Public Relations and False Regret
Recently I stumbled upon some screen shots of tweets by one of the suspended students. These tweets establish a previous history for one of the suspended athletes that would serve to support the claim that the remarks in the group chat wasn't just "blowing off steam". They also call to doubt the claim by Mr. Rob Weinhold of the Fallston Group, a Public Relations and "reputation defender", in an interview on WJZ CBS Baltimore. In the interview Mr. Weinhold was asked if the students represented by the group were remorseful to which Mr. Weinhold replied, "absolutely".
These are the tweets, which were taken from twitter and uploaded (not by me) to the image hosting site imgur, are now no longer available through the website. However, after coming across the tweets before their removal, I submitted the URL to the Wayback Machine; a website dedicated to storing webpages.
This is important. I'd like to take a second and address the remarks by Mr. Weinhold regarding the suspended student's remorse and regret. It should be noted that only four of the five students retained the services of the Fallston group. If my job is to represent the best interests in regards to public image I have a duty and an obligation to my clients to lie. The four students may be remorseful and regret that the public found out about their comments. Given the nature of the tweets of the one student's twitter I'd say that's most likely an accurate statement. The statement by the Fallston group and the remarks by Mr. Weinhod represent a contractual agreement between the four student's and the Public Relations company; not the sincerity of the student's remorse regarding their words in the chat application.
It is important that the past character of these women be known. While they hire public relations groups to mitigate public outrage at their hateful texts and image hosting websites take down the history of their character we must do our best to ensure they understand two things;
You do not get to participate in society in such a manner that is hurtful and damaging to society without suffering consequences
You can always show through your actions you deserve forgiveness.
Hiring a public relations firm does not satisfy that second point. A common criticism I have heard regarding the potential punishment these women face is that they're young and this will ruin their lives. It's up to their parents and family to support them now. Their parents should have taught them that the kind of reactions they had to perceived persecution are not acceptable. There is this focus on the harm these women will suffer because of their actions rather than the actions that lead them to potentially suffer. This is an inversion that I cannot wrap my head around. Their parents can support them while they work towards redeeming themselves in the public eye.