Found Object - Inside the PR machine
Below are excerpts from an e-mail sent March 24 to the heads of the Atlanta Botanical Garden, the Piedmont Park Conservancy, and the Edison Group (see "Pro-parking deck 'grassroots' group has links to Botanical Garden") in response to last week's CL cover story, "Welcome to Piedmont Parking Deck." The e-mail was penned by Angelo Fuster, who was hired by the conservancy to handle public relations; it was leaked to CL by an anonymous source.
I think the article was a terrible mishmash of fact and opinion. It hurts some - as any negative publicity will - but because it is Creative Loafing, the impact is not that significant. Half the people who pick up the Loaf will not read it at all and the other half is the proverbial choir. But yes, we have to respond. Late last night I wrote a rather strong and caustic personal note to [CL staff writer] Michael Wall which I have not sent yet, waiting to read it again after I cool off.
Here and there, where he actually did reporting, we came off OK. But the invective, the colorful and prejudicial language and the clearly negative point of view that were expressed throughout the piece overwhelmed any facts. Even when he put out the positives about the garage, he did it quoting Jeff [Dickerson, a hired consultant with the Atlanta Botanical Garden], which is a deliberate and weaker way to convey facts by attributing them to an interested party. That was the complete opposite of what he did with the negatives, which were conveyed in what is usually described as the voice of God.
I called [CL Editor] Ken Edelstein this morning and told his voicemail how strongly I feel about the essential unfairness of this article and that a response is coming. Hang in there, and don't let this article turn your blue blood purple.