Campaign Essentials

Resilience Following Mistakes

The Challenge

She didn’t intend to say that, but it just came out of her mouth wrong. It was a big gaffe but the media definitely gave her a lot of credit for apologizing quickly and not making excuses. And so a story that could have plagued us for days and days became a story that sort of petered out within three days.
Campaign manager

No one can run a perfect campaign. However, women do not have much room to make mistakes. Voters remember and punish women more for mistakes, which undermine their qualifications.

Women are often perceived as letting mistakes linger for too long. This is devastating to both their likeability and their qualifications.

The Solution

When women do slip up, they need to work immediately with their campaigns to engage in crisis communications.

One rebound strategy is clear: Respond quickly with a succinct, straight answer and then introduce third-party validators who can reinforce the candidate’s qualifications. This strategy worked for women candidates and did not work for men candidates.