Criticized PR consultant was endorsed by Orange schools
In video, she dismisses ‘crazies’ who spoke against district after Parkland shooting
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.