Letter To The Editor: Outreach, Not Ads

By DAVID NORTH
Los Alamos

At first sight, the new sign and banner at the White Rock library provoked the thought “nice ads”. Bond supporters really upped their game!

Wrong.

Further inspection revealed no advocacy — just the county logo. Turns out they aren’t ads at all, but part of a $35,000 “outreach” campaign funded by the county. This is apparently normal, if a bit upscale.

The last time a similar election was held in 2011 — for a leisure pool — the county devoted $18,000 for outreach, though at that time it was dubbed “public information costs”. The idea? Publicize the election in a manner that doesn’t advocate either a yes or no vote.

Presenting attractive graphics while neglecting to mention the total cost or the bond amount might, however, accidentally look a little biased.

So when you see these presentations, don’t make the same mistake. They’re not ads.

And Just For Fun:

Googling “outreach” included this from Merriam-Webster: “to get the better of by trickery”.

What? Who ever heard that before? So off to Moby Thesaurus and what’s the first entry? Bamboozle.

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