Lipstick on a Pig : Winning In the No-Spin Era by Someone Who Knows the Game
Torie Clarke, renowned and respected in political and business circles as one of the nation's most gifted communicators, offers a complete guide to the new age of transparency. Clarke's message is refreshing and straightforward: No more spin. Always a dubious proposition, spin has become increasingly vulnerable as information sources have proliferated; spin is simply no longer viable. Or put another way, "You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig." Distilling her twenty-five years of experience and wisdom into eight concise rules, Clarke counsels that politicians and executives need to tell the truth early, often, and in plain language. Clarke's experience is incomparable: She was the Pentagon's communications chief during the early years of George W. Bush's presidency and, prior to that, a high-ranking adviser to the first President Bush and to Senator John McCain. She illustrates her lessons with riveting behind-the-scenes accounts of some of our country's crucial moments over the last two decades -- for instance, as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs under Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, she was at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, and she recounts her experience that day as Rumsfeld's office strove to inform, instruct, and reassure the public. Clarke shows that a policy of transparency not only protects you, but that you even stand to gain from it -- because once you figure out that you can't put lipstick on a pig, you've actually learned something far more powerful: not to create a pig in the first place. Her lessons for getting your message out include: Tell your own story -- especially if it's bad news -- on your own terms, before someone else tells it on theirs. It will allow you to survive controversy and will also enhance your reputation. It's about one thing. Be ready and able to explain yourself to the proverbial man on the street in a clear, simple sentence or two. Admit your mistakes, because the truth will out. Entertaining, approachable, and full of crucial insight and practical guidance, Lipstick on a Pig will be indispensable for business leaders, public figures, and anyone working in media relations. With humor and savvy, Clarke's vision offers truly new opportunities for communications in the Information Age.
- Electronic book text
- 06 Feb 2006
- SIMON & SCHUSTER
- The Free Press
- United States
"Torie Clarke's breadth of experience in government and in business qualifies her to set out enduring principles. From executive suites to the corridors of power, anyone who must deal with the media would be wise to heed Ms. Clarke's counsel. Truth speakers, not spin masters, will be the winners and Ms. Clarke shows the way." -- Howard Paster, Director, WPP "This is a wise book, the distillation of Torie Clarke's rollicking career at the highest reaches of government and corporate worlds; often funny, always engaging, "Lipstick on a Pig" is 'must reading' for anyone who has or aspires to have 'communicating' as part of his or her job description." -- Stephen Hess, Senior Fellow Emeritus, The Brookings Institution "Torie Clarke's way of advising politicians and Pentagon officials is -- 'tell them the truth, and tell it fast.' She is to be congratulated for her dedication to truth under fire. Want to know how politics and policy interact with the media, how one influences the other, read this readable and insightful book." -- Marvin Kalb, Senior Fellow, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University "Managing a company's public perception used to be a fairly simple proposition: Build a better product and maintain good relationships with a few key reporters. Today the challenges and opportunities are more complex. Torie's principles simplify the process and increase the likelihood of success in a very competitive environment." -- Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and CEO, Comcast Corporation "If she were a bumper sticker, Torie would read 'BEEN THERE/FIXED THAT.' In her timely and seminal work, she shares countless examples of strategies and tactics she successfully engineered in crises big and small, from the policy/political arena to the corporate boardroom to her own kitchen full of kids. Especially relevant for our post-flack transformative information age, she compellingly promotes the key communication tool for fixing a crisis as the very one that would prevent it in the first place: transparency. Torie's extensive and unique experiences, not to mention her exceedingly amusing voice, make Lipstick on a Pig a must read for anyone with anything they want someone beside themselves to understand." -- Bestselling authors Mary Matalin and James Carville