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January 5, 2011
By Contrast, Proactive in the Snow
We wrote the other day of how New York's Mayor Michael Bloomberg botched his early response to the Christmas blizzard. By contrast, across the Hudson Newark's Mayor Corey Booker covered himself with glory with his other-focused, imaginative response to the storm, including Twitter communications. This is a great example of the difference that can occur when PR is practiced with empathy, involvement, and an imaginative awareness of what's actually occurring among the citizenry. (Of course, Booker is younger too.)

Here's a summary a summary of Booker's proactive approach from The Memphis Daily News:

"Booker's hands-on management post-storm earned him hero status. He established a plan for digging out and resuming city services. Then, he transformed his more than 1 million Twitter followers into an emergency dispatch channel and hit the streets. He literally dug people out of snow banks, checked on the elderly, and even helped deliver a baby.

"Here are a couple of his tweets:

"I'm patrolling with my shovel helping dig out. Let me know if any seniors or disabled need help."

"Responding to a distress call – woman in labor. EMS on the way but I have a feeling my team will beat them there."

"Booker demonstrated positive leadership, communicated early and often, and jumped in to help, making him a stellar PR Pro."

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Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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