlier, sympathetic reporters for a question.  Following the brief answer, wrap it up and move the Premier on,  complaining the schedule for the day is very tight and beyond your control.  Done.

To see the CBC news segment click here.

What’s your PR verdict for Sarah MacIntrye?

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