Four Media Relations Lessons from Damon Evans’ Case

Joel Williams, Veteran Broadcaster at WDUN-AM

When Katie Highsmith’s temporary illness prevented her from hosting her regularly scheduled Monday morning interview with me in “The Local Hour”–aired daily on WDUN-AM 550 in Gainesville, Georgia–her colleague Joel Williams took over.

Joel and I had worked together before extensively, when he produced a three-times a week communication program I hosted for a year. Because of his help on that and other projects, I said this about him in the Acknowledgments section of my book, The Complete Communicator: Change Your Communication, Change Your Life! “Joel Williams helped me through his coaching, technical expertise, and influence. He’s a premier announcer I am proud to know and work with.”

Joel called to ask me, “What are the major media relations lessons we have learned from the Damon Evans case?”

For background information: Damon Evans became the youngest Athletic Director ever at the University of Georgia at age 34.  Now, six years later, he became involved in a highly publicized scandal. His lofty credibility tumbled when he went to jail in Atlanta on June 30, charged with a DUI. An added problem–Evans, a married man with two children, was in the car with a 28 year old female passenger, Courtney Fuhrmann, whose red panties the officers spotted in Damon’s lap.

The next afternoon, July 1, Evans held a press conference on campus, apologizing and promising that he would work diligently to rebuild trust in his leadership. However, public pressure (especially from irate bloggers) mounted to fire Evans, especially since he had been a strong advocate for avoiding drinking while driving. President Michael Adams accepted Evans’ resignation on Sunday, July 4th. . .an ironic date for declaring independence from a university he had attended–playing football for the Georgia Bulldogs after a stellar athletic career at Gainesville High–and then served at a top administrative level.

With that background in mind, I invite you to listen to Joel’s interview with me about “Four Media Lessons from Damon Evans’ Case.” Our fifteen minute conversation is packed with vital practical advice about Crisis Communication–a seminar I have taught for various organizations.

I encourage you to share these four media lessons with your management team and other employees. Discuss how you will react when your business enters the spotlight–with bad news. Then you will be ready to retain your credibility–and your customers.

When you’re ready for a communication expert to assist you with your media plans, check the description of my “Media Magic” seminar by scrolling down this page on my Web site:

Then call me at 678-316-4300 to discuss how my crisis communication training will help your organization prepare adequately for widespread media exposure during troubled times.

Now, to hear my interview with Joel, click the arrow below in the Podcast section of this blog page, located just above the Audio MP3 lettering.

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