Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Spokespeople Poll

You know 'em, you see 'em all the time (except on Fox12) or read their take on crime, transportation, etc. Who is the best, and who is the worst?

A partial list:

Brian Schmautz at Portland Police, Marc Galloway at Multnomah County Sheriff, Sandy James at Washington County Sheriff, Mary Volm various Portland City things, John Doussard (Mayor Potter's mouthpiece), Mary Fetsch at Tri-Met, Allan Oswalt at Portland Fire (miss you Neal), Dave Thomson at ODOT, Karen Eubanks at Tualatin Fire & Rescue among others.

Who is the most responsive and who makes you crazy (viewers and readers weigh in too)?

48 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe you forgot Lew Frederick from PPS. I'm still waiting on a callback from him on Dr. Vicki firing Little Stevie G.

On the plus side, the Portland cops are very good at getting back -- minutes -- even on the weekend. I used to love schmoozing with Derrick on the weekends... and then there's CW... oh, baby!

Maybe not the best flack, but the most fun by a country mile.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005 5:48:00 PM  
Blogger Native Portlander said...

I have always enjoyed Mary Volm's no-nonsense approach when she was with Transportation. You always felt like it would not be a stretch for her to help chain-up those rigs or man the sanders in the snowstorms. I look forward to hearing from her again in whatever her position with the Mayor's office.

Probably my choice for most questionable spokesperson would be C.W. Jenson - you were never sure if was going to tell you the news or BE the news!!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005 5:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mark Hyde, sadly (for us) retired from the Beaverton PD was among the best. Easy to talk to and easy to reach.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005 6:36:00 PM  
Anonymous John Ray said...

My favorite of all time was Derrick Foxworth. He was honest, he wasn't all that interested in being the on-camera guy, and when he was pissed, he told you straight - from his perspective, not doing the chief's dirty work. Once when Sandy James helped catch a killer on the loose, he made sure we understood what our role was and what the police's was. He was followed by CW and then the worst one ever, who, happily I forgot his name when he served under Kroeker.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005 6:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right on, Tri-Met Mary! As a former KGW-TV producer, she understands deadlines and always plays it straight. Plus, one of the nicest people in town.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005 6:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hands down the worst in my opinion is Mary Volm. Far too touchy....thinks every tough question about the transportation department is an attack on her.

Hands down the best? Schmautz...a great guy, always calls back quickly and will always tell you the good stuff off the record.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005 7:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hands down the worst in my opinion is Mary Volm. Far too touchy....thinks every tough question is an attack on her.

Hands down the best? Schmautz...a great guy, always calls back quickly and will always tell you the good stuff off the record.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005 7:10:00 PM  
Anonymous been there, done that said...

Brian Schmautz and Mark Hyde (retired) are/were the best police PIOs in the business. Mary Volm (city), Mary Fetch (tri-met), and Dave Thompson (odot) are all terrific! All have a TV background and understand the meaning of being "on deadline". Sandy James is a very nice person...but she's completely over her head when it comes to being a PIO.

You didn't mention any of the hospital media folks. On the list of the best: Marcia Williams at Providence Portland, Kate Chester and Liz Archer at Vincent. The worst: the entire media relations department at Legacy Hospitals.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005 7:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The best PIO? What about Joel Manley from Clackamas County?! Too bad they decided that they didn't need him in that position. He was/is the best in my opinion.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005 10:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best: Jaime Karn (Clackamas Fire), Manley, Schmautz, (mentioned above) & Cristine Gregoire's office (really) and Braibish & Strong at Or. National Guard: All call back FAST! Peter Frenzen at Mount St. Helens has the patience of Job; he never ever ever sighs, sneers or snorts at being asked the very same question for the 11 millionth time.

Most Annoying: Army Corps of Engineers, Kulongoski's office, (both automatically react defensively) and Tom Knappenberger at Gifford Pinchot Forest (loves to blame problems on the media; that's rich for a former reporter.) Ditto on Legacy. Slow and unresponsive.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005 10:35:00 PM  
Blogger lisaloving said...

I remember when Mary Volm called the police on Jeff Brady at OPB news, during the opening of the Portland Streetcar -- NOT a great PR move on her part. Volm had used profanities at a 12-year-old member of a group called Sisters in Action (who was, at the time, I believe trying to get signatures on a petition to force Tri-Met to lower the cost of bus passes for middle- and high-school students, which Tri-Met eventually did; I gather Mary did not wish to sign the petition). I think maybe Jeff heard the exchange himself, and actually aired a story about it, but I can't remember how it played out. Jeff is now an NPR correspondent in Colorado.

I loved Lew Frederick because he made a special effort to work within my deadlines -- unlike other spokesmodels. FYI, Lew hasn't been a spokesperson with the schools in a long time, at least a year. Didn't WW do something on that?

Best spokesperson: The Schmautz, all the way. He calls back even when it's inconvenient, even when he knows the hotseat is warmed up and waiting. He has integrity, he makes the extra effort. Plus, sometimes he wears a weird cowboy necktie.

Thursday, June 09, 2005 7:17:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's not forget to send out best wishes to former ClackCo Police PIO Damon Coates... a prince among PIOs. Good luck Damon and my best to your wonderful family. You sacrificed so much for the people, and that troubled kid. God Bless You.

Thursday, June 09, 2005 9:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Favorite PIO-types: Heesacker forever. Darrel Buttice, when he flacked for the airport. Roy Kindrick, when he was PIO for the Portland Police. Lew Frederick, before they started screwing with him. Mary Fetsch, definitely. Very outspoken. Heard her drop an F bomb on a Chamber of Commerce panel discussion. Mary Volm, during a storm; otherwise, not so much.

Most promising PR change: Mike Beard, now working for Diane Linn. Candid and helpful as ever.

Not so much: Bud Bunce. Beth Ann Steele. Anybody who doesn't understand or respect what we do.

Thursday, June 09, 2005 10:22:00 AM  
Anonymous John Erickson said...

Dittoes to the words on Damon Coates. Outstanding PIO, best ever, and even better human being.

Thursday, June 09, 2005 10:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beth Ann Steele dreamed about being a G Gal since she was a kid, so you'd think she'd put alittle more effort into her job, but with that boss of hers furiously working his way down the FBI ladder, I am not really suprised.

Those are the same FBI agents who told a judge Brandon Mayfield's kids Spanish homework was Al Qaeda recruiting material.

So, does anyone here really expect the truth from ol B.A. and the FBI? Ever?

Thursday, June 09, 2005 10:46:00 AM  
Anonymous dotyoureyes said...

Beth Ann is definitely the worst. Impossible to reach when called, then annoyed when we don't cover what she wants us to.

Joel Manley was one of the best -- unfortunately his replacement is off to a very rocky start. Got too exhausted on the first day and had to do a handoff. Reporters are already grumbling that she's going to be a repeat of Cheryl's short stint at PPS before they brought back Brian.

The PR folks at OHSU are always helpful when you're doing a research/medical story, and seem to be as helpful as they can be under HIPAA when trying to reach victims and families.

Thursday, June 09, 2005 11:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I liked this blog until this post. Honestly- who even cares?

Thursday, June 09, 2005 12:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Sarah Bott said...

Don't say anything mean about me--you guys know how sensitive I am :)

Thursday, June 09, 2005 12:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who cares? How about the people who have to work these individuals. Plus, it's a nice insight to OUR tax dollars in many cases. I would like to know that the person in charge of disseminating information for the police/FBI/school district etc. are actually doing their respective jobs.

Thursday, June 09, 2005 12:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How is Damon doing, anyway?

Thursday, June 09, 2005 12:55:00 PM  
Blogger PDXMediaWatcher said...

12:41 - What's next on your agenda for this blog. One subject and you're gone, huh?

Thursday, June 09, 2005 1:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Lise Harwin said...

I'm so disappointed to read the comments posted about Legacy's PR team. I can only speak for myself, but I make a huge effort to respond to reporters quickly and accomodate as many requests as I can, given the constraints of HIPAA. When I can't make something happen, I try to be upfront and honest about it and cross my fingers that things will work better the next time.

In any case, I'm hoping you're not tarring all of the Legacy PR staff with the same brush. And I'd hope that if anyone had that big of a problem, they'd take it up with me or even our boss.

Thursday, June 09, 2005 1:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike Shults has made the Multco Sheriff's office much more available than ever before. I imagine Sheriff Guisto's helped with that too. Still though... Mike has never said no to a request.

On the other side of the spectrum is Sandy James. For someone who reported for longer than I have been on this planet... it's amazing how she is constantly puzzled by our requests.

Neil and Schmautz are both legendary... but they can be made angry.

Manley rocks. He should be Sheriff in '08.

Thursday, June 09, 2005 1:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen to that Sandy James comment.

The queen of sending out press releases at 4:45 pm, then getting pissy when you call her for an interview at 5:00.

Cause ---> Effect. Still working on that with her.

Thursday, June 09, 2005 1:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of the city, looks like they are working on their own blog:

www.behindportlandia.blogspot.com

Thursday, June 09, 2005 1:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vote #3 for Manley and Shults for that matter. Two class acts.. professional and good at what they do. And I'm not sure their Sheriffs realize how good those guys make their departments look.

Thursday, June 09, 2005 3:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gene Evans at the Oregon Department of Education does a great job

Thursday, June 09, 2005 3:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, Gene is good. But the governor's people have been slipping ever since Mary Ellen Glynn left to have her baby. Has anyone *ever* gotten a timely call back from Holly Armstrong?

Thursday, June 09, 2005 3:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Bill Cooper said...

I'm not in the day to day media wars anymore...but I wanted to echo the good thoughts about Damon Coats. When he was pulling PIO duties he was without equal! My thoughts and prayers continue to be with Damon and his family.

Overall I think the PIO types in Portland are pretty good (some, of course, are better than others). Have we all had problems? Of course we have. Without naming names, we all know the small handful of PIOs who are "less than perfect". I have heard horror stories from media friends in other cities. Be thankful we have as many good, responsive spokespeople as we do!

Thursday, June 09, 2005 4:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

She's not a spokesperson in the normal sense of the word, but the best p.r. rep I've ever encountered here in Portland is Lisa Lepine. She reps The Bite of Oregon, bands and artists.
She gives you everything you need, and always gives you an idea you may not have thought of.
Hughley called her Lisa Lepine, Promotion Queen, and she really is.

Thursday, June 09, 2005 8:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike Shults goes way out of his way for us, to make a story sing.
Sandy works her tail off, but has way too much on her plate.
Schmautz is always there for us, and I can't wait for a ride along with Manley, does he drive fast?
but the hospitals people? Great if you are promoting them and their research, but definitely roadblockers when it comes to anything else. I miss Claudia Brown.r

Thursday, June 09, 2005 9:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We can often expect a response from police bureaus and sheriff's departments like Schmautz, James, and Shults. Kudos to them. When it comes to the state, like Richter-Taylor & Armstrong @ the Gov's office or Neely @ the AG's office, it's like flipping a coin whether they'll answer their phone or return a call.

As for ol' Bud @ the Archdiocese? Zzzzzzzzzzz

Thursday, June 09, 2005 9:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Crime, crime, crime. Does anybody wonder why broadcast news is held in such low esteem? I don't see any comments about business spokespeople, or security analysts, or think tank types or anybody who can talk about much more than the spatter of the day.

Thursday, June 09, 2005 10:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Top five. Based on their sense of humor, responsiveness, reliability, and ability to take their job seriously but not themselves or their bosses:
1. Tim Birr, formerly of Tualatin Valley Fire. No flak has ever had a better understanding of a reporter's job.
2. Mike Rouches, old Hillsboro PD flak.
3. Mark Hyde, formerly of Beaverton PD.
4. Karen Eubanks, of TVFR.
5. Mary Fetsch of TriMet.

Thursday, June 09, 2005 11:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, we've found Neely at the AG's office to be helpful and responsive. He's not a law school grad, but he seems to know his stuff. Another good one at the Capital is Elections Director John Lindback, in the Secretary of State's office. He was reachable and thoughtful during the presidential election season. And how about Basic Rights Oregon's Rebekah Kassell? She was organized and focused during the height of the gay marriage story. On the other side, we couldn't always say the same for Tim Nashif with Oregon Family Council.

Friday, June 10, 2005 8:09:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know if anyone has tried to do a story with the RMLS (local real estate people--they keep track of home sale prices, time on market, and trends), but they seemed baffled when I looked for someone to interview. Completely useless. So the next time I was assigned a similar story, requiring a big picture, I contacted the Coldwell Banker/Barbara Sue Seal media contact person on their web site, and in ten minutes I had an expert who was absolutely perfect.

Friday, June 10, 2005 5:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank goodness someone tagged the Legacy people. My newspaper experience with them exposed them as inefficient, ineffectual, inconsistent and, sometimes, incomprehensible. It was a Keystone Kops experience. Legacy needs to fire the bunch and start over. A bureaucratic bunch that seems to think the public serves them, rather than the other way around. Maybe they could find a job with the state.

Friday, June 10, 2005 6:40:00 PM  
Blogger Kevin Rau said...

Portland, Portland, Portland....oh yah....and TVFR....

I'm pretty sure I can speak for the PIO's in the Salem and Marion County area that we appreciate what coverage we get from the Portland area media. You're all giving the portland area PIO's lots-o-love on this blog but no mention of little ol us.

[he thinks to himself: Self! (thats what I call myelf) I should be careful what I ask for.. :-) ]

Tuesday, June 14, 2005 11:19:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, okay, mucho thanks to Hastings at OSP. Let's not forget those funny press releases from Ozeroff at Gresham Police. Wish we had more of those sent to us. He's funny. Oswalt from Portland Fire is pretty good on responding and the same goes to the gang at NWCC.

The PR people at OHSU are willing to do cart wheels, and Elliott Eki at AAA is so cool. He has that voice that reminds me of "smooooooth jaaaazzzz."

Tuesday, June 14, 2005 3:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course OHSU will do "cart wheels". That's their job to promote the place. Hey what about "PIOs" from the Oregon legislature. Who's tops and who's not? I've noticed Sen. Walker is pretty good at calling back. I don't think Minnis likes us much.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005 4:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm really surprized Jamie Karn is missing from all of these posts-- he ranks up there with Neal Heesacker as one of the all-time great fire PIO's!

Saturday, June 18, 2005 4:37:00 PM  
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