6 PR lessons from DeVos’ bumbling ‘60 Minutes’ performance

During a prime-time interview, the secretary of education seemed unprepared and uninformed about the basic facts of her job and initiatives. Here’s how media training could have fixed it.

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A prime-time TV interview can be a golden opportunity—or go over like a lead balloon.

In her appearance Sunday night on “60 Minutes,” Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ goal was to highlight the Trump administration’s views on education policy and school choice.

Instead, one stunningly flat-footed exchange went viral almost immediately, calling into question her knowledge about public schools, school choice and the very agency she leads.

According to CNN, White House officials were “alarmed” by her sit-down with veteran CBS journalist Lesley Stahl.

Here’s how leaders and spokespersons can better prepare for challenging interviews with six takeaways for PR pros looking to avoid a similar calamity:

1. Prepare for follow-up questions.

Devos defended her school voucher initiatives, under which state money is reallocated from a public school to a tuition voucher, by pointing to successes in Florida:

Stahl: Why take away money from that school that’s not working, to bring them up to a level where they are, that school is working?

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