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Volume 24, Number 33
August 12, 2002-August 18, 2002


E-POWER PR – the antidote for misinformation

By ELIZABETH KIRKLAND

MBJ Staff Writer 

VICKSBURG – When Michael Logue formed E-Power PR, LLC, he hoped he would be able to assist in defeating the misinformation public relations campaigns can sometimes result in. 

            “Mississippi businesses, economic development agencies and government entities lose millions of dollars in costs associated with public misinformation campaigns launched by activist groups and individuals,” said Logue, the CEO of E-Power PR.

            To combat this, Logue developed a low-cost, high-impact process he maintains is 100% effective in eliminating unnecessary delays and costs associated with “public involvement, public misunderstand, irresponsible journalism and unjustified attacks.”

            Logue’s process works by first establishing a 24-hour virtual information center for the company, government agency or industry.

            The information center works somewhat like an Internet gateway, saturating the public with information using the site and e-mail.  The site is also open to questions from clients or customers. 

            It normally takes us about seven to ten days to resolve a problem,” Logue said.  “What we do is completely open the project or organization up to the public and let the public tell us what their concerns are, what the myths are that are floating around, then saturate the public’s need for information.”

            The problem with the traditional method, Logue said, is that public information officials are given information which they then give to the media or shareholders, whatever the case may be.  This method can work, but the media does not devote entire sections or newspapers or airtime to any one issue.  The 24-hour service Logue provides with E-Power PR answers every question and talks the public or shareholders through any issues they have.

            There is also a section for the media to ask and obtain answers to their questions.

            “We allow the media to quote our client on anything in our Web site,” Logue said.  “When they do contact us with a question, a virtual media center is set up and the question automatically goes to four different mailboxes.  This frees up clients to go about their normal routines.”

            Thus far, the media and Logue’s clients have responded positively to E-Power PR’s process.

            Logue, a native of Vicksburg, with a degree in mass communications Mississippi State University, and a master’s in mass communications from Mississippi College, said there are hundreds of projects and proposals in Mississippi and the nation that are being “stymied by misunderstanding.”  Or worse, by public information activist campaigns.”

            Some involve innocent public misunderstanding that turns into conflict, Logue said.  However, even a relatively minor problem could mean a business, industry, etc. may suffer the loss of up to $500,000.

            “It affects you in ways you don’t think of, like increased correspondence, meetings and stress,” Logue said.  “Public conflict takes a heavy toll.”

            For example, delays associated with public crises would cost one client in particular of Logue’s about $2 million a day.  That means the economy of an entire community could be in serious trouble, he said. 

Two-way communication

            “The most important aspect of E-Power PR is the two-way communication,” Logue explained.  “I have people who have written me on an issue they’re violently opposed to.  But, when the walls come down between us and the public, those people shrink back into wherever they came from.”

            Although, Logue added, “We never attack, never criticize the public.  No group or individual appreciates being attacked by anyone.  Our job is to mediate between the client and the public using virtual tools.”

            Anna Schoonover, president of Solutions, Inc., a company specializing in wetlands consulting, is experienced in dealing with disputes.

            E-Power PR has the ability to resolve conflict almost instantaneously, she said.

            “Having been on the regulators’ and on the private side, I think E-Power PR is going to benefit the regulators because they won’t have to answer phones in order to answer questions about things that will be answered on the web site,” Schoonover said.  “And it helps the general public.”

            Contact MBJ staff writer Elizabeth Kirkland at ekirkland@msbusiness.com or (601) 364-1042.