New York Rep. Anthony Weiner, in the center of an alleged Twitter sex scandal, is failing the first rule of public relations: If you don't want to talk about the issue, then don't throw a press conference to announce your plans to stay quiet.
Two long time Washington public relations pros, former CIA spokesman Bill Harlow and former NBC correspondent Fred Francis, say the congressman should make a decision on how to handle the issue and then stick with it. [Check out a roundup of this month's best political cartoons.]
Noting the press conference he called to try and defuse the issue, the two blogged that "Weiner talked at great length about why he wasn't going to answer questions on the matter. If that is his stance, fine, but we'd recommend just issuing a written statement saying so. In this type of situation you need to either be in—or be out. Defend yourself and answer all questions—or just issue a press release and shut up. Given the salacious details of his story—Weiner is smoking his socks if he thinks he can get reporters to ask him his thoughts about the debt ceiling and health care."
The two consultants blog about public relations gaffes and other PR issues on their site, 15seconds.com and today addressed the issue ignited with somebody allegedly hacked into Weiner's Twitter account to send lewd photos. Below is their post advising the congressman what to do: