Diary: Gag order on city makes big noise

Yvonne Jenkins is living proof that you don’t have to hold a PR degree to grasp the basic principals of media relations - even if you learn them the hard way.

Yvonne Jenkins is living proof that you don’t have to hold a PR degree to grasp the basic principals of media relations - even if you learn them the hard way.

Yvonne Jenkins is living proof that you don’t have to hold a PR

degree to grasp the basic principals of media relations - even if you

learn them the hard way.



Jenkins is the mayor of Argyle, TX. Last year, some folks got up in arms

after the city fired a popular police chief. To end the bickering,

Argyle approved a policy prohibiting staff from making ’derogatory or

disparaging comments about another employee, public official or the

city ... except as permitted by the First Amendment.’



Within a few weeks, however, news of the resolution made its way to the

Denton Record-Chronicle and from there to the national wires. When the

phones started ringing, Jenkins talked to everyone who called. She

admitted the city might have made a mistake, and the council rescinded

the policy.



Jenkins turned down only one interview invitation: ’Bryant Gumbel wanted

me to show up in Dallas at about 7 am,’ she said. ’I told them I didn’t

do Dallas.’



In the end, Jenkins felt she learned a lot about media relations. ’I

didn’t duck and run,’ she said. Maybe she can give the FBI a few

pointers on how to deal with negative press.



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