Kansas City Councilwoman Sparks Terror in the PR Industry
A Kansas City councilwoman by the name of Becky Nace has sparked sheer terror throughout the PR Industry today. She's questioning a bill!
According to the The Kansas City Star, Nace is questioning why the city is paying $2 million to four public relations firms to tell residents that the city's sewer and stormwater systems are being replaced. And then, insult to injury, the firms are asking residents how they'd like them fixed.
Most of the firms latched on to this gravy train in 2004. They've already spent $1 million. The City Council recently approved an additional $1.2 million. The spending has raised concerns inside and outside City Hall.
"I have always said when I died I want to come back and be reincarnated as a consultant," Councilwoman Nace said.
Jim Mellem, assistant director of the Water Services Department, told Nace that his agency was committed to informing the residents and that the money was essential to getting the word out.
Nace said, "Why are we spending $2 million on that? We have a lot of things we could do with $2 million."
In other words, the agencies are charging $100 to $150 per hour to create community understanding, dialogue, participation, involvement, and support for a project that otherwise could devolve into a public brouhaha. That's the kind of work that PR people do that goes largely unrecognized while unethical behaviors employed by the minority of practitioners get all the attention. If Kansas City had the resources internally, they wouldn't have to hire agencies. But work like this tends to be project-based. Ms. Nace doesn't understand, though, noting that when she dies, she wants to be reincarnated as a consultant so she can earn $150 an hour.
Shel, what are you smokin'? How can you be so presumptuous as to think you know better sitting in California than a Councilwoman about her affairs in Kansas City. If you had any commentary to add, it would have been far more honest of you to tell her what you charge an hour.
Lastly, as to the title of your commentary... I've been in this business for almost 20 years and I have no clue what you do.