If you hate the stereotype that public relations people are soul-less, amoral drones who will say anything about anyone if a client or boss tells them to, you probably are not going to like Sue Skiffington-Blumberg (even if the Colorado Springs Gazette inexplicably does). According to a Gazette editorial, Skiffington-Blumberg and her public relations team at the City of Colorado Springs have spent the past several years publicly badmouthing their own city at the direction of her bosses in an effort to get a tax increase passed. As the Gazette noted, “The campaign may have cost our city countless tourists and jobs.”
So how did Skiffington-Blumberg justify her actions:
“Our strategic plan was to paint a picture of the dire straits of our city budget. If we could not do so locally, we would do so in the regional and national press … . I hated it. I grew up here. My family has been in this community since 1892. But when given a task, it is my obligation to get on board. If you give me a task, don’t expect me not to succeed.”
That quote is just chilling. And perhaps not just to me. Skiffington-Blumberg was forced by the city manager to resign yesterday (two days after the Gazette editorial appeared).