Ok…the first authentic rule of “PR Club” is we don’t pay people to censor other people’s postings on community forums if they’re negative PR. Somebody always ends up telling the truth and here’s the story. This is probably old news for you hometown San Francisco folks, but for the rest of us, here goes!
Is it ever a good idea to hire a PR firm or individual who sits rabidly in front of a computer screen and deletes what he/she or the payee of that person, might construe as the besmirching, negative musings on your company, city in community forums?
Ding, ding, ding…the answer is NO! And are companies doing this? Are cities doing this? Is there no one out there who is brave enough to slog forward and tell the real tale of this insidious practice? Let’s turn to Craigslist for our answer.
If you go to this link and if it’s true what is posted there, then you will see the start of what is sure to be something debated for quite a while. It’s as they say in the reporter biz, a “story with legs”. Legs, legs, legs.
It sounds a bit like a possibility for a new Scott Turow thriller sans the lawyers (that Hal Holbrook was dashing) and in their place what the poster in his/her missive to Craigslist terms “members of the agency”.’
My only concern is how does the “do-gooder” verify for the readers what he/she is saying is true? How do we know this person is telling the truth? Let’s say they are telling the truth, then what does that mean for San Francisco or the “black PR” campaigns that were run in the city?
It really doesn’t mean much. It only speaks not so well of the “members of the agency” who hired the firm “to block the spread of any information which spreads a negative light on the city, or might adversely affect its bourgeoning tourism industry or robust real estate market.” Geez, just that one sentence lends some credibility to the poster’s claim he was with some sort of marketing agency! Bourgeoning…Robust??
For myself, I think San Francisco will be just fine. I was out there in January, loved it and even enjoyed the restaurant that is completely white where you eat all the food in big white beds and it’s the same five course meal everyone else in the room was having.
Ok, if truth be known, while my husband and I were at the Wharf, I did have a waiter spill a bit of butter on my blouse and I did immediately post that to as many community sites on San Francisco as I could, but alas now I can’t find the post. I wonder where it’s gone!
P. S. (Hey do-gooder, here’s your cue to email me off the blog and give an interview. Are you in hiding in the South like Tom Cruise was in the movie version of the book titled, “The Firm”? If so, ping me. I’m in the South, how about a glass of my famous Sun tea in exchange for an exclusive, she says with a charming southern lilt.)