PR News takes ‘cheap shot’ at the Shockers

scoreUPDATED — In a bid for more subscribers through a national e-mail blast on Wednesday, PR News touted its “expert opinions” on communications and crisis management, among other things, through what a Wichita State University spokesman calls a “cheap shot” at the Shockers.

The PR group now needs a little crisis management help of its own.

The e-mail, which was about how to “score big” in the business, has a subject line that says “Don’t be like Wichita State.”

“Really, that’s the approach you’re going to take to generate business?” asks WSU spokesman Joe Kleinsasser. “It’s just a marketing attempt gone awry. Is it the end of the world? No. But it’s unfortunate.”

His day began with a couple of e-mails from his counterparts at Wake Forest University and Princeton University alerting him to the slam against the school and its beloved Shockers.

“And, yes, I am unsubscribing from their distribution list,” one said after saying how much the slam annoyed him.

It’s a sentiment others locally and nationally are echoing.

“We think this approach is mean-spirited and beneath contempt,” wrote Barth Hague, WSU’s associate vice president for university relations and chief marketing officer, in an e-mail to PR News about playing on the Shockers’ “heartbreaking loss.”

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You don’t say

“Joe, you’re talking on it.”

– A friend’s comment to WSU spokesman Joe Kleinsasser, who searched his pocket for his cellphone while he was talking on it

Lou Heldman named acting director for Center for Entrepreneurship; Tim Pett still on administrative leave

WICHITA — It seems Lou Heldman is Wichita State University’s go-to guy for help on an interim basis.

Heldman, who has been interim director of the Elliott School of Communication, is going to be WSU’s acting director for the Center for Entrepreneurship.

Former center director Tim Pett, who also is a professor and the W. Frank Barton Distinguished Chair, was placed on administrative leave for undisclosed reasons several weeks ago.

WSU spokesman Joe Kleinsasser says Pett remains on leave.

There were indications the school was going to be starting a search for a permanent replacement for Pett, but Keith Pickus, WSU’s interim provost and a history professor, says that’s not the case.

“The center has been without a director now for a number of weeks,” he says.

“Until that situation is resolved, we aren’t making any other steps than putting somebody in charge of the center,” Pickus says. “I guarantee you there has been no decision on whether to do a search.”

He says any indications otherwise were a miscommunication.

Pickus says he can’t discuss Pett’s situation because it’s a personnel matter.

Heldman was president and publisher of The Wichita Eagle from 2002 to 2007. He then became WSU’s Distinguished Senior Fellow in Media Management and Journalism.

Cindy Claycomb, who is interim dean of the W. Frank Barton School of Business, says she’s pleased Heldman was selected as acting director.

“We’re thrilled that he’s going to join us,” Claycomb says. “Lou will do a great job.”

You don’t say

“Really, where’s Amtrak when you need them?”

WSU’s Joe Kleinsasser, who experienced several issues with United Airlines on his Tuesday return from Washington where he helped release the school’s Airline Quality Rating, which ranked United as the worst-performing airline out of 14 on its list

Wichita State University selects developer, contractors and architect for new housing

WICHITA — Wichita State University is one step closer to new campus housing, which is a goal president John Bardo established not long after his arrival last year.

Spokesman Joe Kleinsasser confirms that Memphis-based EdR has been chosen as the developer for new 700-bed campus housing.

Farha Construction, in partnership with Dondlinger and Sons Construction, is the contractor, and Howard & Helmer Architecture is the architect.

Kleinsasser says the final contracts aren’t signed.

“It’s a matter of ironing out details,” he says.

Look for more information soon.

You don’t say

“I don’t go in the field looking for them.”

WSU spokesman Joe Kleinsasser, who has had several run-ins with deer in recent years, on how they seem to come into the streets looking for him