Notice was issued on Thursday that PR firm Devine + Partners has severed their business arrangement with the Central Bucks School District.
According to the statement issued by the district, Devine + Partners was being assailed by untoward comments. “Central Bucks has learned that a group of community members have engaged in targeted harassment of several clients and staff of Devine + Partners, threatening their association with our district in ways that are, at best caustic, and at worse, malicious and false.”
In June, the district’s board of directors voted to engage the Philadelphia-based public relations firm.
“Item 14C on the agenda calls for the approval to contract public relations services with Devine + Partners of Philadelphia at $15,000 per month from July 2022 – June 2023 (which doesn’t include out-of-pocket costs and subsequent professional fees to be billed separately),” reported Bucks County Beacon Editor-in-Chief Cyril Mychalejko.
Minutes from the June 2022 school board meeting contains a copy of what the district has referred to as a letter of engagement – or contract – with the public relations firm that reads more like a sales pitch and provides little to no specificity as to what the monthly $15,000 fee would provide.
At the January school board meeting, a cash requirements report reflects Devine + Partners billing the district $30,000 – half representing their monthly fee and the other half for expenses although no line item detail is provided to explain the costs or how the money was spent.
Calls placed by the Beacon to Devine + Partners were not returned.