I’ve been pondering the situation with Belgian minister Pieter Decrem.
For those of you who didn’t know what happened: He was on an official trip to New York and had some beers at night. A Dutch/Belgian waitress, who worked there, blogged about it. What most reportings do not say, is that he told her he was in NY because he had not been there yet. A few days later an aid to the minister called the bar owner and had the girl fired.
Minister Decrem has handled the situation really poorly. One of the first rules of marketing is that any publicity is good publicity. By going directly into a reactionary mode, he invited everyone to blame him for what has happened.
Here is what he should have done.
- If the minister was not responsible for the aid making the call, make him suffer the consequences. So fire the aid or at least make him apologize for doing what he did.
If on the other hand, the minister was responsible (and he does not want to resign his post) offer an official apology and speak to the girl in person on the situation.
- Get the waitress reinstated in her job. Or better yet, hire her as a social media specialist.
- Go on TV and talk about what a good night that was, bonding with everyone of his entourage. Make it a positive experience in stead of a negative one. Appeal to the human aspect of the story.
So here’s the main tip for everyone getting into a situation such as this:
Every problem is also an opportunity.
If you don’t agree or have an opinion of yourself, don’t hesitate to comment!