There’s an interesting story in yesterday’s New York Times about a different, “old style” media relations approach practiced by New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. Eschewing a media relations posse and outside image shapers, Cuomo prefers to do is own outreach to the press, often calling them individually after hours, and speaking off the record. It seems as though he learned this “tough guy” approach from his dad, the former governor of New York, Mario Cuomo. In addition, instead of holding regular live press conferences, the younger Cuomo sets up conference calls, which frustrates journalists (particularly TV broadcasters) no end because they can’t take Cuomo’s body language into account. This media relations strategy intrigues me, because all I ever hear is how PR is supposed to be kind and gentle to the media, and bend over backwards to make sure journalists’ needs are met. Whatever journalists may think about him, Cuomo’s public approval ratings are high as he gets ready to launch his campaign for New York governor. Question: Do you think this approach will come back to haunt him in his quest for governor?
–Scott Van Camp