Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Want to see a dead body?

Occasion: Rehnquist lying in state.
Decision: Sure, go ahead and show the flag-draped coffin. We'll even throw in Bush & wife, with some nameless stranger for good measure.


Occasion: Greatest natural disaster to strike the United States. Dead bodies everywhere.
Decision: After thinking about it, FEMA decided not to take reporters and photographers along on rescue boats because they would take up valuable space in the recovery effort. [Reuters]


Occasion: Reporters reporting on rescue efforts of National Guard units. MSNBC's Brian Williams reports:
While we were attempting to take pictures of the National Guard (a unit from Oklahoma) taking up positions outside a Brooks Brothers on the edge of the Quarter, the sergeant ordered us to the other side of the boulevard. The short version is: there won't be any pictures of this particular group of guard soldiers on our newscast tonight.

Decision: There will be NO reporting.


Occasion: BBC crew gets a boat and goes looking for stories and survivors. They find all that and more. Or less. They report:
It seems quite incredible to me that we are the only boat in a neighbourhood like this. In almost every street that we have gone into, there are people like this family with so many needs.

Decision: No, don't show that. Show this instead.

[NOLA Sgt. Smith of New Orleans in the 2800 block of Calhoun Street with a rescued cat.]

Occasion: The returning dead from the Iraq War.
Decision: What dead from the Iraq War?

[Thanks to Memory Hole.]

1 comment:

SkyWriter said...

I love CNN because they get in there first, they report the news and they are on the F'ing WARPATH now that FEMA has their PR shit together.
Ok - I'm a PR person. I defend the position. But if I were doing PR for FEMA right now, there would either be a gun to my head (by my own hand) or I would be as broke-ass homeless as the Gulf States folks because I would QUIT without a second thought.
First rule of crisis communications: Tell The Truth.
Second rule: Let others Tell The Truth. And yes, it hurts like hell.
Third Rule: If you can't tell the truth, get the HELL out of there.
There is no SPIN in crisis communications. There is only reputation management through transparency, visibility, and leadership.
PR is given a bad name by people who work for FEMA. I know first hand the bullsh** PR people have to go through with their leadership (luckily, I do NOT have that problem at my for-life company), but FOR GOD'S SAKE PEOPLE: The TRUTH will set you FREE!
Rule #4: If you piss off the media, you are as dead as the poor people in New Orleans who didn't have the means to escape under their own power.
We need to organize the "under class" in America - really make a political third party on behalf of the "have not's" so that those who HAVE can DO SOMETHING for those who DON'T.
There is a socio-economic discrepancy in our nation that CAN BE FIXED. But we have to rely on each other - outside the traditional political system - to make it happen.