PLAIN ENGLISH

Maureen N. Maratita

In Guam and Saipan, our civic organizations and the Society for Human Resource Management offer executives training in all sorts of situations. 

                 But rarely do we train them in communication and even more rarely in crisis communication. Most organizations appoint a VP or the GM as the media point of contact, and things jog along fairly well until something really bad happens. 

                 And how that is handled really sorts out “the men from the boys.”

                 I have spoken myself on the handling of PR in a crisis, but recently I had the privilege of attending an excellent seminar given by Richard Brundage, president and CEO of the Center for Advanced Media Studies, who has decades of experience as, first, a member of the media and secondly, as a crisis consultant. Several organizations have him on speed dial. 

If you missed his Q&A in the July 22 issue of the Journal you can find it on mbjguam.com. …

                  

If you wouldn’t go to an important business meeting without preparing, then why would you stand up at (possibly) the most important media conference of your career during an unforeseen crisis without some tools either? And an appropriate media release helps media too. 

                 What did Richard tell us? Basically, that honesty and preparation are important. I’m sure he mentioned speed of communication as well. 

                 And that body language at a news conference is telling. There was more, and some of it could definitely not only affect those times when I’m interviewed, but my delivery of speech. 

                 My thanks go to Richard, the Guam Office of Homeland Security and Guam’s NOAA/National Weather Service office. . …

                 The ITC Building in Tamuning is probably the worst place on Guam to have to find parking, especially when it’s been raining. Guam Memorial Hospital ranks a close second. Since I have in my years in Guam visited GMH a few times, I can speak to the difficulty of parking. On Aug. 12, I was lucky as a driver was leaving just as I arrived, but I have parked in ankle-deep tangan-tangan on occasion. This is just one of the hospital’s problems, according to our coverage on the front page. We welcome your comments. …

 

Urban myth has it that red cars are more likely to be stopped by police officers on patrol, but since according to Kelley Blue Book silver is the most popular color, with white a close second, it’s not surprising that white and silver cars are more likely to be stopped, with red vehicles further down the line. The U.S. Bureau of Statistics issues information by vehicle, age and gender on citations, but if you are looking to drive “under the radar” on the islands, the information is not too helpful, since some of the makes and models listed are not available to us. …

However, if you are driving a pink Hummer, I can guarantee you will be stopped. Especially if you cut in front of a police vehicle “forcing the officer to swerve.” And then really improve your situation by ignoring the lights and sirens behind you.  

It happened in Saipan at lunchtime on Aug. 12, resulting in two citations. So far the CNMI Department of Safety has used its discretion and not revealed the driver’s name. …

 

Other Hummer drivers who have had an encounter of the special kind with law enforcement include the Arkansas driver who led police on a high speed chase. The Hummer caught the eye of the law due to the casket on top of the vehicle. (The coffin was reportedly empty.) …

 

— Maureen N. Maratita is the publisher at Glimpses Media. Publications at Glimpses Media include the Marianas Business Journal, MBJ Life, The Real Estate Journal, Guam Business Magazine, Beach Road Magazine, Buenas and Drive Guam