Friday, September 28, 2007

PR Money Goes for What?

Hope against hope, I clicked on the official city web site tonight expecting some solid information about next week’s City Council schedule.

Silly me. There was no such thing.

Nor was there any update from the boiled-lobster photos of a couple of department heads in T-shirts or tank tops.

Channel 74 TV schedule? “The page cannot be found.”

It is now more than a year and a half into the “new” administration and communication is still lacking.

On the other hand, some of us are eagerly awaiting the next letter from Interim Schools Superintendent Peter Carter. His letters over the past few months show us that communication is both necessary and possible.

The city’s investment in communications does not seem to have paid off so far. Maybe in the Fiscal Year 2008 budget process there will be some reckoning of costs versus results.

The school district also has a large investment, but Peter Carter on his own has apparently been able to engage people without the intervention of public relations staff.

Maybe it is time to set the record straight on what all the public relations money goes for. If it is for brochures and flyers and photos versus press releases and the like, can somebody say so?

There are lots of ways to communicate and lots of targets. If the goal is to educate the internal school community, that is one thing. If the story is for the public, paid staff needs to tap into the lines of communication with the community at large.

The two major recipients of taxpayer money need to find better ways to educate stakeholders on what exactly is at stake.

--Bernice Paglia


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