Steve Manuel, a senior lecturer in PR at Penn State University, criticized his school for mishandling the child sex abuse scandal during a guest appearance in a class titled "Joe Paterno, Communications and the Media."
USA Today reports Manuel said, "The golden rule of public relations is you have to get something out in the first 60 minutes ...And mentioning the victims always comes first. Bad news doesn't get better with time. When you cede the message to (critics or adversaries), you lose the battle."
Manuel, former public affairs officer for the Office of the Secretary of Defense and Marine Corps spokesman, said the school knew the "shoe was going to drop, and was not prepared," adding that cancelling Paterno's press conference 30 minutes before its start was also an error. He added that "this is going to take a long time to repair."
Added @11:01AM: Washington Post blogger Erik Wemple says he has had enough of media focusing on the "handling" of the crisis. "Who cares whether the university didnít respond as quickly to the news as it could have?" he writes. "Who cares whether the university got ahead of the story, as PR geniuses would counsel? Who cares ó well, who cares about this other offensive-in-this-context quote from Manuel?"