FAMU Hires PR Firm to Deal with Aftermath of Hazing Death

Members of FAMU's Board of Trustees say the hazing investigations have put the university in crisis mode.

They've opted to hire a public relations firm to help them deal with it; at a cost of $25,000 plus $5,000 for expenses.

Members of the FAMU Board of Trustees say when FAMU Marching 100 Drum major Robert Champion died on November 19th, they realized the university did not have a crisis management plan.

They had the university hire a public relations firm to help the communications department deal with the situation.

Students welcome the addition, saying hazing investigations after Champion's death have put the university in a bad light nationwide.

FAMU student Lorenzo Chandler says, "They don't know where to go. As of right now, we're already looked upon as bad from certain points of views, so knowing what to say, how to deal with the situation."

The PR firm that FAMU hired is Dan Klores Communications. The firm has a lengthy list of clients that include some pretty big names.

DKC is based in New York. Its website lists Delta Airlines, the TV show Glee, and Yahoo among their many clients.

FAMU student Ciera Butts says, "I think it is a good idea. But, it's kind of sad in a way that we couldn't stop it without getting a P.R. firm. But, I think it's a good idea to have more help. They can say the right things and good things as they come on and look on how we progress in the hazing situation. That'll give us positive feedback."

Trustees say it is not uncommon to hire outside help during these types of situations.

For instance, Penn State has hired a PR firm called Ketchum.

The following is a statement from FAMU's Chief Communication Director, Sharon P. Saunders:

“Today, the FAMU Board of Trustees and the University hired a highly competent firm with national expertise in handling crisis communication and crisis management. For this 30-day contract period, the Board of Trustees wanted a firm to assist while we seek long term help in ensuring that FAMU’s brand as a leader in higher education is maintained.”

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  • by Doctor Location: Orlando on Dec 15, 2011 at 06:22 PM
    Florida Ag and Mechanical Univesity is a joke. Close it dowm.
  • by A question Location: Tallahassee on Dec 15, 2011 at 02:08 PM
    What is worse than the death of a student? How does what happens elsewhere make what happens at our college right? We lost a brother and it is our fault. Blaming everyone else leaves us still with a dead brother.
  • by Rick Location: Tallahassee on Dec 15, 2011 at 01:23 PM
    NOTHING on FAMU's campus compares to FSU's academic fraud, FSU's serial killings, FSU's on campus rapes, FSU'S long history of athletes' crimes and FSU's fatal shootings. Let's be clear here; anything that is wrong with FAMU is twice as bad at FSU.
    • reply
      by Rick's PR Firm on Dec 15, 2011 at 02:05 PM in reply to Rick
      This is the result of the new PR campaign. " It is ok for FAMU students to beat and kill a fellow student." This is done at other schools so we can excuse our behavior by blaming someone other than our students. We will not take responsibility and will place the blame on exactly who did not kill our student recently. We prefer to be prison inmates than scholars"
    • reply
      by CU on Dec 15, 2011 at 05:25 PM in reply to Rick
      Rick, why are you trying to move the focus away from the death of Mr. Champion?
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Dec 19, 2011 at 07:51 AM in reply to CU
        same reason why all the FAMU students want to drag FSU into this and steer everyone away from the problem at hand....FAMU's screwed up faculty.
    • reply
      by Reply on Dec 15, 2011 at 09:23 PM in reply to Rick
      SO all of a sudden FSU is put into this mess. Last time I noted my school didnt kill anyone in a club/organization.so before you talk.. get it straight.. dont attack MY school with ignorance
    • reply
      by Funny Rick on Dec 17, 2011 at 04:24 PM in reply to Rick
      Rick lets not forget that the overwhelming majority of the crimes at FSU are committed by the . . . FAMU demographic. Probably even FAMU "students", but most assuredly at least cousins of them.
  • by Anonymous on Dec 15, 2011 at 10:14 AM
    I wish this school would just burn to the ground. Instead of spinning the information and presenting a fascade that is not accurate, why don't you just close up shop and call it a day, FAMU? No one respects you now, will not in the future and have not in the past.
  • by Jim Location: Gadsden County on Dec 15, 2011 at 08:38 AM
    Another waste of money. If you have a problem, admit it, take the heat, correct the problem, and move on. The public would respect that action rather than some PR firm trying to smooth it over and put a good face on it. It is what it is. Waste, waste ,and more waste. You are already being paid to handle these situations. Do it.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Dec 19, 2011 at 07:53 AM in reply to Jim
      who said they had the money to pay the PR firm? They just hired them. They can't even pay their faculty or staff on time if at all, what makes you think they will pay this PR firm?
  • by Ron Sucks on Dec 15, 2011 at 07:55 AM
    At least the money is staying local. Wait, what?
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Dec 15, 2011 at 11:00 AM in reply to Ron Sucks
      So Are u saying it is ok for FSU to pay there student to keep Quiet. I think the things that happen to students on College Ave should come to light. And yes one of FSU students made Cops 2010
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Dec 19, 2011 at 07:54 AM in reply to Anonymous
        cops 2010...hahaha! More than one of yours has made the Federal Prison most dumbest more times than I can count.
  • by Anonymous Location: Tallahassee Fl on Dec 15, 2011 at 07:53 AM
    I Think People are forgetting that the Students at Famu are not Kids in High School. They are young adults who are making dum decision. I think that everyone need to understand that its not FAMU Fault for what happen to MR. Champion and Ms.hunter it was there decision making. They both knew the consequences they would be face with. and they both desided to face them. Yes i Agree it was wrong for what happen, but the only thing Famu can do know if Address the problem and be sure it come to a end. Which everyone no it will never happen. And for FSU they Pay there student to keep it quiet. I Think WCTV should do a Story on Night Nole see how them Animals be acting on Tennessee Street aka the Strip. Better yet have anyone seen COPS lately I have and a Cope took a Fsu student to jail for assault on a night nole driver.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Dec 19, 2011 at 08:00 AM in reply to Anonymous
      there it is, blame it on the "young" adults syndrome. They knew they would die so it was ok? "only thing they can do now..." Are you listening to yourself? This is the same mentality that has this university in the state it's in today. Stop making excuses for everything and everyone and take responsibility for your actions. A kid died and girl has a broke hip and you have an excuse for everything...your a joke and they root of the problem(s) at FAMU because everyone up there has the same mentality. Protect your own and manipulate the system anyway you can.
  • by Thugs R Us on Dec 15, 2011 at 07:07 AM
    FAMU is a wastecan of higher education. Thugs, thugs and more thugs. Nothing good comes out of this stinking hole. Bury it and start again.
  • by Randy Location: tallahassee on Dec 15, 2011 at 07:07 AM
    famu does not need a pr firm it needs a team of defense attorneys corruption is everywhere
  • by Don Location: Philadelphia on Dec 15, 2011 at 07:07 AM
    If FAMU needed PR help why not hire a local firm? They are just as competent as NY firms. And I question the need. The university will have to live down the mess.
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