The Drink Seen ‘Round the World

Both my parents were born in the early part of the 20th Century and used a lot of old-time phrases.  One of them was that when you were thirsty you needed to “wet your whistle.”

I wonder if Marco Rubio’s parents said that, too?!

The Senator from Florida created a major media buzz by reaching for a bottle of water and drinking right in the middle of his nationwide response to President Obama’s State of the Union Address.  Rubio explained afterwards that he made the awkward move because his throat became parched and he was having trouble speaking during his lengthy comments.

The drinking episode became almost as much of a headline as the President’s speech.  Replays of the now-famous sip showed up on newscasts and Internet sites.  But it was Rubio’s response that’s the real story for those looking to gain an edge in the media.

He laughed at himself.

Instead of going on the defensive or trying to ignore the incident, Rubio played into it.  Soon afterwards, he Tweeted a picture of the infamous bottle…and during an appearance on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” he intentionally pulled out a water bottle as he was being interviewed by anchor George Stephanopoulos, who chuckled and complimented Rubio for his ability to laugh at himself.

By responding the way he did, Rubio helped diffuse a potentially negative situation and may have actually given his image a positive boost.  That’s something you need to keep in mind as you gain media exposure.

When you are in the media spotlight a lot, inevitably “stuff happens.”  It could be a slip of the tongue, a “wardrobe malfunction,” an unusual water bottle grab or one of a hundred other “oops” moments.  The important thing for you to remember is if it does happen to you, don’t compound the incident by overreacting or underreacting.  Just deal with it in a manner that reflects positively on your personality.   Marco Rubio  chose to poke fun at himself.  For you, maybe it’s something else.   No matter what it is, if you do it the right way, you could actually end up getting some good media exposure from a mishap.

Successful media players understand how to take advantage of all their opportunities–  both good and bad.

I’m sure Marco Rubio would drink to that.

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