Thought Paper : Employer Interests and Media Interests in Conflict “Employer Interests and Media Interests in Conflict” This problem examines a difficulty that many public relations practitioners face in relations with the media. Ted Smith, media relations specialist, must consider his employer’s communication needs and desires as well as the needs of his long-standing friend, George Blake, the bureau chief at a major financial newspaper. Ted is the media relations specialist for ABC Company, which is faced with a crisis situation. The ABC Company vice president of operations demanded that the president make him a partner in the business, or he would leave. The president did not bow down to the vice president’s demands. The vice president resigned and defected to a company competitor. He took other key managers with him. The dilemma is this: When Ted’s friend George, the bureau chief, calls to find out the details of the shake-up at ABC Company, he fails to ask for details regarding the circumstances of the vice president of operations leaving. Ted only answers specific questions regarding the situation and does not volunteer any additional information. George’s newspaper is scooped by another paper with the full details of the situation, which strains Ted’s relationship with his friend. George claims he can never trust Ted again because Ted kept information from him. Ted claims his loyalty was to his employer first. These developments seriously damage the relationship with this major financial newspaper. Who was right: Ted the media relations specialist? George the bureau chief? Both? Neither? If you had been Ted, how would you have handled the situation so that your employer’s interests and your good media relationship with George were both protected at the time and for the future? What would you have done differently? How might Ted salvage the relationship now? – Choose the sample vocabulary and provide more details and example.
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