Public Relations?

PR guys are supposed to assist in maintaining or improving the image or reputation of an organization.  By defining this as our role I separate us from marketing guys.  Sure, we need to work together with marketing people but when there’s a problem, PR guys are the only ones that can help…or hurt.

Here is a small but humorous example of things gone bad:

A unit of soldiers lost some equipment.  A typical response is to keep together everyone possibly responsible for the loss until an initial investigation is complete and/or the equipment is found.  Sometimes a soldier will confess and locate the lost items, most of the time the clerical error is caught or the equipment is located somewhere other than where it was thought to be.  An inconvenience to everyone involved for sure, but to be good stewards of tax payer money its important to have good accountability of equipment.

In this case the soldiers have been “locked down” for several days and the media became interested.

Here is how this PR guy handled it:

“The Army takes property accountability very seriously,” Ophardt said, adding there was “no end in sight” to restrictions for the soldiers while the equipment is missing.


Ophardt said base confinement is an extreme measure of punishment meant to elicit information.

AN EXTREME MEASURE OF PUNISHMENT! Meant to elicit information? Yikes.

The missing equipment is not dangerous to the public by itself, since the accessories attach to military-grade weapons and take specialized training to operate, Ophardt said.

“You can’t just attach it and go out and become Rambo,” he said.


No big deal, it happens all the time and I’m sure the soldiers were released soon after this article hit the news.

The full article can be found here:

Just because I feel bad focusing solely on our friend Ophardt, here is a link to an article about the way Penn State screwed up their disaster.

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