Not everyone suffers from PR nightmares
MY WIFE watches all of those "makeover" shows. The house makeover. The wardrobe makeover (those people are so mean!).
Far too much of this stuff seeps into my brain against my will. Next thing you know you start seeing these possibilities everywhere.
And so it occurred to me. The UH athletic department needs a public-relations makeover.
The idea was simple. Talk to some of the best PR people in town, invite them to do their best "What Not To Wear" thing, and there it is. PR makeover. Problem solved.
Now, don't get me wrong. UH has PR problems in part because it has actual problems. The scheduling thing -- there's just no spinning that. You could argue that Rainbow basketball has essentially lost a year of recruiting because UH took far too long looking for a coach only to hire a guy who was already there.
Hey, these things happen.
But it's the PR part that seems to make it worse. If things had been handled differently, if the right thing had been said here or there, well -- well, it wouldn't be all better. But it would have been a little better. It would have been better than this.
So let's go to our panel. Wait, hold on. Kitty Lagareta of Communications-Pacific is a regent, so she's out. McNeil Wilson Communications has a spouse at UH, it would be a conflict, David McNeil said.
Al Hoffman of Hoffman Communications recently gave a presentation on "The Opportunity of Crisis" ("Houston, we have an opportunity"). He would be perfect. But I couldn't track him down.
Then, Ruth Limtiaco of The Limtiaco Co. She's outstanding in her field, helpful, accessible, wonderful, no conflict of interest (whew!) -- just one thing. She doesn't follow sports.
No problem, I say. We want her PR knowledge, not her sports expertise.
But after a minute it becomes apparent that Limtiaco wasn't kidding. I mean, she knows that UH does have an athletic program, but beyond that ...
The schedule? (Why? What about it?) The quarterback? (Who?)
All of these earth-shattering, news-dominating recent events, she hadn't heard of any of it.
And it was ... kind of nice, actually.
It was a revelation.
And so maybe, in the end, I'm the one to learn something in this exercise. All of this stuff we're so sure is a catastrophe, well, there are people out there -- probably a lot of people, probably more people than we know -- who don't even give this stuff a second thought. Good people. Smart people. Happy people.
All of this stuff we're calling a crisis, well, maybe it isn't. Not really. At least it isn't to probably more people than we even care to admit. Yes, there are lots of people out there who are all worked up. But probably at least as many are blissfully unaware. Don't know. Don't care.