PR expert explains free work for Jackson prosecutor

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PR expert explains free work for Jackson prosecutor

Post by whisper » Fri Jul 16, 2004 11:59 pm


PR expert explains free work for Jackson prosecutor


4:32 p.m. July 16, 2004

SANTA BARBARA — The public relations expert helping District Attorney Tom Sneddon with press on the Michael Jackson case told other publicists she volunteered because Sneddon badly mishandled his first press conference and she thought he needed help, a newspaper reported. ImageImage[url='http://""']'http://""'[/url]

"No one was guiding this press conference. It was a debacle," Susan Tellem told a seminar of the Public Relations Society of America on Thursday, according to the Santa Barbara News-Press.

"We felt it was imperative for us to help get to the district attorney and perhaps take another crack at doing a press conference that was better organized and conveyed information in a more practical way to the media," said Tellem, president of the public relations firm Tellem Worldwide.

She spoke via telephone conference call to an audience of about 200 who paid between $50 and $150 to hear about her Jackson case experience, the newspaper said.

Tellem is providing services to Sneddon for free and estimated it would have cost "in the millions by now" if she was charging him.

Sneddon, who was unavailable for comment and who is bound by a publicity gag order from speaking, drew harsh criticism after his Nov. 19 announcement of molestation allegations against Jackson. Many said that Sneddon's joviality at the press conference was inappropriate.

Tellem said the prosecutor held a second press conference at her suggestion after he filed charges against Jackson and "Mr. Sneddon did a fabulous job and even changed public opinion."

Tellem, in a phone call to The Associated Press on Friday, said she never used the word debacle to describe Sneddon's press conference and said she wasn't paid for her talk. She said her remarks were "purely instructional to help people in the public relations business" and she was told that perhaps 40 people listened in.

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