How to Lose the Media in Ten Minutes

Cindy Zimmerman

Some folks building an ethanol plant in Ohio got a lesson in media relations this week in a big way. This is basic PR 101 – don’t invite the media to a meeting and then tell them they can’t record or take notes – and then tell them to leave if they don’t like it. That’s what Harrison Ethanol did last week – and then had to humbly offer an apology to the media this week, according to this article from the Times-Leader. The apology was appropriately contrite, “The support of the community and the media has been and continues to be critical to the success of the Harrison Ethanol project. We regret that several years of building relationships with the people of Harrison County and the media serving them may have been jeopardized. We sincerely apologize to the media representatives who attended the event.”
This company also has no website, even though they just broke ground on a plant that is expected to create 107 on-site jobs and 60 contract jobs will have a $7.2 million payroll and is expected to pump $85 million in annual cash flow to the region, according to this Renewable Energy Access story. According to another story I found from the Times Reporter, Harrison Ethanol LLC is an Ohio-based company composed of Ohio farmers and business owners… The proposed corn-based biorefinery facility is designed to produce 20 million gallons of fuel grade ethanol annually, human foods and animal feeds. Harrison Ethanol will consume nine million bushels of corn from area farmers and a significant portion through Coshocton Grain Co. by railroad transport. But, no website. And the domain name of appears to be free.