Everyone Needs a Personal Press Secretary

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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?”  


Autumn Cote Added Oct 24, 2017 - 11:50am
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