Home > Current Events > Doing Your Job and Getting Fired

Doing Your Job and Getting Fired

I’m a pretty competent public relations manager. Ask anyone I’ve ever worked with about my work ethic and my dedication to the principles of public relations, and they’ll all tell you the same thing. I’m better than most.

So, when I see articles like this one, it makes my blood boil.  Here’s an excerpt from Friday’s report:

AOL CEO Tim Armstrong Fired This Man In Front Of 1,000 Coworkers

AOL CEO Tim Armstrong fired Abel Lenz, Creative Director at AOL Patch.com, in front of 1,000 coworkers.

AOL is reducing the number of sites in its local news network, Patch, from 900 to 600.

Today, Armstrong hosted a conference call with Patch employees to explain the news.

During the call, according to a source, Armstrong told Lenz to “stop taking pictures.” Then Armstrong said “You’re fired.”

Later in the Business Insider article, it explains that Lenz routinely took photos of all-hands meetings and posted photos to the company’s internal website. I’ve heard the audio file, and you may have heard it today on the news.

brad-cam

I bring this up only because my entire career in public relations has had a heavy emphasis on internal communications, which includes newsletters, internal websites and the event photography required to make those things work. In fact, in my last major job in our nation’s capital, I spent a great deal of time doing this kind of event photography — the very thing Abel Lenz was fired for doing. It was my job. I had to do it. And, in this case, Lenz was fired for doing his job.

What this illustrates to me is that AOL CEO Tim Armstrong has no clue what a public relations team does or how it benefits the company. In fact, the PR team cleaning up Armstrong’s mess is the same one that was only doing its job when Lenz was fired.

Although I’ve been doing several freelance jobs under my own PR consultancy (BK PR Solutions), I’ve been wanting to get back into a full-time position in corporate public relations. However, there is nothing in my DNA that would ever permit me to accept a job at a company where the leaders I support didn’t actually understand what I do. Of course, this is par for the course for AOL, which still thought that dial-up Internet sales was a viable business model more than a decade after people starting jumping ship for DSL and Cable Internet providers.

My heart breaks for Mr. Lenz, and I’m sure this publicity will result in him quickly picking up another job. Let’s hope he lands at a company that understands the value of a good public relations team and how it can help raise its profile.

About these ads
Categories: Current Events Tags: ,
  1. Dawn Hutchings
    August 12, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    I have no understanding on why this man was fired for taking pictures. I use to work for AOL corporate communications and hosted a monthly talk where leaders of the company talked to and answered employees questions. The culture sure has changed from when I was there in the late 90’s early 00’s.

  1. No trackbacks yet.

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 263 other followers

%d bloggers like this: