Laura Walcher

Walcher is principal public relations counsel to JWalcher Communications.

Guest Commentary

Until last month, I would have bet that Target would be on the short list of trustworthy companies. Target -- where the bargains abound, quality and product diversity is deemed good to superior, and customer service is supreme.

A Request for Proposal (RFP) arrives and your immediate thought is a positive one: new business, creative challenge, interesting project, new colleagues, and … money-money-money!

“Way back in ’07, I noted the many noteworthy apologists of the time: Don Imus, Michael Richards, Shinzo Abe (Japanese prime minister), Paris Hilton, Paul Wolfowitz, Mel Gibson, George Allen, Rosie O’Donnell. To offset personal depression, I’d rejected the idea of an annual review; yet, given our current qualifiers, I’ve given in. It’s time.

Item: San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau changes its name to San Diego Tourism Authority.

In my long years in public relations, I’ve scrambled to meet various highly enticing RFP (request for proposal) deadlines, with which I’ve had serious and impressive experience and skills.

The situation: By snail mail, a plain, white business-sized envelope arrives. There’s only a return street address — no company, no name. Inside is a plain, white tri-fold, upon which is typed, ”New website” and a website address revealing the company name. Nothing more.

Don't surprise anyone, anytime, anyhow, for any reason.

In this era of WikiLeaks, everyone's a "journalist" -- journalistic ethics and search for the truth, often be damned. And, unlike previous decades, our 24/7 news cycle has decreased our power to issue and control our company's or organization's message.

Item: San Diego's Wild Animal Park changes its name to "The San Diego Zoo Safari Park" Good move? No.

If you've been under a rock for the past few months, as BP's escaped oil gushes into the Gulf of Mexico and beyond, trashing business, tourism and not the least, countless birds and fish, you won't know about Tony Hayward, who, quote-by-quote, deepens the hole in which his company is drowning.

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