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Touchy PR Guy Did His Job


Did you see the video of the touchy PR guy (Mark Slavin) that can’t keep his hands off the TV reporter?

Did you agree that he was a horrible PR guy who should lose his job?

Well, you are not the only one. I’ve read lots of people commenting about what a terrible PR guy (he is actually director of community relations, but whatever) he is, but maybe, just maybe, we’ve been too hard on this guy and he may actually deserve some credit for a job well done.

Now, I laughed when I first watched the video, but is he really – as the Huffington Post called him the “most annoying PR flack ever“? I think not. To anyone that says he is, I’d say you haven’t met enough PR flacks, because I’ve met many that are worse than this guy – the only difference is that most of them don’t get caught on camera.

What was his goal?
– Was it to make sure the TV reporter didn’t get his interview. If so, he accomplished that.
– Maybe he was aiming to make sure the original controversy would go away (even temporarily), If so, by making himself THE story he accomplished that goal too.
– Was it to protect the subject of the (original) story at any costs? If so, mission accomplished.

Who did he hurt?
There are recent cases of other PR people who were guilty of much more egregious acts than what Mark Slavin did. Just ask Chris Dovi. Slavin, may have made a fool of himself, but he didn’t cost anyone their job, he didn’t hurt anyone.

I’m not saying he is a great example of a PR professional, but maybe just maybe we’ve been too hard on Mark Slavin.

Thanks to all the PR people that forwarded this video. I’d give credit if I knew its origins. If you haven’t seen it yet – here it is. http://www.youtube.com/v/ugX4HRJQD1Y&hl=en_US&fs=1&

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  1. June 17, 2010 at 1:03 am

    Paul ~ Finally, I disagree with you! Your points are well taken, but he is still a poor excuse (and now laughing stalk) of a communications professional. You can meet objectives without making an ass of yourself. He had plenty of alternative moves — the hands on approach was not a good choice.
    ~ Jules

  2. Don Jennings
    June 17, 2010 at 2:29 am

    Tend to agree with Jules on this one. He may have done what many of us in PR would have loved to have done but he ended up being the lead in the story. Better that he comes off making himself and the hospital look better especially with the backdrop to what was going on and why the reporter was trying to do the “investigative” story – funds from a patient gift fund being used for other less charitable purposes.

  3. June 20, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    Jules and Don, thanks for your comments. I honestly don’t disagree with either of you.

    This guy did a horrible job and is far from a PR role model – all I’m saying is he actually did accomplish part of his company’s goal.

    Ok, so I was being a bit sarcastic when I wrote the post but I did want to point out that even this poor excuse for a PR guy got part of his job right.

    Plus I enjoy trying to find the alternative perspective on a story. It’s more fun.

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