The F-Bomb can be a powerful weapon if you want to attract negative attention or press. Today, the national media, bloggers and radio commentators are talking about Donald Trump’s speech didn’t stay in Las Vegas last night. The focus of the media attention is not on the substance of the speech but the fact that he dropped the F-Bomb. If Trump is really considering running for President, he needs to engage his press representative for advice before he steps on any public stage. If he doesn’t have PR counsel, I’d be happy to become his consultant.
Recently, my colleague and fellow blogger Erik Cummins ran into a similar situation. In addition to handling PR for law and other professional services firms, he regularly moderates MCLE panels for one of California’s legal publications. During those events, the panelists discuss legal trends and developments in specific practices areas. At a recent program, one of his panelists not only dropped the F-bomb, but also used other, potentially even more offensive “colorful” language. Of course, there was no excuse to do so during an educational event and most attendees were probably left remembering that panelist’s foul language and not the substance of his presentation. Add to that the fact it will now be awkward for the publication to sell those Podcasts, knowing that this language was included.
Erik heard several negative comments about this attorney’s illiberal use of cuss words, and was implored to advise future panelists to be more professional. While that language may be appropriate in some instances,mainly behind closed doors, it’s certainly not necessary in a professional setting and definitely not when that discussion is being recorded. So our advice is to speak to your audiences, whether they are potential clients or fellow attorneys, as you would speak in court.
Successful attorneys, and Donald Trump, should know better.