Personal Press Secretary (PPS)
What if every person had a press secretary? Could many misunderstandings be avoided? If a Personal Press Secretary (PPS) was present when a statement inflames others, the PPS could buffer the statement and modify the statement enough to in some cases forestall angry reactions. Wars of words might be avoided.
A press secretary could evade answering sticky questions with replies similar to the following: “I was not aware of that, but I’ll look into it and get back to you.” In public it’s important for a PPS to at least doodle something on a notepad to appear as if intending to answer the question at a later time. An important skill of a PPS is first to compliment the originator of a question with something like, “That’s a very good question. And I’m glad you asked it.” The compliment provides time for a deflection away from giving an answer, thereby creating an opportunity to switch to an unrelated topic. The PPS can deliver a rambling speech about previously articulated general policies, and then the PPS can recognize another questioner if one is present.
Questions involving direct answers when a questioner insists on receiving either a “yes” or a “no,” are often the most difficult ones to deflect. One useful ploy by a PPS is to use facial expressions to visually convey an attitude of disgust pertaining to an unwanted question.
People should have a PPS assigned to them at a young age. For example, if a student forgets to bring home their assignments, the PPS can intercede with a number of excuses. Some examples follow: “The assignment was unworthy of the time required to do the work.” And, “The assignment was completed while waiting to talk with the Principal for a transgression during class.” The latter reply is an example of an answer that deflects the original question toward another subject, namely “Why were you sent to see the Principal?”