Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Call it Fascination
Yesterday, I removed a story from the corporate Web site. I was informed that it was not for public consumption. After all, you don't always want people to know about your business. That would be gossip.

But what I found puzzling in my role as Web information dispenser, was why people were not supposed to know about this event. It was scheduled to occur along a planned route in more than 10 cities at carefully timed intervals where a great flurry of politicians would be present to congratulate each other and their aides in making a commitment to a new kind of public transportation, complete with Dixie Land Band and the passing out of souvenirs and trophies.

The graphics department also had been asked to develop a piece that by the time it went to press with its blessings from staff, became more of a booklet than an invitation.

So maybe you can see where I made the mistake of assuming that the public would want to know about this happening. Who else, if not they, were the politicians actually going to address?

If I were cynical, of course I'd suggest that politicians only talk to people when they are due to be re-elected, but I'm not (that) cynical.

However, it does seems odd that the agency is going out of its way to create events at no small expense with cries of "hire a consultant," precisely to allow our representatives not talk to people.

Maybe this concerns me a bit more because such shredded information is getting members of the public in these pre-recall election days about California and just about everything else.

Having said that, my dilemma was such: what do you do if you throw a big party and don't want anyone else to come?

Call it a media event. Tell the Web master to delete it from the news box.

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