Mary Ng's 'mistake' was an honest one
Canada's Minister of International Trade Mary Ng has formally apologized for her 'mistake' in hiring a friend to do $16,950 worth of media training and public relations work when she found herself overwhelmed with pandemic-related media requests.
Anyone familiar with crisis communications and the demands of the 24/7 news cycle might be forgiven for empathizing with her lapse in judgement.
The human instinct to work with people we know, like and trust is amplified when stakes are high, time is of the essence, and there is no margin for error.
As a long-time Liberal strategist and principal of a respected #PR firm, there is no question that Amanda Alvaro had the necessary professional credentials. Being a friend, she was also deeply familiar with how Ms. Ng thinks and speaks.
This was her true edge.
Understanding a client’s voice, tone and manner is key to helping them craft talking points and speeches that feel right and ring true – to themselves and others.
One could argue that, for this particular contract, Ms. Alvaro was uniquely qualified.
One could also argue that, in the chaos of lockdown - when schools and parks were closing, citizens were being fined for being out after dark, and billions were being released into the economy - the conservative outrage around this matter is seriously outsized.