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Letters to the Editor

Letter: School district’s PR hire is unnecessary

  • Author: Anchorage Daily News
    | Opinion
  • Updated: September 10, 2018
  • Published September 10, 2018

ADN reported Aug. 30 that Anchorage school board President Starr Marsett said the district had "hired a public relations firm, Strategies 360, to help with the messaging" regarding the Dimond High football team incident and investigation.

I looked at the website for Strategies 360. It says that they "Redefined the best practices of public policy, business, strategic communication, and marketing and blended them." "We have influence, perspective and reach you absolutely won't find anywhere else," the site reads.

The school superintendent, who I believe is paid $176,158, is hired to make decisions and serve as the face of the school board. The school board is elected to be a watchdog and oversee or manage school district affairs.

Why, then, did the district feel a need to hire Strategies 360? We don't need strategic communication. We need facts. We don't need a PR firm's influence, perspective or reach. We need clear, straightforward communication with the public and leadership from the superintendent and school board to resolve this issue.

What rationale did ASD have for hiring Strategies 360? ADN requested a copy of the contract between the district and the firm, but it had not yet been received. What is the amount to be paid to the PR firm? Couldn't this money be better used to hire more teachers, if the superintendent and the school board would do their jobs and handle their own "messaging"?

It certainly looks like ASD is more interested in a coverup of facts and marketing when the priority should be concern for the kids involved, transparency and a plan to avoid any further incidents.
— Joanne Kell

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