Strategically Speaking: A Blog by Denha Media Group
What would have been deemed a pretty decent speech is now overshadowed by two paragraphs.
And not only is Melania Trump’s overall message about her husband being ignored, the media doesn’t seem to be talking about anything anyone else said on opening day of the Republican National Convention.
Will her alleged plucking out from Michelle Obama’s 2008 speech “trump” the speeches lined up for tonight?
It was a rare moment for Melania Trump to be heard. She is a presidential candidate’s wife who has been mostly seen during the campaign.
So, what really happened?
As a speech writer and co-writer for seven State of the County speeches for the Wayne County Executive, I can only guess how Melania mimicked Michelle’s comments from eight years ago.
Research is a given in speech writing. It would not be uncommon for speech writers to look at past speeches to get an idea of what was said by others. Did someone cut and paste and inadvertently forget to rewrite those two paragraphs? How sentences from 2008 ended up in Melania’s speech is something perhaps a few will ever really know.
I would have an easier time accepting the claim that Melania herself wrote the speech because to think well paid, seasoned speech writers got sloppy provokes negative commentary on my profession.
Not that the words in those two paragraphs were thought provoking or even worth quoting, but if in fact they were deliberately taken from Michelle’s speech is unacceptable and unprofessional; and for a campaign closely scrutinized not only by the media and opposing sides but by its own party, you would think the entire team would take all measures not to make a misstep, especially in the last months of the campaign.
Now reports are coming out that several political leaders have delivered speeches in a similar manner using words spoken by previous leaders. So, looking at the bigger picture, does her speech need to garner this much media attention?
There are many important issues and others to be heard from this week during the RNC, and as much fun it is for some to poke fun at this faux pas, the Republicans need to switch the focus back to the convention.
This story wouldn’t normally have the “legs” others would in the media world, but it lends itself to comic platforms and talk radio jabber.
I, myself, am looking forward to chatting about it later today while on AM 910 with Karen Dumas and panel of colleagues in the Public Relations Industry.
As a strategist, I can say that the Republicans and the Trump team are now challenged to garner the public’s attention and get them to talk about the messages from the speakers at the convention.
Republicans must now move on after Melania’s message and get the rest of the country to do the same.
Vanessa Denha Garmo is a communications strategist and the founder of Denha Media Group.