Penn State proves once again that its public relations instincts are severely lacking – even on a day when the school is being accused of putting public relations ahead of the health and safety of children. From Philly.com:
The handful of students and alumni that gathered in Penn State’s student center this morning to watch the release of the Freeh report live were stunned when the channel suddenly switched.
While most of campus was still sleepy, the small group was viewing CNN on a large screen, or one of several smaller screens nearby, in anticipation of the 9 a.m. release of the report on the sex abuse scandal that has gripped the school.
Most were hoping that the report, part of a seven-month probe by former FBI Director Louis Freeh, would exonerate legendary football coach Joe Paterno.
But, just as an anchor was ready to speak about the report, the television screens suddenly went blank. They then turned to a public access channel featuring a reporter fromThe Morning Call newspaper in Allentown about the state budget.
Everyone watching suddenly went scrambling to find a way to switch the channel back at the student center, known as the HUB-Robeson Center Facility, or simply, “the Hub.”
Yep, that’s the way to handle it, Penn State. Nothing to see here. All is well.
While this very well may have been one guy in the facilities department changing the channel – and doing what he thought was right, it absolutely sends the wrong message and is one that campus leadership must own and be responsible for fixing.
From top to bottom, from the athletics department to the zoology department, Penn State people need to think differently and get out of that little bubble they have created for themselves up there.
Step one: Letting students know what their leaders were up to the last 15 years or so.