Why governor’s news conferences are resonating in Kentucky and nationwide

The current crisis is global, but many of the important decisions are being made at a local level – by governors, mayors, county judges and school board officials.

Both Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, a Democrat, and Ohio Gov. Mike Dewine, a Republican from just across the river, have received national praise for taking decisive actions early and communicating them clearly.

Beshear’s daily 5 p.m. news conferences, shared on KET’s YouTube channel, have become popular enough to spark a Facebook group with nearly 100,000 followers.

The group is called “Andy Beshear memes for social distancing teens” and many of the meme’s compare Beshear to other comforting paternal figures – Mister Rogers, a Star Trek captain and Andy Griffith. One Salon article suggested that people were even developing crushes on Kentucky’s governor.

It’s clear why the news conferences resonate with people. They are a model of calm, insightful communications.

1. They are regular. No one needs to worry when they will hear more.
2. They are honest. He doesn’t sugarcoat the sacrifices he is asking people to make or ignore the suffering that has happened.
3. They are solution oriented. He includes positive news where he can – highlighting ways that neighbors are looking out for each other.

— Beverly Bartlett

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