Local Government Communications Professionals Should Avoid This PR Fail

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WATCH: A St. Louis city official’s spokeswoman aggressively intervenes during an on-the-spot interview.

Sometimes, when a local public official ducks media inquiries and television cameras are around, it ends up being a great best practices lesson in what not to do.

The scene is a hallway in St. Louis City Hall. A television reporter, KTVI’s Elliott Davis, had been previously denied an interview with City Comptroller Darlene Green regarding a $26,000 take-home car.

Melanie Streeper, Green’s spokeswoman had previously informed Davis via email that her boss “will not be speaking about this issue with any reporters.”

So Davis tracked down the comptroller in City Hall and started asking questions. That was until Streeper spotted Davis interviewing her boss and took some less-than-flattering aggressive action to intervene.

As Kevin Allen of PR Daily wrote : “I have one word for Streeper’s approach to media relations: No.”

Take a look:

Michael Grass is Executive Editor of Government Executive’s Route Fifty.

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