December 14, 2015

PR firm head says Duran sentencing an ‘opportunity’

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The president of a prominent New Mexico public relations firm says that the sentence of former Secretary of State Dianna Duran is an opportunity for her, public relations-wise.

Cell phone photo of former Secretary of State Dianna Duran after a sentencing hearing on December 14.

Joey Peters

Cell phone photo of former Secretary of State Dianna Duran after a sentencing hearing on December 14.

Judge Glenn Ellington sentenced Duran to 30 days in jail, which drew the most attention.

He also, however, ordered 2,000 hours of community service and required that Duran speak to civic organizations four times a month for three years. He also ordered Duran to not only write letters to those she wronged, but also to residents of the state to be published in six papers in areas throughout the state.

The public events and letters are where where Tom Garrity sees the opportunity, according to his blog.

He says that Duran should use the letters in newspapers “to show remorse for the victims who donated to her campaign and to raise awareness about the issue of gaming addictions.”

He also said that Duran should push for “changes to the laws” that will “keep this from happening to others.”

The opportunity that Garrity sees is not just for Duran, but other public officials.

Graphic used with permission from TomGarrity.com

Graphic used with permission from TomGarrity.com

Garrity notes that state government officials are not the most trusted people; the annual Garrity Perception Survey conducted by Research & Polling, Inc. annually for his firm shows this.

The survey shows New Mexicans’ distrust of state government officials outstrips the trust by a significant margin since 2011.

On a nationwide level, polls by the Pew Research Center have also showed negative perceptions of elected officials.

“But assessments of elected officials’ honesty are far more negative,” a November story on a Pew Research Center poll said. “Just 29% say that “honest” describes elected officials at least fairly well, while 69% say “honest” does not describe elected officials well.”

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