CINCINNATI: Scarred by mob violence and racial unrest stemming from
the April 10 shooting of a black man by a city police officer,
Cincinnati is looking for ways to help refurbish its image.
For starters, the city's police department is considering hiring a PR
firm to help it with future media relations and image-building
It has been heavily criticized for the recent shooting, which sparked a
series of riots and is the latest in a string of 15 similar cases dating
back to 1995.
The department held press conferences twice a day during the riots. 'It
was just a learning experience for us,' said Lt. Ray Ruberg, public
information officer. 'Now we want to see if there are things we could do
better' in dealing with media.
The mayor's office is forming a commission of local business and civic
leaders to address racial issues underlying the incident. Charlotte
Otto, global external relations officer for Proctor & Gamble, one of
Cincinnati's leading employers, met with city officials early last week
to discuss involvement in the commission. P&G chairman John Pepper is
expected to be tapped to head the group.
The city manager's office plans to reach out to area PR experts for
advice on what it should do to help Cincinnati's image in the business
'We will work with corporations and PR departments throughout the
region,' said Gina Ruffin Moore, communications officer.