Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Update on the City’s pool. . . and why the City needs to seriously consider a Public Information Officer (PIO)*

An experienced PIO could have gotten this information out to the public in about ten (10) minutes last Thursday (December 22nd), here’s the latest about the pool I received this morning, Tuesday, Dec. 27th:

According to Juan Ruiz, the Leisure Services Director, a pool contractor is coming out at 8 a.m. tomorrow to repair the issue. The 12″ main return had burst. Ruiz said this is the kind of thing that shows the age of the pool. The pipe burst last Thursday and with the holidays the City had trouble getting the word out. He said there was a press release and that he would forward it to me.

Most PIO’s would probably discourage using this method to inform the public:

The official news from the City taped to the front door of the pool complex. If you’ve been having misgivings about the City’s ability to “control the message”, well, this is not a very hopeful ‘sign’.

I received a phone call last Saturday afternoon about the pool being closed and decided to drive over and check it out. Yes, the pool was closed until “further notice” without any explanation as to why. Was this news sent out on Twitter with a “#LakeWorth” hashtag. No. Any news about this on the City’s website? No.

If you recall, it was after terrible news reports and misreporting in social media, the City of Lake Worth hired a media specialist but that particular person and the City decided to part ways. Would it be time to reconsider another person to fill that role? A topic of discussion at the next Commission meeting on January 10th?

*Interestingly, on the topic, this press release is from the City of West Palm Beach yesterday (Monday, 12/26).