What CMS is getting out of hiring a PR firm

What CMS is getting out of hiring a PR firm

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Charlotte Mecklenburg School District (CMS) school board has hired a public relations firm for $30,000 to help with damage control after the board suspended Superintendent Dr. Clayton Wilcox.

We are told the firm assisted with several items including statements read by board members.

By George Communications owner Amy George has helped many companies get out of a crisis or an issue. She doesn’t want to address CMS’ superintendent situation but says there is a reason why companies turn to PR firms.

“First of all they want to protect and defend their reputation,” George said. “Either preemptively or during a crisis.”

CMS has used a PR firm before when former CMS Superintendent Dr. Heath Morrison suddenly resigned back in 2014.

CMS has about 150,000 students, tens of thousands of parents, many community partners, and the district is looked up to by many across the nation.

George believes with all this on the line, a PR firm can help CMS survive the superintendent crisis.

“Organizations need help communicating effectively with all of their constituencies during a crisis,” George said. “And sometimes you need that outside perspective to help you tell your story and get your message out.”

Some were concerned with the superintendent getting suspended - the district may be unable to attract top talent. CMS leaders say teachers still want to come to the district.

Potential teachers say they are more concerned about making a difference and impacting student’s lives than concerned about the district’s top educator.

Terri Hughes showed up at CMS’ teacher job fair on Thursday. She says the issues surrounding the superintendent will not make a difference in her decision.

“I was impressed when you guys got him,” Hughes said. “I don’t know why - what’s going on. I read a little bit. I am not too knowledgeable on that.”

George believes it makes sense for CMS to hire a firm.

“When you are in a crisis,” George said. “It feels really bad and it’s going to just feel bad for a while and you need experts to help you get through it. And you need to stick to your story and be committed to your messaging and you’ll get through it and you know it takes time.”

CMS School board will meet Friday morning to talk about the superintendent’s contract at 9:30 a.m. at the Government Center.

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