Reporter pressing charges against PR chief in Honeywell debacle

A PR guy allegedly barricaded the journalist to shield the CEO from questions. The worst media relations gaffe you’ll see all year, maybe all decade.

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It’s unlikely that many communications positions have the phrase “may be asked to falsely imprison reporters” in the job description, but perhaps Honeywell will want to consider it after this past weekend.

Mike Elk, a reporter with In These Times, accuses the company’s external communications director Rob Ferris of barricading him in a room for several minutes when Ferris was trying to interview Honeywell’s CEO, Dave Cote.

“Indeed, Capitol Police asked me if I wanted to press charges against Ferris for false imprisonment for barricading me into the room, but I declined,” Elk writes in his account of the ordeal.

However, Elk tells our sister site, PR Daily:

“I have changed my mind with this and have press charges. The U.S. Capitol Police are currently investigating the matter. At the time, I just wanted to go home, I was very upset. After thinking about it over the weekend, I decided its important to not let PR guys get away with roughing up a reporter in a room like the U.S. Capitol.”

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