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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Washington PR knows nothing of local needs and ground logistics

Public relations and publicity are often miss used or run by the wrong people from the wrong place. BP tried to do it from London rather than on the ground in New Orleans, then had a Brit as as spokesman in the US. Both mistakes.

There are many other examples of how publicity, public relations and constituency affairs are orchestrated and how decisions are made, for better or worse

Now the Democratic Party has made a blunder on a local level.

Let me start off by telling you about a roommate back when I was full time in radio, before I met my wife and relocated to Las Vegas. He was an advance man for President Jimmy Carter. He taught me volumes about how advance work should be done. Pick a venue that makes it look like a real crowd no matter how few people show up. select the topic of the day rather than what may count to that audience (I remember Carter talking about agriculture and railroads in the middle of urban Chicago at an urban college campus). Third you make sure all of the needed locals are satisfied. Always the security of the speakers and dignitaries must come first, meaning tickets or screenings may be needed, particularly in this post 9-11, post Congresswoman Gifford era.

He also told me that it is vital for local interests, meaning those who have roles int he community or locals who wish to attend, to be allowed to do so. Never close the door on anyone interested in being there. Do not lock out the public (control is not rejection).

Harry Reid is doing a press event at Boulder City Hospital. 

It is invite only, but that was not widely known. 

This was a Washington beltway real mistake for several reasons. 

First, the hospital is a local non-profit Rural Hospital and really needs the local support. A bond issues needed to keep it afloat failed several years back, with only a strong hospital administrator and cuts keeping an active, historic hospital operating and serving the emergency and other needs of Boulder City and the surrounding rural areas (including Lake Mead and Senator Reid's beloved Searchlight). The people of Boulder City should have been openly invited to such an event to learn more about their hospital, community and what our government is doing for them.

Which brings me to my second point, the Democrats here in BC could use a positive way to support our president and majority leader, but only VIP's are invited. Boulder city is predominantly Republican with a city government dominated, if George Knapp is to be believed, by one church.  

Whomever in Washington made the decision does not understand local and lost a great deal of support for the president by keeping locals who support the hospital, the senator and the president away.

I mean do I look like a terrorist?

I wanted to see my Senator.

Politics and those who stage events are very beltway. While they have reasons for what they do, they often only focus on the world as viewed in the micro-economy of Washington DC and the surrounding communities politicians (and lobbyist) call home.

Shouldn't events like a press announcement and on-location presentation such as ocured today in Boulder City welcome the local community and community leaders beyond politicians and those whose only claim to fame is that they are paid as local journalist (having been one myself, I know that journalist are flawed, underpaid and simply do the job they are told to do by management).

Why not let the hospital and the community be more openly involved.

I know I was not invited. Nor was I allowed to attend. And in a call to Reid's office, the woman who took the call did not even ask my name or number.

Makes you feel valued and important, doen't it.

At least we know how the Beltway thinks about small town America.

Press release:

Nevada Senator Harry Reid today announced a grant for $13,877,228 for the Boulder City Hospital. The grant comes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development fund and will be used to complete a major renovation and expansion. According to the USDA, the hospital’s pharmacy, home health, lab and dietary areas will be remodeled, and surgery, physical therapy, long-term care and the admissions lobby will be renovated and expanded. The Emergency Department also will be expanded by over 5,100 square feet.

“This USDA grant will significantly improve Boulder City Hospital,” said Reid. “I am pleased that Boulder City residents will have access to the highest quality health care services and facilities. Various elements of hospital will be strengthened, from its Emergency Department to surgery areas. I will continue to work hard so Nevada communities benefit from the very best resources and amenities.”

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