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Scaramuccis kommunikationsplan lækket
It’s the communication plan, stupid!

Scaramuccis kommunikationsplan er en how-not-to-guide til klichéfyldte selvfølgeligheder, mangelfuld indsigt og leflen for chefen. Kilde/Scanpix.

Skrevet af

Peter Goll
direktør
Goll Impact

7 artikler

0 indlæg

Sådan laver du ikke en kommunikationsplan. Den officielle opskrift er nu at finde på nettet. Leveret af ingen ringere end Anthony ”The Mooch” Scaramucci – kommunikationsamatør i Det Hvide Hus i 10 dage, før chefen sagde de ord, der har gjort ham så great: You’re fired!
Scaramucci ville fra første arbejdsdag imponere præsidenten ved at kaste sig ivrigt ind i kampen for en af de mærkesager, som betyder allermest for Trump: kampen mod lækager. At det så nu er en læk af kommunikationsamatørens kommunikationsplan, der sikrer, at The Mooch for evigt bliver endnu mere latterliggjort, end hans nu ellers herostratisk berømte utilsigtede interview til The New Yorker i forvejen havde sikret, gør bare sagen endnu mere tragikomisk.
 
Scaramuccis kommunikationsplan er et must read for alle kommunikationsinteresserede. Den er et overflødighedshorn af alt det, som en kommunikationsplan ikke skal være: Den mangler klare mål og tilhørende midler. Den er fyldt med floskler og selvfølgeligheder. Blottet for reelle indsigter og analyser. Og mere optaget af at please og fedte for chefen end at sikre, at arbejdsgiveren faktisk får værdi og resultater ud af den kommunikationsindsats, som planen burde udstikke kursen for.
 
 

Scaramucci og Trump med deres hustruer.
 
Sætning for sætning er planen tåkrummende pinlig, ligegyldig eller direkte dum. Ingen grund til at plage læseren med hver enkelt punkt – den smertefulde glæde kan man finde i CNN’s gengivelse af planen i dens fulde ordlyd.
 
Lad os her i stedet begrænse os til at se på tre særligt elendige nedslagspunkter:
 
1) En kommunikationsplan må have et klart fokus
Kommunikationsplanen skal have en eller flere målsætninger for værdiskabelse, som planen har til hensigt at bane vejen for. Ligeledes må planen have et analytisk afsæt og på underbygget vis beskrive de væsentligste forhindringer, som planen skal være den ultimative ejer behjælpelig med at overvinde for at bringe de opstillede mål nærmere deres endelige opfyldelse.
 
The Moochs plan mangler helt dette. Hans fokus er blot en række virkemidler, imens de egentlige målbare målsætninger for disse ikke står klart. Det bliver kommunikation for kommunikationens skyld, og det skaber ingen reel værdi.
 
Kommunikationsamatørens plan opstiller fem hovedprioriteter for kommunikationsindsatsen:
 
#1 - Improve the Culture,
#2 - Comms is a Customer Service Operation—POTUS is the Number One Customer, 
#3 - Make the News—We Go First Priority,
#4 - Fill the Content Void Priority og
#5 - Jobs, Jobs, Jobs.
 
Det sidste punkt handler ikke om at skabe jobs, det handler om at tale om jobs.
 
De fem hovedprioriteter afslører nådesløst Scaramuccis største synd – han tror, kommunikation handler om, hvad man kommunikerer, frem for om hvordan man gør. Kommunikation er alene en accelerator og en forstærker. Det er handlingerne, der er den egentlige og grundlæggende driver i enhver kommunikationsplan med kvalitet.
 
Det første punkt kunne egentligt meningsfyldt have handlet om at skabe en reel forandring af organisationen i Det Hvide Hus. Men hele det hovedafsnit er, som de andre fire, beskrevet med så mange selvfølgeligheder og klichéer, at det alene af den grund fremstår helt ligegyldigt.
 
Det største problem ved afsnittet er dog, at det ikke forholder sig til enhver kulturudfordrings virkelige problem: Hvis kulturen er forkert blandt medarbejderne, så er det fordi ledelsen over tid har skabt en forkert kultur. Kommunikationsplanen skyder på fodfolket i stedet for at forholde sig til ansvaret hos ledelsen.
 
Fedterøv
Dette rammer samtidig præcist, hvad der i øvrigt er planens anden helt store svaghed og synd: Den lefler helt hæmningsløst for Trump frem for at guide ham i en bedre retning. Vi får at vide, han er den største tv-stjerne i historien. At han er den bedste præsident i historien til at spille golf. Og at Trump ligefrem avler tillid.
 
Det kan præsidenten sikkert godt lide at høre – og leflen for chefen synes at være en forudsætning for at beholde sit job i Trump-land. Ligesom ros og referencer til topchefen i Det Hvide Hus i papirer længere end en halv side skulle være en forudsætning for, at Trump selv faktisk får dem læst.
 
Men hvis man ikke tør forholde sig til de reelle problemer, som chefen og organisationen står i, kan man ikke løse dem. Man må som dygtig rådgiver hver dag have modet til at risikere at blive fyret, fordi man tør sige den involverede organisations etablerede visdom imod. Man skal turde udfordre magten og den chef, man har ansvaret for at rådgive.
 
Så kan det godt være, at jobbet ryger en dag på den konto, men i det mindste bidrager man indtil da med reel værdi. Og man slipper så samtidig for at blive til grin og fremstå som en inkompetent fedterøv.


Fun fact: I 2008 var Scaramuci fundraiser for Barack Obama og demokraterne. Obama og Scaramucci gik på Harvard Law School sammen og spillede endda basketball sammen. Han har engang udtalt, at Obama har "det bedste smil i amerikansk politik siden Jack Kennedy"Kilde/Scanpix.
 
En god rådgiver er pædagogisk og smadrer ikke bare alle ubehageligheder i ansigtet på alt og alle, så ingen til sidst lytter. Man må gerne vinde sin chef for sig, rose det gode, vedkommende gør, og i det hele taget arbejde for at få lederen med på rejsen. Men hvis chefen har reelle udfordringer, skal man turde tale om dem. Det gør Scaramucci ikke, og dermed er han en lige så hjælpeløst elendig rådgiver, som Trump er præsident.
 
I sidste ende er det trods alt personen, der betaler for musikken, som bestemmer, hvad den skal spille. Og det er da også tydeligt, at The Mooch i sin kommunikationsplan derfor først og fremmest spiller de toner, han tror, den store chef gerne vil høre.
 
Men som sagen så glimrende illustrerer, så sikrer den slags medløberi dog heller ikke medløberens overlevelse. Og som rådgiver er denne meget leflende form derfor en taberstrategi – på alle måder.
 
Jorden kalder Mooch
Den sidste store synd, jeg her vil fremhæve i kommunikationsamatørens ubehjælpsomme forsøg på en kommunikationsplan, er: The Mooch forstår tydeligvis ikke, hvad det er for en verden, han agerer i. Scaramucci tror tydeligvis, at politik med fordel kan drives mere som det forretningsliv, han selv kommer fra.
 
Derfor bærer planen præg af at ville overføre en række corporate praktikker og tilgange direkte til den politiske ledelse af Det Hvide Hus. Den tilgang er helt i skoven. Politik har helt andre logikker end forretningslivet – og ved tydeligt at afsløre, at han intet begreb har om dette, afslører 10-dages-kommunikationsdirektøren sig selv som helt malplaceret i et politisk kommunikationsjob.
 
Et eksempel er, at Scaramucci vil gøre Det Hvide Hus’ kommunikationsenhed til en slags kundeservice, hvor præsidenten er kunde nummer et (så blev der også sat lidt ekstra ind på brown nose-kontoen der). Medierne er også vigtige kunder, forstår vi.
 
Det er helt i hegnet. For det første er medierne ikke kunder hos en politisk administration. De er en kontrollerende magt, en forretning, der skal skaffe seere, læsere og lyttere, en kommunikationskanal og dermed en med- og modspiller. For det andet og mest fundamentalt, så er det tydeligvis en central del af Trumps strategi og succes fra valgkampen og indtil nu at føre politisk og kommunikationsmæssig krig med en lang række medier.
 
'Fake news' er et af The Donalds yndlingsudtryk. Og det udstiller derfor også en eklatant mangel på strategisk og politisk forståelse, at kommunikationsdirektøren forestiller sig, at han skal rende rundt og være kundeservice for de samme medier og deres journalistiske repræsentanter, som chefen ønsker et stort politisk opgør med.
 
De bærende konflikter er motoren i politisk kommunikation, og de lægger derfor kursen for enhver gennemgående politisk strategi og dens bærende narrativer. Krig med god kundeservice til fjendens soldater er bare ikke rigtig en meningsfuld tilgang.
 
Kommunikationsplanens elendighed ville være latterligt morsom, hvis den ikke samtidig på så tragisk vis illustrerede, hvad det er for en inkompetent ledelse, der nu sidder i et af de vigtigste symboler på vestlig magt og demokrati. I det perspektiv er planen desværre nærmere til at tude over.
 
Men mens man græder, kan man dog godt unde sig selv at grine lidt af den perlerække af helt tåbelige enkeltformuleringer og forslag, der også er i Scaramuccis kommunikationsplan. Som forslaget om at menneskeliggøre præsidenten ved at lave en national konkurrence, hvor borgere kan vinde muligheden for at spille en runde golf med Trump. Eller fremstillingen af idéen om, at etableringen af et rapid response og krise-team skulle være banebrydende.
 
Eller den endeløse namedropping, som skal dække over afsenderens totale mangel på egen indsigt. Eller den latente fascination af de to seneste demokratiske præsidenter som kommunikatører, der ufrivilligt skinner igennem, og dermed afslører, at selv The Mooch inderst inde godt ved, at The Donald næppe er så great, som han selv og Scaramucci i sine mere leflende passager giver udtryk for.


Scaramucci har ved flere anledninger givet udtryk for holdninger, der ikke er 1:1 med Trumps politiske ståsted.


Scaramucci bliver vemodig ved tanken om, at mange mennesker er overbeviste om, at klimaforandringerne er fup.


Trump har flere gange tilkendegivet en skepsis overfor global opvarmning.
 
_____________________________________________________________________________________
 
Anthony Scaramuccis kommunikationsplan:
 
Priority #1 - Improve the Culture
This is the key—everything is possible with a good culture, nothing is possible without it:
  1. meet with media members (MSM, conservative media, and new media), where possible, on their home turf to build bridges and foster better working relationships. WH should leave old grudges behind, but never forget.
  2. meet with WH and cabinet communication staff to seek constructive input and convey that good ideas are welcomed regardless of the source. This should be an ongoing modus operandi, not an isolated initiative.
  3. Implement a series of professionalizing initiatives immediately. For example, no WH communication staffer goes home without returning all calls, emails, and texts. People may not like our answers—but they should always be treated professionally and respectfully (obviously, this starts with the new Director of Communications).
  4. Recognize good work in a consistent and formal way. Establish a meritocracy where real contributions to Comms are recognized. Make it clear that horn tooting and denigrating colleagues is unacceptable.
  5. No more threats about leaking and internal game playing - anyone who takes actions that do not serve the President will be dismissed - period. We will eliminate the bad eggs and send a powerful message to the remaining staff that well-intentioned mistakes are acceptable, but misconduct is not.
  6. Upgrade talent incrementally - prioritize culture. New communication staffers must make others better/more effective. We need to be a great team, not a collection of talented individuals with their own agendas.
  7. Reach out and collaborate with Cabinet, Congress, the RNC, and surrogates and validators throughout the country. People want to help POTUS succeed, but they need to feel welcomed, appreciated and empowered. Comms, justifiably or not, has a reputation as fiefdom that is difficult to work with. We need to improve the quality and quantity of interactions between Comms and its various constituents.
 
Priority #2 - Comms is a Customer Service Operation - POTUS is the Number One Customer
Before undertaking new and creative initiatives, Comms must more effectively handle the daily/weekly blocking and tackling of a WH Comms shop.
  1. Comms needs to be structurally re-organized to serve its various customers
    • a group dedicated to serving as a PR department for POTUS and his family members. Comms need to humanize POTUS and burnish his image. For example, POTUS is the best golfer to serve as President. Perhaps, we embrace it with a national online lottery to play a round of golf with him....or a charity auction. POTUS has a funny and irreverent side which was shared with the electorate during the campaign.
       
    • a rapid response group dedicated to handling hot issues/crises to insure more effective responses while enabling Comms to stay on point/message and conduct normal operations (i.e. the Clinton White House Lewinsky model).
       
    • a strategy group to work cooperatively with colleagues throughout the WH to develop communication strategies and specific executable plans that are coordinated with Cabinet officials and the Hill for a select group of important issues/initiatives
       
    • Responsibilities need to be clearly defined for certain important roles—managing relationships with the Hill, Cabinet comms, and surrogates/validators. Clear structure will provide better performance and accountability.
       
  2. The media is an important Comms customer
    • POTUS can choose to fight with the media, but Comms can not.
       
    • Comms should seek to de-escalate tensions with the media.
       
    • Comms will continue to challenge stories that are unfair/untrue, but also express appreciation for good and fair coverage. Comms can be strong without being combative.
       
    • Comms should establish a constructive "complaint box" for the media to make complaints. Where possible, Comms will seek to make changes that make sense. Regardless, relations with the media will improve if their complaints are welcomed and considered.
       
  3. Cabinet members and their staff are customers too.
    • Comms sets the message, but cabinet members will better serve POTUS if they are supported and treated like members of POTUS's team.
       
    • Comms talent throughout the administration has been underutilized. This can be remedied by sharing information freely, soliciting input, treating colleagues professionally, and coordinated empowerment
       
  4. Surrogates/validators are important customers. They need to be serviced, supported, and coordinated better.
     
  5. All Comms actions/decisions need to be evaluated through one and only one prism:
     
    • ​​​​​does it help POTUS. To this end, I will lead by example and make sure that my overall conduct, tweets, internal and external comments meet this standard.
 
Priority #3 Make the News—We Go First
  1. Execution is everything!!! Diagnosing the problems is easy- fixing it will be hard work.
    • Comms needs to be run like a news channel with producers, scripts, and narration
       
    • There needs to be clear individual responsibilities, accountability, and a complete dedication to the team/excellence.
       
    • Comms needs better players at many positions. We will give existing staff the opportunity to raise their
      games, but expect to make changes in a considered, no/low drama way.
       
    • Comms should not fix things that aren't broken; but should move quickly (without rushing) to fix things the numerous things that are.
       
    • Comms should assess and evaluate all work product and processes. "This is the way it is done" is not an acceptable explanation. Communications tactics and strategies should be evaluated based upon measurable metrics.
       
    • Comms needs to act as a gatekeeper/air traffic controller over all external communications from the small (i.e. email blasts) to the large (i.e. cabinet member appearances on Sunday shows). To do this, Comms must be super responsive. For example, Cabinet members need to be well-informed, well-prepared, and fully supported in a timely manner (i.e. not on the morning of an appearance).
       
    • Comms needs to do a much better job anticipating media follow-up and reaction. If we say X, they will ask Y. We need to be prepared for Y. Most Ys are predictable. It is Comms' responsibility to be ready with a response and to have surrogates prepared for the inevitable Ys.
       
  2. The refined Roger Ailes theory- we exercise influence over the news cycle because POTUS and the government make news—(i.e. do things on a daily basis that matter). An effective Comms shop will dictate the news of the day on most days.
     
  3. Comms must control who gets on the air/talks to the press....always. We want our people talking to the press. We just want it to be coordinated and effective. Comms should arm and empower our people. Comms is a service operation (not the bad cop) - we want our people to look better/succeed. Comms needs to better explain how POTUS's actions are helping Americans. For example, deregulation is an abstract concept to most voters. We need to illustrate, with real life examples, how lifting burdensome regulations produces jobs.
     
  4. Comms needs to better explain how POTUS's actions are helping Americans. For example, deregulation is an abstract concept to most voters. We need to illustrate, with real life examples, how lifting burdensome regulations produces jobs.
     
  5. Comms needs to start earlier (chronologically). Tomorrow will be won today. Tomorrow morning is too late.
     
  6. Every Comms message needs to have a nexus to Make America Great Again and jobs
     
  7. Comms needs to equip POTUS with opportunities to make many more positive announcements The ratio of positive to negative is out of balance, and the responsibility to correct this lies with Comms. There are achievements/wins throughout the government that go unpublicized. Comms should help POTUS convey a Reaganesque "happy warrior" image by sourcing and packaging these wins. Comms should study the ratio of "good," "neutral," and "negative" communications from POTUS and help move the ratio towards the "good."
     
  8. Comms should use Kellyanne Conway more. She has consistently been the President's most effective spokesperson, and she provides a direct link to the President's historic electoral victory.
 
Priority #4 - Fill the Content Void
  1. To quote Obama Director of Communications, Dan Pfieffer, "there is an insatiable appetite for content" and "traditional news outlets don't have the resources to produce the amount of content that the internet requires on a 24/7 basis".
     
    • in addition to written word production (i.e. speeches, talking points, and press releases), the WH should vastly increases the amount of visual, video, and graphical images that it produces to communicate our message(s).
    • for example, Comms could produce short (3-5 minute) videos with selected visitors to the WH.
       
  2. Comms need to identify and engage a broader network of surrogates/validators to
    make TV appearances, write op-eds, etc. The traditional media has a significant (albeit
    finite) amount of tonnage. Either we fill it, or they will.
     
  3. POTUS should regularly provide op-ed pieces to major publications. The op-eds will (almost always) produce the story of the day, and POTUS will be setting the terms of the discussion. Op-eds provide a vehicle for him to articulate his policies and ideas in a well-reasoned, thoughtful and persuasive way. Most Presidents have used op-eds sparingly to maximize effect. But, the media world has changed, and POTUS should write frequent op-eds to advance his agenda (and use adversarial newspapers to his own advantage).
     
  4. People are fascinated by the lives of their Presidents and the operation of the White House. POTUS is the greatest TV star in history. Comms should produce video content that constructively operates as "The President Donald J. Trump" show. Obama scratched the surface of this. POTUS should take it to the next level.
     
  5. Rather than traditional press conferences, POTUS should take questions from real citizens via Facebook live and/or other social media platforms.
     
  6. Comms should consider a range of ideas including a modernized fireside chats where POTUS sits with a Cabinet member (and/or senior government official) to discuss the relevant issues. Perhaps, Sarah or Kellyanne could act as a moderator. These videos should have running times of between 15-20 minutes.
     
  7. Text polling should be evaluated as a means to produce engagement. Obviously, the polling topics would need to be carefully considered.
     
  8. Find ways to connect POTUS with Presidential history to capture the importance, power, and grandeur of the office.
    Perhaps, Comms could produce "this day in Presidential history" videos.
     
    • There is an inherent challenge in flooding the zone with content while broadcasting a focused message. However, the audience and mediums for each objective are quite different. For traditional media outlets, Comms needs to do a considerably better job at producing a focused daily message that is reinforced and coordinated throughout the day.
 
Priority #5 - Jobs, Jobs, Jobs
  1. "It's the economy stupid" should be "it's the Trump economy." The media (and the voters) will make POTUS own the economy (which is doing very well) if it goes the other way, so he should own it now. Comms needs to emphasis the economy early and often. 
     
  2. The message should be that businesses are investing more and creating more jobs because they have confidence. The source of their confidence is the election of a successful businessman to the Presidency. Obama bred uncertainty amongst the business community. Trump breeds confidence. Confidence=more jobs. Would the stock market have galloped from election day to year end 2016 if HRC had won? Of course, not.
     
  3. Comms will coordinate with Commerce, Treasury, State, etc to identify a steady stream of examples of the Trump administration providing support to small and medium size businesses. POTUS can take credit and publicize these wins (big and small) while complimenting the great work of people in various departments/agencies.
     
  4. Every positive piece of economic data needs to echo throughout the Comms ecosystem, and Comms needs to find ways to connect positive economic data to real people. The growth in new jobs is life changing for every day Americans. Comms needs to bring a spotlight to these people/stories
     
  5. When the media or Democrats attack POTUS, Comms should pivot to the economy. For example, real Americans do not care about palace intrigue in the White House. POTUS is leading and fostering an economy that makes their lives better. That's what real people care about.
 
Scaramucci To-Do List:
  1. meet with General Kelly
     
  2. meet with Hope Hicks, Josh Raffel, Michael Anton, and Dina Powell and anyone else who you believe should be a top priority
     
  3. meet with Steve Bannon (I want his insight and help. He presumably has an opinion on how Comms can operate more effectively)
     
  4. meet with heads of the various networks and leading journalists (like Maggie Haberman) to build a better relationship and solicit their input on how we can better work together
     
  5. meet with Directors of Communications from prior administrations (no need to re-invent the wheel on certain matters, particularly basic blocking and tackling stuff)
     
  6. meet with Ryan Lizza (not to litigate the past—to reset for moving forward)
     
  7. meet with leading Republicans who, whether for or against POTUS, have valuable insights to impart Newt Gingrich and Karl Rove are at the top of this list
     
  8. meet with Speaker Ryan, Leader McConnell and their respective Comms teams

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