Thursday, September 01, 2011

Another Great Communicator


Every now and then, one sees a near flawless communications effort from leadership. Like him or not, Obama — the candidate — was a great communicator. And President Ronald Reagan, the President — for good reason — was tagged “the” great communicator. But now comes the Mayor of New York City, who must be singled out for his thoughtful, sensitive, direct and timely communications about the actions the City needed to take to ward off the potential dangers from Hurricane Irene.

Bloomberg had a massive mobilization job to do — and the safety of the population was uppermost in his mind. He had shockers to announce: halting all mass transit, which had never been done before; evacuating New Yorkers who lived in coastal or low-lying areas; arranging for shelters to house the evacuated; heavying up on police in key areas to make sure the public was cooperating; and being available multiple times a day for press briefings and Q&A sessions with reporters.

Bloomberg appeared unflappable and totally in control. His pitch, pacing and modulation were effective and serious. His mantra was ”Better safe than sorry.” He exhibited a sense of calm that gave us all confidence that the wheels were turning in the right direction. It was apparent that he was in on the planning, and he had mastered the plan. Then he communicated what he knew so well. His delivery distinguished him from so many who are just “readers.”

Overall the public gave him the benefit of the doubt, despite the cry of some that he was overreacting. We knew that he knew better.

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