Monday, July 14, 2008

Write Your Own Ending: Part 1

Remember these? Well, in the same tradition as the Choose Your Own Adventure series, I'm going to start a series of posts that explore the topics normally covered by the Relatively Journalizing blog. Those topics, of course, are public relations, journalism, new media and Web 2.0, techie/geek news, and more! Here's the catch: I'm going to write part of the post, and you get to finish it by posting your ending in the comments section! Happy blogging...

The Public Relations Predicament

It was summertime. As the young public relations practitioner, fresh out of college, sat on the riverbank, watching the foliage around him blow in the fresh, crisp breeze, he couldn't help but think how magnificent and pristine the river looked. The Graystone River seemed to dance before his very eyes as it curved around the bends in the distance, and it seemed to whisper comforting words in his ear as the small rapids sloshed mere feet in front of him. This is the life, he thought, spending the weekend on the river, enjoying nature the way I used to back home.

It would likely be the last time the young man would absorb the glamor of the river at this spot.

CBlu, a public relations firm in Middlestate, N.C., and where our protagonist had landed his first job, recently acquired a car parts manufacturing plant as one of its clients. Unfortunately for anyone who frequented the area of the river where our friend went to relax, the plant was looking to expand its operations with another building and dump site by the river. Soon, about five acres along the riverbank would be home to a new manufacturing building and an area that will be used for dumping waste product from the building.

The Environmental Protection Agency and other organizations have determined that the waste product being dumped on the riverbank is not a harmful substance, so the company has made no efforts to move the dump site or use a protective liner. A dirt berm has been put in place, and the company hopes to sell the dump site to be used for commercial development once the area is filled and the waste product is compacted level with the surrounding area. However, local environmental groups have scientists from around the state who study the waste product. They have determined it contains at least five substances that have been known to be harmful in the past, including arsenic.

Our young PR practitioner has just been assigned to deal with this account. The community seems split 50/50 on being happy about the project. Construction of the site is already underway. Calls are coming in from both sides all day long. You are the PR practitioner... what do you do?

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