DISD Communications Chief No Longer So Proud of Her Failure

Jennifer Sprague, as you no doubt know by now, is DISD’s 31-year-old new communications chief. She will be paid $185,000. Zac can help me on this, but I think technically that’s called “stacking money.” As Peter pointed out, it’s ironic that her first communications crisis centers on her own salary. Here’s something I’d like to point out: two years ago, Sprague wrote about how she failed a public relations accreditation test and how she got her head right with the game and took the test a second time and passed it. She posted these words on something called ComPRehension, the blog for the Public Relations Society of America. Thing is, even thought ComPRehension’s archives go back to September 2007, Sprague’s post from 2010 is no longer on the site. But, of course, there is something called Google, and Google remembers everything. Here’s the cached version of Sprague’s post.

Now, here’s the thing: who cares that Sprague failed some test? (Unless a PR professional in FrontBurner Land can tell us that this accreditation test is something that a reasonably healthy chimpanzee would ace.) The thing that’s interesting here is that the post was taken down from ComPRehension. One wonders why. Doesn’t one?


  • Jackson

    I just read the cached version of Sprague’s post, and what jumps out at me is her writing style. Take the opening sentence, all 45 words of it: “Driving home from the testing center after failing the Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations for the first time, I felt completely defeated and mentally exhausted as I rigorously went through a personal inventory of all the areas I once thought I was competent in.”

    I was relieved to learn that she ultimately passed the test, but I was even more relieved when that sentence finally ended.

    This is worth $185K a year?

  • LJT

    Yeah, when I read “for the first time” I wondered just how many times did she fail it?

  • I think DISD deserves a pass on this mistake – but they definitely need to call for a ‘do over’. We need someone with more experience – someone who is not tone deaf. Sprague is clearly a mess…

  • Joe Smith

    The test is considered a joke and is rarely mentioned in postings for high level PR positions. Hiring an attractive and young employee with little experience at an exorbitant salary makes me seriously wonder whether the new superintendent will last very long. It is rare that big organizations don’t chew up and throw out real agents of change. The new superintendent will be making a lot of enemies if he really tries to reform DISD. A silly mistake like the higher of an overpriced and under qualified cabinet member gives his potential enemies additional ammunition. In addition, reporters will be none too pleased to have to work with someone making three times their salary.

  • @Joe Smith, that explains Zac’s wardrobe. I thought he was trying to be comfortable in old-paint-the-kid’s-room-wear. I feel bad now, thinking he was dressing down when in reality he was dressing up.