We don't normally track political PR, but if you've been hearing about the doings in Harrisburg, Pa., the state capital, you've got to be wondering how long really bad PR can be weathered. Embattled Mayor Linda Thompson is providing a demonstration. A week ago she gave it right back to protestors with defiant gestures from her City Hall office window.
After little more than a year in office, Thompson, the former president of Harrisburg's City Council, has prompted a succession of staffers to resign, missed deadlines on municipal business, seemed unable to cope with a huge debt on the city's incinerator (which was looming even as she campaigned), and has thumbed her nose at critics. Now The Patriot-News, central Pennsylvania's daily newspaper, and public TV station WITF have sponsored a poll showing that 70 percent of the 400 Harrisburg voters questioned think the mayor should resign.
“I don’t recall any poll that I’ve done where someone had a weaker job performance...and it clearly indicates a disconnect between the voters and the mayor,” said G. Terry Madonna, the poll’s director.
Indeed so, but the mayor doesn't seem bothered by all the unflattering attention. Follow this one, if you're interested in thick-skinned panache, at the Patrtiot-News website, pennlive.com. Or at Harrisburg's own website.
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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