Friday, February 26, 2010

Make My Day

Want to make a reporter’s day?

Run from the camera, call the cops, sneak into a bathroom.Make yourself look guilty.

That is exactly what four members of Atlanta’s Fulton County School Board did last year when a local TV reporter tried to ask them some questions.

We've recently come across the video below of one of our favorite investigative reporters, Wendy Saltzman, from CBS46 in Atlanta trying to get some elected officials to answer basic questions. What made the School Board members shameful behavior even more unconscionable is that ran away following the written advice of a paid public relations chief…who must have learned her craft the same fine folks advising Toyota and Tiger Woods.

The issue before the four fleeing elected officials was not some grave malfeasance or the maltreatment of school kids. It was the rather commonplace overpayment for school supplies.

Here is CBS Atlanta’s Wendy Salzman’s report: video

Come on people, this is PR 101 stuff. You could easily have said something. like: “This board will thoroughly investigate this matter in a timely fashion. When that probe is complete we will answer all you questions. If tax dollars have been misspent we will work to restore those funds to best serve the children of this county.”

Now that took 15 seconds to say. A sound bite, not a lie or "let me out of here before I confess." Remember, a smile and a few calm words while looking directly at the camera will preserve your authoritative image and will not give the reporter pictures of someone looking as guilty as sin.

Trust us -- ignore our advice and you will be making the investigative reporter's day.


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