Thailand’s prime minister decided that there was a better way for handling those pesky questions from reporters.
At a press event promoting Children’s Day — yes, there’s a holiday in Thailand that encourages children to have fun … that’s an order — Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha deployed a life-sized cardboard cutout of himself. He then turned to journalists and said:
“If you want to ask any questions on politics or conflict, ask this guy.”
Yes, life is better than fiction.
Still, I can see how the prime minister might sell this approach to the Thai public.
It definitely saves money on media training, which can run anywhere from US$5K to US$10K in Thailand depending on the trainer.
It also greatly reduces the number of questions asked at a press conference. Figuring six questions or so at the typical press conference with each question taking 30 seconds and the answers on averaging taking two minutes, that frees up an extra 15 minutes for the prime minister to redirect to the task at hand — governing.
Do The Math
Last, the cutout can be repurposed for Children’s Day, set up at a random playground where parents can photograph their kids with prime minister. The beauty of this approach is that the prime minister can be one with the people and not incur the typical expense associated with security when he wades into public. Thinking out loud, it also allows the prime minister to attend multiple playgrounds at the same time without increasing the demands on his time. As they say in the Guinness commercials, “Genius!”
OK, allow me to address the elephant in the room —
At this point I view this strategy as a PR outlier, but if a cardboard cutout of Sarah Huckabee Sanders shows up in the White House, we’ll know its gaining traction.