This newspaper is quick to criticize (too quick, many would say) when public bodies are less than candid so it's only fair we acknowledge when institutions are straightforward.
Whenever we're asked for advice on relations with the media in a crisis situation we usually counsel those responsible for public relations to accurately describe the situation, fess up to any mistakes and tell the public what's being done to correct the problem.
Central Lakes College officials recently discovered asbestos when the college updated its boiler system. Although the asbestos eventually was found to have been confined to the boiler room, they wisely relocated the Business and Industry Center on a temporary basis.
The CLC administrators could have said nothing and hoped that the newspaper never got wind of the problem or they could have misinformed the public with information that wasn't true.
Instead, the college let the Dispatch know about the problem in a timely fashion and then followed up with more information when the situation was stabilized enough for the Business and Industry Center to return to its normal location.
When newsmakers are straightforward about their problems it has a chilling effect on the creation of rumors, that very often are worse the actual situation.
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