Between You and Me, There's PR

Exploring, learning and using social media, public relations and marketing.

KSDK security stunt cost station their credibility January 17, 2014

Filed under: Education — thisgirlsarah @ 8:31 PM
Tags: , , , , , ,

Parts of the below copy have been re-blogged from my second blog: She Writes, Sometimes with more emphasis on the PR repercussions here, rather than the full background of the story

Yesterday, when a local St. Louis station, KSDK, attempted to test a high school’s security, a lockdown resulted making the community very upset.The news station released a statement that said this was not their intention, while the school’s statement said they were just following protocol for a stranger who seemed suspicious. While KSDK did not mention anything about the lockdown on their Twitter feed as it was happening, their competitors and viewers certainly did.


People were upset, and rightly so in my opinion. The kids, parents and teachers don’t need to experience, what they perceive to be, a real threat to their loved ones.The most tragic part of this is that KSDK lost their credibility. Today, in Hillsboro MO, a real lockdown took place and this time, KSDK reported it. Guess what their viewers had to say about this scary and very real situation:


From this situation, we did learn that Kirkwood needs to have a look at tightening their security, but I do not agree with the news station’s tactics and I do not believe that it is the responsibility of a reporter or news station to create a story to report. Instead of exploiting a major security issue at local schools, they have become a joke to the community. There is a fine line between reporting an issue, and creating an issue to report on.

I didn’t become a journalist for a reason. I have always found journalists’ ruthlessness to get a story rude. I have too much empathy for people involved in tragic situations to have the guts to stick a microphone or camera in their faces just for a quote. On the flipside of this, someone has to get dirty and report the news, I just wish they’d do it with a little more conscience and empathy.

At what point do they look back on this and say, “whoops, we’re sorry we approached it in this way” instead of “whoops, sorry we’re not sorry.” Until they acknowledge that, I don’t think their credibility will hold as true as it once did.

Is this what reporters do to get stories? What do you think?

To be fair, as we part, here’s the story KSDK ran as a result of their “tests”.


The Square… (ooooo…ahhhhh) November 19, 2011

I love nothing more than lazy weekends. Sleeping in, finally having the time to blog and craft fair shopping!

I hadn’t been to my high school’s craft fair in years and was excited to add this unique activity to my plans this weekend. As though shopping wasn’t enough fun, Taylor Saleem, owner and designer of The Rare Bird, allowed me to be her assistant to help sell her jewelry at the fair! I spent the day greeting shoppers, telling people they looked beautiful in Taylor’s jewelry and ringing orders.

The coolest part was getting to use her new Square, a credit card reader that talks to your iPhone, iPad or Android device. I had been part of a market research group for this tool, so I was really excited to see it in action. The Square is, literally, a square. It is a small square with a plugin that attaches to your phone. There is an additional application to download, and it must be connected to a checking account and WiFi.

It works by clicking the app, typing in the cost, waiting for it to calculate sales tax (Awesome!) and swiping the card. After swiping, it has the person sign for their card using their fingertip and asks if they would like a receipt emailed. Then, bam! The transaction is over.

The Square is also very concerned with security. For instance, the business will never see full credit card information. Instead, an encrypted code is used as soon as the swipe is complete. You can read more information about their security measures on their website.

We could track sales all throughout the day, and I think customers really appreciated that we were able to take all forms of credit cards in a speedy fashion. And I know Taylor was excited not to have to use her big old credit card machine!

I noticed several vendors using the Square throughout the craft fair. Although the day could not be outdone by The Rare Bird’s incredibly beautiful designs, I know this gadget-nerd (me) was definitely impressed by the Square’s performance.

Now since the day is not over, I will continue my assistant duties and recommend that you visit The Rare Bird’s website, Facebook page or follow her on Twitter. If you visit Taylor at the Lindbergh craft fair tomorrow and purchase one of her gorgeous pieces, you too can use the Square! 🙂


%d bloggers like this: