Friday, June 24, 2016


Anonymous wrote:

"PR hire-- may be new topic--
Prior to 2006, the district (not the board) took care of its own PR--schools were encouraged to have a web site and showcase the positive. As a district, the spokesperson for the district made sure the media got the good news. 
With 2006 the era of consultants came in-- and the goal became to be "like MacDonalds" ( told this by a PR person at the board) this is when we got the "Pittsburgh_________" branding- costly and by most people's thinking, kinda dumb.
Yes, they need to put a positive spin on the superintendent debate. But the massaging of the data to make things look good, the branding of schools with positive PR aren't new ideas. Again hiring consultants to "manage the story"-- and Ira did the hiring therefore, Ira's decision to bring in the investigator will look like a grand idea. Far far from education in Pittsburgh "


Questioner said...

There was a definite change around 2006, from information being communicated in an honest and straightforward way to an era of spin. It was at its worst with Lisa Fischetti- when PR became so paramount that the PR actually became "chief of staff," wasn't it?

Anonymous said...

Questioner, your comments are a distraction from the real story which is the hire/fire of Dr. Hamlet.

With all of the competing interests and pressure brought to bear on the current issue , communications is critical.

Questioner said...


Anonymous said...

Perhaps the first order of business should be to come up with new branding and find a new catch phrase to replace "We Are PPS." Pretty sure that was already in use before PPS started using it. In the past decade the branding became more important than the product.

Questioner said...

True about branding- it was a lot easier to brand a school or program a success than actually make it a success.

If you watch cable TV you will have "We are Farmers! (DA da DA da DA DA DA) drilled into your head.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if A+ Schools carefully checked all the stats quoted in this Trib article? Note that sometimes they use "about" when quoting a statistic.

Questioner said...

The article says the percentage of students eligible for the Pittsburgh Promise increased to 65%... from what percentage? Over what period of time?

It all seems designed to present a positive picture without any real evidence.

Questioner said...

Sometimes stats are technically correct, but the papers close their eyes to obvious issues.

For example, the increase in graduation rates from 68% - 74%:

The paper should at least note that it is selecting the 5 year not the 4 year graduation rate.

More important, this increase took place between the 2010-2011 school year (68% rate) and the 2011-2012 school year (74% rate), then stayed flat. She did wave a magic wand! Wouldn't a top notch paper ask why? Could it have had something to do with the no zero grade policy that was put in place around 2010?