In a move that really shows the PRSA does have teeth, the Dallas chapter of the organization as not only condemned unethical behavior, but banned ex-newsman Mike Snyder for life. And in so doing, the local chapter sheds light on the darker side of bad PR practice.
Snyder, who admittedly created fake Facebook accounts while working as a consultant for Dallas police-fire pension lawyers, in a politically charged Museum Tower affair. According to PRSA Dallas, their investigation turned up instances where those “fake” Facebook accounts were used to “flame” or otherwise attack opponents of the Dallas Police and Fire Pension System officials and Museum Tower end of a community argument there. To quote from the official statement:
“In the strongest terms possible the Public Relations Society of America, Dallas Chapter repudiates the actions of someone claiming to practice public relations. Re: Museum Tower Skullduggery – ex-newsman Mike Snyder, who admits to creating fake social media accounts, does not represent the PRSA Dallas chapter. He is not a member, never has been a member and never will be a member.” – Rand LaVonn, President PRSA Dallas –
PRSA Dallas goes on in their statement to point out the 300 plus legitimate members there, and those PR pros’ honest and accurate communications practices. They also thank Dallas Morning News reporters Steve Thompson and Gary Jacobson for those reporters’ efforts in discovering the facts of the so-called Museum Tower-Nasher Sculpture Center PR fight. According to Dallas Morning News, at least one fake Facebook profile was central to a more than $1 million legal and public relations campaign waged by the Dallas Police and Fire Pension System.
As for the police pension board members, and the Dallas Police and Fire Pension System’s outside legal team at Gary Lawson of Strasburger & Price, the stance is “no foreknowledge” of any pf Snyder’s so-called “Guerrilla PR tactics”, this Dallas News report resounds with “failed to comment” notes from city officials involved with DPFP.org. City council members such as pension trustee Jerry Allen declined any type of comment. Meanwhile, Gary Lawson of Gary Lawson Strasburger & Price, denied any knowledge of Snyder’s minute social media machinations, but defended the overall PR effort on the part of his clients as, “as essential to preparing for a possible jury trial on the dispute with the Nasher.”
Finally, the whole battle is over one of the most interesting architectural-urban planning issues we ever came across. The glass facade of the high-rise Museum Tower actually reflects “aesthetically damaging” sunlight into through the sculpture gallery’s natural lighting structure. In effect, gallery exhibits are incorrectly illuminated. The court case to come, and the monies or other causation to be gleaned, having obviously “illuminated” now the bad side of PR.
The above video we found is the Museum Tower’s proposed fix for the Nasher Sculpture Center glare situation. Interestingly, other videos from Dallas show glare from the building at various times of the day. Given that “light” is at the center of this story, one has to wonder if the chicken came before the egg? Should Nasher have considered future “mirror” building efforts before designing their building a decade ago?