FEMA’s getting another public information black eye: “fake” news conference

October 26, 2007

I know for a fact that following Katrina, FEMA went out and hired some of the best and smartest communication people in the world. But, what happened here? A “fake” news conference? Someone wasn’t thinking. Apparently from the news report, FEMA called a press conference but called it with little lead time and not too many reporters showed up. So, rather than going with what they had or rescheduling it, they had some FEMA staff members pose as reporters and ask some softball questions. As the transcript shows, they sounded a lot more like willing FEMA staff members than seasoned reporters. Not sure how, but someone smelled a rat and now what is the story? The fire? No. FEMA doing a great job of responding? No. FEMA calling a fake press conference.

Oh boy. This is the age of transparency, people. This is about credibility. About not trying to fool anyone, ever, for any reason. It’s not about covering for someone because they didn’t leave enough lead time. It’s not about doing everything you can to look good when the cameras are on. It is about truth, honesty and building trust. Oh boy. Nuff said.

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