In the often tangled world of politics image is everything. It is image and perception that often carries political candidates to their offices and positions. While in office it is essential for them to maintain those images for the sake of retaining their following and constituents. In the case of Rep. Gary Condit it appears that during the Chandra Levy scandal he has done everything wrong to keep his image intact. The scandal brutally attacked Rep. Gary Condits public image and his PR team did not do much to help him. Their analysis of the situation and methods of handling the scandal only made the situation worse for the congressman.
As PR counsel to the congressman I would a have steered him in a different direction and overall approach. My approach would have encompassed the simple 4-step PR process of Research, Objectives, Programming, and Evaluation. With these steps we would be able to simplify a complicated process.
Hopefully with the simplification the congressman would appear more trustworthy, compliant, and eager to sacrifice for the greater good of locating Chandra Levy.
In this case research is key, and rather easy, because in this country we need not look further back than a few years to find a similar scandal. It was our beloved Ex-President Bill Clinton who was under a barrage of scrutiny and litigation because of a torrid affair with an intern. Before we can tackle the congressman's issues we must take a page out of the Clinton scandal. We must research how the former president handled the accusations while making notes of what worked for him and what didn't. We must also look at other missing person cases to see how they were handled. And at all cost try to avoid the media frenzy that surrounds high profile cases.
In the process we must then set up objectives as PR counsel to Gary Condit. First and foremost we must outline what needs to be done and that is mainly deal with the three main accusations. One, that he had an affair with a young intern and lied about it, which lends his image to one of Bill Clinton. Two, that he did not fully cooperate with the investigation into the disappearance of Chandra Levy; and three, that he may have actually been involved in Levy's disappearance. And as a PR counsel we must realize that if the congressman is not found to forthcoming on one of these accusations then he will be held accountable for all of the accusations. With these accusations in place, as PR counsel, we already know the hoards of the media are in place to ravage and make a spectacle of the congressman, so we will urge him to be as forth coming as possible to capitalize on his redeeming qualities.
The live interview was a great idea but what was said in the interview was a shame. As PR counsel I would have instructed the congressman to be as forthcoming as possible and to initiate our objectives instead of letting the interviewer bombard him with question he was not comfortable answering. Also we would have had other mediums access the congressman to appease the masses, because if the congressman truly had nothing to hide then there should have been no reason that there wasn't an open forum for other media vehicles. And in all of these forums we would address the three main accusations in our PR counsel objective. In addressing the media we would tackle the three accusations head on repeatedly with open and honest answers full of compassion and worry for the missing intern.
In the final stage of Evaluation we would let the public speak for itself. Through the form of poll's and editorials we would then see the reaction to our campaign too clear the name and image of the congressman Rep. Gary Condit.