Crit­i­cized PR con­sul­tant was en­dorsed by Orange schools

In video, she dis­misses ‘cra­zies’ who spoke against dis­trict af­ter Park­land shoot­ing

Orlando Sentinel - - LOCAL & STATE - By Leslie Postal

The Win­ter Park pub­lic re­la­tions con­sul­tant crit­i­cized this week for com­ments she made about fam­i­lies of the Park­land school shoot­ing vic­tims and a South Florida re­porter was hired by the Broward school dis­trict on a rec­om­men­da­tion from a coun­ter­part in Orange County.

Sara Brady’s firm spe­cial­izes in cri­sis man­age­ment — she did work re­lated to the Pulse night­club mas­sacre in 2016, among other events — and her of­ten­re­peated ad­vice to clients is “just stop talk­ing.”

But her own talk­ing at a July con­fer­ence in Cal­i­for­nia ex­posed her work to harsh crit­i­cism when video of some of her speech was posted on Twit­ter this week and pub­lished by the South Florida Sun Sen­tinel.

At that speech, at­tended by at least three Orange County schools em­ploy­ees, Brady re­ferred to a “nasty, skanky re­porter” who “smells bad.” She la­beled as “cra­zies” those who crit­i­cized the Broward dis­trict af­ter the shoot­ings at Mar­jory Stone­man Dou­glas High School.

And she said school pub­lic re­la­tions de­part­ments shouldn’t al­ways fol­low the lead of vic­tims’ up­set fam­i­lies, who will “say any­thing be­cause they are an­gry and they want to blame,” ac­cord­ing to video from that meet­ing.

“You have to make busi­ness de­ci­sions, and you have to shut out their emo­tions,” she said.

Her speech out­raged Hunter Pol­lack, whose sis­ter Meadow died dur­ing that school shoot­ing, and he posted video clips of it on his Twit­ter ac­count Mon­day, urg­ing read­ers to share their thoughts of this “vile woman.”

Hun­dreds of peo­ple have com­mented, most shar­ing his up­set, and thou­sands have watched the videos. The Sun Sen­tinel, which like the Or­lando Sen­tinel is owned by Tri­bune Pub­lish­ing, posted a story about her speech Tues­day.

In an in­ter­view with the Or­lando Sen­tinel on Wed­nes­day, Brady said her com­ments were not meant to tar­get the fam­i­lies of the 17 who died in Park­land and that the firm she founded in 2010 of­ten worked with peo­ple who had just faced ter­ri­ble tragedies.

“It’s not my na­ture to do any­thing to add to their grief,” she said, adding that she spoke to two Park­land vic­tims’ moth­ers Wed­nes­day to ex­plain that.

Brady’s pre­sen­ta­tion in July was part of the Coun­cil for Great City Schools’ an­nual con­fer­ence for school pub­lic re­la­tions ex­ec­u­tives. The coun­cil rep­re­sents large, ur­ban school dis­tricts na­tion­wide, and both the Broward and Orange school dis­tricts are mem­bers. The Orange school dis­trict sent five em­ploy­ees to the con­fer­ence, and the video shows at least three em­ploy­ees in the au­di­ence while Brady de­nounced Broward’s crit­ics and bashed the press.

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