Detail Disoriented

Westchester County (N.Y.) District Attorney Jeanine Pirro, the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, now famous (or, is she infamous?) for her 32 seconds of silence while delivering her campaign announcement speech due to a misplaced page, has once again shot herself in the foot.

This one is a real beaut. In her fundraising outreach, Pirro’s crack team inadvertently mailed a note to the candidate’s opponent, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. To add insult to injury, the letter was addressed to "Hill’s" old address at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington. Talk about database mismanagement!

To paraphrase the Chinese proverb, Pirro’s credibility is dying a death by a thousand cuts. As she makes one mistake after another, voters will surely lose faith in her ability to manage the bigger issues.

The devil is, indeed, in the details. We routinely host "meet the media" luncheons at our office. Almost without exception, one of the biggest complaints reporters have of PR firms is the correspondence they receive replete with misspellings, incorrect titles and addresses, confused genders, and other careless and unnecessary errors.

Image and reputation constitute a total package that goes far beyond style and substance to extend to the tiniest of details, including an updated mailing list. One can win the battle but still lose the war by making too many foolish mistakes.

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