Media Relations and Public Relations in the Age of the Blog :: UMR Crisis Management

Andrew Careaga (bio), UMR manager of public relations, has an excellent post about dealing with blogs, media relations, dittoheads and – oh, those glorious phone calls you can receive from the public. Visit his blog, higher ed marketing, for the post – UMR, the media and the war on error.

Andrew, away at a conference, receives word that his university, the University of Missouri–Rolla (UMR), is in the throes of a crisis. “A graduate student from India was charged Wednesday with several felonies after a bomb and anthrax threat at the University of Missouri-Rolla shut down the campus for a day.” (Source: News-Leader.com) The student’s threat turned out to be a hoax.

See video below. A 6:53 news report from local TV station, KY3. Rana Basheer, interviewed for the story, posted the video at YouTube to capture his 15 seconds of fame. His part starts at about 5:00.

Andrew and his staff find themselves dealing with local and national media. I imagine they even had international inquiries. But, they also have to deal with the world of citizen journalists and gawkers. Check the Google News and Technorati blog coverage on missouri rolla terror that ensued. He also had to deal with little green footballs, of the CBS and Reuters news fraud exposure incidents. It was the readers of little green footballs that likely were his biggest headache. You’ll see.

I don’t want to spoil it for you, so go read Andrew’s post. He answers the question we all get so often, “why I love this job so much.”

Suffice to say, this is a perfect example of the inane realities we all must now face in this world of citizen journalism and infopinions – a little be of factual information and a whole lot of personal opinions.

We feel your pain, Andrew. Great post and congratulations to you and your staff for dealing, so well, with this crisis communication event.

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