Monday, November 12, 2007

FTCR on $300,000 PR Plan

Here is what John M. Simpson, stem cell project director for the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, had to say about the CIRM's $300,000 plan to hire a public relations firm, perhaps before the beginning of the year.
"People who hire PR firms are more interested in image than in substance. The way you get good media relations is simple: Do good work in an open way and answer all questions candidly.

"CIRM needs a committed and knowledgeable communications officer and an assistant completely familiar with all CIRM and ICOC activities. With the current downsizing in the news business many such talented people are available.

"In a rare case, perhaps for a specific large task, under the close direction and supervision of the CIRM communications officer, there might be a benefit from an outside consultant.

"It's absolutely essential that the communications officer play the key role in hiring any communications consultants. Consider it peer review – the scientists should understand that concept.

"CIRM should put a top priority on hiring a communications officer."

"Instead, what the RFP calls for won't facilitate communication with the media. It will hinder it and irritate the working press.

"CIRM will end up wasting $300,000 of taxpayer money and the ICOC will be wondering why they are unhappy with the news coverage they get."

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