Romney Learns the Hard Way That There’s No Such Thing as ‘Off the Record’

In our age of smartphones, all notions of private or off-the-record conversations should be tossed out the window.

Just ask presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Romney found himself in full PR crisis mode after saying at a private fundraiser that 47% of the American electorate believe “that they are victims, who believe that government has the responsibility to care for them. Who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing."

Unbeknownst to Romney, the statements, made in May, had been secretly captured on video by an attendee.

The video has already received enormous backlash and the Romney and Republican Party communications teams are in full push-back mode, using a press conference, updated media policies and support from the Republican National Committee chairman and Republican members of commerce to soften the blow.

However you feel about Romney’s statements, the key for anyone representing a brand is to understand that Big Brother really is watching you:

  • Never say anything in any public or semi-public setting that you wouldn’t want to see in a headline.

  • Always assume that there’s someone in the room with the ability to record your words and your actions.

  • Be especially careful in social settings. People tend to let down their guard after a drink or two.

  • Make sure your company’s HR and social media policies spell out the importance of watching every word you say.

Follow Jon Gelberg: @Jon_gelberg


1 Comment

Deals of the Week

Get $150 Off PR News' Social Media Summit with Taste of Tech


Unlike other conferences, you’ll be immersed in the strategies and tactics that you can apply right away to your work as a communicator. You’ll learn what it takes to compete for attention, engagement and positive brand awareness across an array of social media networks.

Use code “150off” at checkout.

Get $50 off PR News' Digital PR & Social Media Guidebook


This guidebook has one essential purpose: helping you maximize your communications effectiveness in the digital world. The articles in this guidebook produced both by the PR News staff and more than fifty communications industry thought leaders, focus on most every facet of digital PR and social media.

Use code “DIGITAL6” at checkout.

Save $100 on a PR News Subscription

Let PR News become your weekly, go-to resource for the latest PR trends, case studies and tip sheets. Topics covered include visual storytelling, social media, measurement, crisis management and media relations.

Use code “SUBDEAL” at checkout.

  • Ford Kanzler

    (or) Think twice, speak once.