RE: DSM: RE: Getting it

Joe Jackson (
Wed, 22 Nov 2000 12:42:43 -0500


Your reply makes me feel like you're completely missing my point. No matter
how logically you lay out the philosophical reasons to "work on" people, no
matter how things worked in your previous job, our approach to doing pr is
what has worked for us. When I was starting a school, if I had looked at
how a successful school did things and tried to convince them they're doing
them 180 degrees wrong, I would have been nuts.

My day job for the past ten years is as a full-time Public Affairs
specialist for the Air Force; the last 4 years I have been Chief of Public
Affairs for the Airmen of Note. I'm well aware of the ins and outs of
representing an organization to the media and general public, but I'm
telling you that the SM schools have to do it differently because of the
special objectives and sensitivities of the school (especially the small

I don't know how many more ways I can tell you this, but to use your
analogy, having cast a net, the fish that try to wriggle out are the ones
you don't want!

In addition, when you talk about your days of letting off steam and dumping
on people, I feel like you're implying that's what we are doing. I feel
like you probably have an idea of how we conduct our PR and admissions, and
I'm bewildered that you consider it to be "letting off steam" and dumping".

If you're talking about my writing style on this list then I remind you that
I am not an official representative of Fairhaven School, and I believe this
speaks more to your misplaced impression that I am somehow more of an
authority on the model than you. I reiterate that this list is about
learning and developing, and not about me doing PR for potential Fairhaven
School customers.


> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> []On Behalf Of Rick
> Stansberger
> Sent: Wednesday, November 22, 2000 10:02 AM
> To:
> Subject: Re: DSM: RE: Getting it
> Joe Jackson wrote:
> > The purpose of this list for me is not PR. The purpose of it
> is for me to
> > learn things by a)hearing other people talk and b) having to organize my
> > thoughts enough to express them to other folks.
> Joe,
> I actually ran PR for 9 years in one of the schools in which I
> was resident
> pain-in-the-butt, and I gotta tellya that public relations is
> nothing more than
> information. A lot of people think it's lying or sugar coating,
> but that's just
> BAD public relations. People find out about lies eventually and
> there you are
> with your pants down. The coaches found me to be a continual
> pain because I
> didn't push the school's sports. I didn't see the need because sports
> information was getting out fine. Reporters were calling the
> coaches several
> times a week, and pix of games were showing up in the press.
> Nobody was calling
> to find out about the math team, though. Nobody outside knew
> when we sent a
> bunch of kids to the ivy league after graduation or when a
> teacher on our staff
> published a book. What I did was fill out the true picture of our complex
> school by supplying info the sports pages weren't geared to print
> and that the
> city desks didn't go looking for.
> Which brings me to the more important point. PR is information
> and information
> is PR in that they both depend on how they're taken by the
> hearer. There's no
> such thing as just telling the truth. If I had written all the
> above in Urdu,
> would you have gotten it? If I had written it as a personal
> attack, would it
> have made it through your self-defense filters? And if it had
> made it through,
> what form would it have taken, and where in your brain would it have been
> filed? Under "The Truth"? I suspect not. People with healthy
> self-respect
> don't file badmouthing there any more than they'd put a hand
> grenade in a baby's
> crib.
> You can't separate the message from the packaging. Or rather,
> you can, but your
> hearer won't.
> I've had my days and years of being blunt, telling it "like it
> is" and letting
> the chips fall where they may. They weren't my most effective
> times. Mainly I
> was just letting off steam, dumping on people because I was too
> tired to be
> patient and learn about my hearer so I could present my truth in
> a way s/he
> could understand.
> Convinced people, in my experience, often don't think they have
> to step outside
> their beliefs and see them as a newcomer would, and that's where
> they fail in
> their efforts to communicate. You can cast as wide a net as you
> want, but if
> you can't keep the fish from flopping back in, what's the point?
> Rick

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