Mayor Bloomberg's Messages and Delivery Style in Hurricane News Conference

To provide an update on Hurricane Sandy's impact on New York City, Mayor Bloomberg held a news conference on October 30.

The mayor began by thanking the signer and by saying that the conference is "an update on our progress in recovering from Hurricane Sandy." Immediately, he is framing his message as looking forward. However, he does, up front, acknowledge the severity of the storm:

"I don't think it's any secret, but Sandy hit us very hard. It was a storm of historic intensity, but New Yorkers are resilient, and we have seen an enormous outpouring of support from people eager to volunteer, donate, and help out." 


Bloomberg emphasizes the recovery plan in place,while, again, acknowledging that it will be a long process. His message is clear throughout the 24-minute conference: efforts to restore power, transit service, and business operations are under way. Throughout the news conference, Bloomberg shows appreciation for these efforts and provides phone numbers and other ways to get information and resources (e.g., 

The mayor's delivery style is appropriately serious throughout the new conference, but he shows little affect and tonal variation. At times, his messages are difficult to distinguish; the speech sounds like a laundry list of items, and we have to listen closely to digest all of the information. 

The mayor's style changes when he emphasizes one important point:

"I can't repeat this message often enough: stay away from city parks; they're closed until further notice. And report down trees and tree limbs to 311, not 911. Please, 911 will just have to remain free for making and receiving emergency calls about life-threatening issues."

During the Q&A period, the mayor becomes marginally more animated-using more hand gestures, smiling where appropriate, and making more eye contact (as expected when he's off script). During the section, his voice modulation is more natural, and we see more of the mayor's personality.

Today, the mayor addressed criticism for allowing the NYC Marathon to proceed this weekend.

Discussion Starters:

  • What other observations do you have about the mayor's messages and delivery style?
  • What's your view of Con Edison CEO Kevin Burke's segment? How effective are his messages and delivery style? How do they compare to the mayor's?