A letter home…

Let’s talk about public relations and media coverage. My friend Molly (one of the Smart Chicks I know) donated her time and shared some PR best practices to the Council on Volunteer Management this week in an effort to help some of my colleagues get their good work out to the community and it got me thinking…

There are so many great things in the world that don’t get any attention or coverage and then there are some folks getting undeserved publicity, for example, Heidi and Spencer. In my opinion they deserve no more attention whatsoever, and I hate to even put their names in here for the fear that someone might assume that I/we think they’re worth our time, but the reason I mention them is that I think they’re not only damaging their own reputations but the reputations of those people and things around them.

You know when someone particularly unsavory or unqualified, endorses something or someone that would otherwise be a good thing and even though you might think M&M’s are super-duper, to see Paris Hilton eating them would probably put me off those chocolate bits of heaven for quite a while, even though I know it is not the fault of the chocolate, the chocolate makers, or the chocolate scented company, yet it’s the one that will inevitably bear the brunt of the “accolades”.

As I’m sure you agree, they are garnering and distributing the wrong kind of publicity and soiling the reputations of the things they endorse

Recently Heidi, Spencer, and (I shudder to use her name) Miley Sirus have come out publicly with their love for the lord. As Miley accepted her most recent meaningless award, she said “I want to thank God – DUH!” and I wondered why you would follow any deity with the word “duh” and if she knew that she was doing him a disservice. Does she not know that she’s not exactly an effective spokeswoman? Has The Soup taught us nothing? I wish for everyone’s sake, that those three would stop speaking out so loudly because I think that if someone was on the fence about God, an endorsement from those three might just send them in a different direction altogether.

I’ve gotten off course, back to my point: Public Relations and Binghamton. Several months ago there was a tragic shooting in Binghamton, New York, which, in case you didn’t know, is where I’m from. Well, I’m technically from Johnson City, New York where my parent’s house is approximately 12 blocks from Binghamton and if you don’t see the connection, what I’m trying to say is that Heidi and Spencer are doing for God what the shooting seems to have done for Binghamton.

I don’t think that this shooting was the kind of press coverage that Binghamton deserves and I’m here to tell you some of the great things that the reporters missed during their visit. Even though I don’t live there anymore, I still think it’s a pretty terrific place and that it was a fabulous place to grown up and live in.

The first thing you should know about Binghamton is that when you go, you should pack your stretchy pants.
As far as I’m concerned, the best food in the world can be found in the Binghamton area, and I’m not just talking about my mom’s tuna-goop (which would blow your mind). The best pizza in the world is made from scratch in this very area. Nirchi’s, Tony’s, Nick’s, Brozetti’s, and Rossi’s pizza each give each other a run for their money and to be honest, put everyone else’s pizza to shame.
Candy Apples.
Did I mention that it’s the pirohi capital of the United States? I’m panicked with hunger just thinking about all of it!

People in Binghamton are really nice, for example:
The last time I was home, my mom picked up a crazy homeless lady.
I once ordered a pizza to the Binghamton airport and the airline folks gave me aluminum foil from their “employees only” break room so that I could wrap up the left-overs and take them with me.
While many churches struggle for membership and dwindling resources, the churches in the Binghamton area have banded together to meet local needs by creating and participating in CHOW, a interdenominational organization who’s aim is to stop hunger and is doing a terrific job meeting the increasing needs of this community.

Awesome things happen in Binghamton, for example:
At a B-Sens hockey game this winter Frank caught a puck.
If you read the newspaper in my parent’s living room, one of their cats will come to sit on your lap.
The local schools in this area have wonderful music and sports programs.

Binghamton has real weather and natural beauty.
While I’m not crazy about inclement weather, they have all of it – the good and the bad. The winter is so snowy that you can build a snow fort with your nieces and nephew that their dog Bones will try to pee on.
It’s a good time.
In the summer, the local gorges and Finger Lakes are picturesque.
Hiking trails, public parks, and carousels are all over the place.
Don’t even get me started about the local wineries!

So, you see, the shooting in Binghamton wasn’t the best example of what the Triple Cities area has to offer. I don’t think that one tragic occurrence should ever be the “claim to fame” for any area; Virginia Tech, Columbine, Jonesborough or any other place where one crazy person has made a place famous for all the wrong reasons. Perhaps on a slow news day, we can invite the national media back to these places to have a look-see and celebrate the good, albeit less controversy-filled, news available. Tom Foreman (who’s blog inspired this series) has apparently been by to check us out. Maybe he’ll take the suggestion to heart and mention it to his reporter friends… and remind them to pack their stretchy pants.

We’ve got quite a bit planned for the weekend – a movie, a concert, and maybe a trip to a theme park. You’re always welcome to tag along. Give me a ring if you’re free, I’ll make sure to leave my cell on.


One thought on “A letter home…”

  1. I’m sold on a visit! So, I’ve learned from you that I shouldn’t vacation in Wisconsin but how about Binghampton?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *