Today we learned, via Jim Romenesko, that the city of New Haven, Connecticut (home of Yale University) has created its own “perception task force” created to “plant feel-good stories in the media” and downplay area crime problems.
From the original story in the New Haven Independent:
“The task force meets approximately once a month to discuss the results of studies about what people think about downtown New Haven…The task force is new; the studies are not.”
The issue is that local news just keeps running crime stories, despite the fact that Mayor Toni Harp recently held a press conference to announce decreases in crime from 2011-2014. So the task force aims to “develop a stable of positive City focused stories to funnel to media to discourage” all that sensationalism.
But isn’t the work of securing media placements and improving reputations better suited for a public relations firm than the mayor’s press office?