December 22, 2012

THE NRA SHOT THEMSELVES IN THE FOOT

I don't know how many of you saw the live press conference that the NRA's Wayne Lapierre did today but my oh my...i train execs to be prepared for crisis communications situations such as this and let me tell you how many crisis comms 101 things they did wrong.  Let's start with today's press conference...

First of all, they shouldn't have had a press conference at all.  But they really shouldn't have had a press conference this late in the game.  And if they were going to go ahead and hold a press conference this late in the game then it certainly should have been all about the victims and their families, school mates, teachers, etc.  However, instead, they should have released a very sympathetic statement within 24 hours of the shootings (the earlier part of 24 hours, mind you) that lightly discussed their position but mainly talked about the fact that the shooting of children was unacceptable any way you looked at it.

The last thing you ever want to do is place blame in a situation like this -- especially if that blame is placed with conjecture.  Lapierre blamed Hollywood and violent movies "like American Psycho" (which was released almost 13 years ago, by the way), and violent games.  Then he presented NRA's solutions -- 15th mistake....why on Earth would you come out and be so ballsy to think you had all of the answers and that there weren't going to be thousands of people who wanted to speak to this topic and be heard and collectively come up with the best solution?  16th and 17th mistake...an insane person database and more armed guards on campus?  Really?  Those are your solutions?  The NRA is going to make our campuses safer by overseeing more armed guards on our childrens' campuses?  I bet they'd do a great job since they couldn't even secure their own press conference when someone jumped up with a banner that said "NRA is killing our Children"...


The bottomline is NRA .... you probably just lost a lot of your own supporters with this incredibly pompous and cold-hearted approach to a really horrific national tragedy.  I know we should have the right to bare arms (I guess) but when things like this continue to happen something has to be done about it.  We also have the right to buy our children toys but when a toy starts hurting kids the toy is recalled immediately...