We’re getting loads of information from the Mayor’s office today. As well we should be. It appears the mayor now has more media relations people than voiceofsandiego.org has reporters. That’s not saying much I guess, we’re not exactly The New York Times – but we’re feisty. And we’re a shot put compared to the local newspaper’s cannon, but it has some terrible aim sometimes.
Anyway, with his recent hires, Jerry Sanders indeed has five people dedicated to getting his news out. The previous mayor had only two but he wasn’t “strong” – he didn’t manage the city’s day-to-day affairs. And Dick Murphy was not necessarily a good model of how to handle the news cycle. He never allowed press people to speak for him. Bad idea. We don’t need to go into how better press relations and a bit more openness might have saved his reputation.
We have three reporters, and two editors, who also report – if you can call what I do reporting. With me off gallivanting to places like Moline, Ill. to learn the ins and outs of our new, cheaper, easier to run Web site, that means the mayor’s staff has us outnumbered editorially.
Sanders worked the media very well for several months. He knew that in order to keep the headlines the way he wanted them, he had to be continually out in front of the cameras and tape recorders. If the mayor holds a press conference, reporters feel obligated to go to it. If the mayor stays behind closed doors, reporters have to figure out their own stories. And maybe they have a little more time to talk to people who don’t like the mayor’s proposals.
Fred Sainz and the mayor’s news team may be good. But we could beat them in lawn bowling any day.