Tuesday, January 17, 2006

A Good PIO ... And a Steelers Fan, Too ...

More than once, here, in my little corner of the blogosphere, I've made some passing remark about Public Information Officers, or PIO's ... and the remarks haven't always been complimentary ...

Today, though, they are ...

Many of the people who are PIO's in the West Texas region were, at one time, journalists ... working the other side of the microphone, as it were ... and the same is true of one of the newer PIO's in West Texas ... Mike Adkins, spokesman for the Ector County Independent School District and former Sports Director at the station where I work ... KWES-TV, NewsWest 9 ...

I mention Mike because he has, over the last few weeks, had a particularly tough job to do ... and I think he's done pretty well at it.

It would be one of the easiest jobs in the world, if all you had to do was highlight positive and outstanding achievements by students, teachers, administrators, volunteers and so on and so forth ...

But that's only part of the news one comes across when covering a large and diverse school district such as Odessa's ... there are the other stories, too - every bit as outstanding, but not-at-all positive - that a good PIO should be ready, willing and able to address, fully and frankly ...

... like fears that a Bible-based curriculum that has attracted plenty of attention and debate, may also attract some lawsuits ...

... like a top school district police official who finds himself the subject of an investigation ...

... like allegations that changes to a health/sex-ed curriculum, that would encourage an improved physical and moral climate, may also place some students at-risk ...

Mike has addressed all of this and more, and he's done it in a manner that encourages questions-and-answers, discussion of the issues, and solutions to problems. I experienced this, first-hand, when I called him about viewers' allegations that an ECISD school board member presumed to run Odessa's public school system, while the board member's children attended private school in another community ... as it turned out, no story emerged from those allegations ... but, that didn't lessen my appreciation for the thoroughness and openness with which Mike answered my questions ...

And, I'd like to point out that a good PIO not only makes my job easier ... a good PIO also makes our community better, more open ... making us more informed and more inclined to participate ...

And if that weren't enough ... Mike's also a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers !!!!!

2 comments:

Eric said...

I've always been impressed by Mike, although I've never met him. He always came across as sincere, intelligent and caring, and you've confirmed that my perception closely tracks reality.

I can even forgive him for being a Steelers fan. ;-)

Jeff said...

Eric, your forgiveness is greatly appreciated ... I'm putting a bright yellow towel in the mail, for you, right now ... you can use it to whip on any Seahawks you come across ... but, NOT that sharpshinned hawk in your back yard ... that one is a thing of beauty