Thursday, April 28, 2011

Thoughts on Privacy

A recent media event here caused me to reconsider the value of privacy.

The situation: A local TV anchor and reporter (whom I’ve never met personally), was invited to be a keynote speaker at an event honoring those involved who are fighting against bullying of gay teens and those assumed to be gay teens. During his speech, he appeared to be confused or possibly inebriated. Someone in the audience videotaped him at his worst and loaded the video on the web. The station forced his resignation, and the anchor said that he was going to rehab. Sad ending to a bright future.

As a public relations consultant and media person, I often remind clients that any person in the public eye must behave as though they're in public 24/07. That includes television reporters, actors, politicians, CEO’s, clergy, educators and anyone who represents a company, product or service. Anyone with a cellphone can photograph and post someone else’s behavior in seconds. Any email can be forwarded instantly.

In days of old, people respected the boundaries between privacy and the public’s right to know. Very few Americans realised that FDR couldn’t stand unassisted. Few knew of actors’ dalliances or CEO’s indiscretions. People and the media were discrete.

Nonetheless, the person who videotaped and posted TV anchor Paul Mueller's downfall should be chastised. Whoever you are, you've ruined someone's future. At an event which emphasized the negative effects of bullying, you bullied someone via videotape, when they were down.

You're not much different than the person who taped and posted a video about his college roommate in a same-sex tryst. The roommate, Tyler Clemente, later committed suicide after the video made the rounds. You, Mr/Ms Videographer, wouldn't want your private issues made public.

Why My Lack of Postings

To be honest, I’ve been using the blog to post things about clients. I’ve been more visible on Facebook (as Mark G. Auerbach Public Relations), on LinkedIn ( as Mark G. Auerbach) and less-frequently from Twitter (@mgauerbach).

I want to write more about public relations trends along with personal thoughts; I will return to the bandwagon more frequently.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

David Pakman / BusinessWest's 40 Under 40

Client David Pakman was named one of BusinessWest's "40 Under 40", a collective of young movers and shakers in Western Massachusetts. We couldn't be more proud.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

David Pakman Profiled by ABC40 and MassLive

Client David Pakman was profiled by ABC40's Scott Coen on both TV and on MassLive.