Happy Thanksgiving (Look Out Behind You, Sarah Palin!)

For this long Thanksgiving holiday weekend, I offer you one of my favorite video clips.

Shortly after returning to Alaska following her defeat in the 2008 general election, then-Governor Sarah Palin visited a local turkey farm to pardon a turkey.

She was totally oblivious to the bloody turkey slaughter occurring over her shoulder.

I suggest you watch the entire clip – the final sentence is a gem.

It’s hard to know whether the camera operator who set up that interview did so on purpose. But it’s the job of a spokesperson – or a spokesperson’s staffers – to ensure that the background doesn’t detract from the message.

Although Ms. Palin’s gaffe makes for a compelling video, she’s far from alone in failing to check her background.

When launching his network’s new brand last year, MSNBC head Phil Griffin shot a promo – with CNN playing in the background:

So remember this Thanksgiving lesson: If you’re about to do a television interview, look behind you to see what the audience will see. If it’s something potentially embarrassing, ask the producer to change the shot or allow you to stand somewhere else. And if you’re ever engulfed in a crisis, don’t stand anywhere near your company’s logo; if you do, you’ll only reinforce visually that your brand is connected to an unfortunate scandal.

I wish you and your family a happy, healthy, and restorative Thanksgiving weekend! See you back here on Monday, November 28th. And thank you, as always, for visiting the blog.

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