City, county and school boards mull PR person
WORTHINGTON -- How do government entities address negative members of a community (those that have the opinions, but not the facts)? This was an item on the agenda for a joint meeting between Worthington City Council, Nobles County Commissioners ...
WORTHINGTON -- How do government entities address negative members of a community (those that have the opinions, but not the facts)?
This was an item on the agenda for a joint meeting between Worthington City Council, Nobles County Commissioners and school board members from District 518 Monday morning.
"Lots of folks have misinformation, but constantly weigh in on subjects," said District 518 superintendent John Landgaard.
"It is even more unfortunate when it comes from within our own organizations," added Nobles County Commissioner Diane Thier.
Worthington City Council member Lyle Ten Haken raised the subject of hiring a public relations person and possibly sharing that person with the three entities.
"That way we could get the correct information out there," he said.
A public relations person could write news releases for all three entities, working with radio, newspapers and the local cable channel, Ten Haken added.
City Council member Ron Wood stated there have been times when some kind of an issue had come up and no subsequent effort made by the council to get information to the public.
"If we had put the information out at the same time, it would have stopped a lot of the coffee shop talk," Wood admitted.
"There's nothing we can do to stop the coffee shop talk," Ten Haken replied. "Even when they have the correct information, within 10 minutes they have it wrong."
Landgaard described commenters on the Daily Globe Web site as "anonymous voices," referring to them generally as irritants and people with too much time on their hands.
The fact that they are allowed to comment anonymously is unfortunate, he said, because he would like to be able to ask the people who criticize what their solutions to the problems would be.
"It is very obvious they do not understand," he added.
Thier criticized all media and stated it never gets the whole story, "just half truths."
Landgaard stated that a newspaper cannot possibly print every detail about every item, simply because there isn't enough space to do so.
"It would be a huge task to get all the information," Ten Haken said. "A public relations position would help."
Ten Haken also pointed out a problem with the meetings televised on the local cable access channel.
"We're not putting out a very good product," he stated. "Right now, people comment that they can hear papers being rustled, but can't hear people speak."
Discussions between the three entities regarding a joint public relations position will continue.