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Ryan Walters’s new PR chief still learning how email works…

He sent an empty mass email to the agency's press release list and didn't use the BCC button.

11:02 AM EST on February 17, 2023

Earlier this week, Ryan Walters officially cleaned house in his Oklahoma Department of Education communications department, getting rid of any remaining holdovers from the Hofmeister regime who still had not been able to score a new job. 

The news isn’t that surprising. 

During any state agency regime change, you can generally expect the new person in charge of things to put in place their own hand-selected propaganda team, especially when that person in charge is a right-wing culture warfighter who wants to use warped political rhetoric and divisiveness as part of their plan to destroy the agency from the run form inside. 

As part of the bloodletting, Ryan also welcomed his new Communications Chief to the team. His name is Justin Holcomb. 

We don’t know a lot about Justin. For a PR guy, there’s very little about him online, but it looks like he did once write for the conservative propaganda site TownHall

Earlier this week, Justin introduced himself to the local media by sending a blank mass email with a PDF attachment to everyone on the OSDE press release list.

And he did so without using the BCC option. 

Check this out:

Yep, that’s right. Ryan Walters’s new communications guy sent out a blank email with a PDF attachment and literally CC’ed everyone on his list. That means Justin is either…

A. Painfully unaware of proper PR email etiquette

B. Not aware of the BCC button

C. Both A & B

Regardless of the reason, you’d think a PR flack overseeing communications for the largest state agency would know better than to CC a hundred or more people on an email like he’s your uncle forwarding a bad joke or some copypasta to score a free Old Navy giftcard. Then again, this guy took a job being offered to him by Ryan Walters, so maybe he doesn’t. 

Anyway, an Ogle Mole forwarded the email that Holcomb sent out, and I immediately noticed that I wasn’t on it. Considering I love writing about Ryan Walters and OSDE, that had to be an oversight.

As a result, I sent Justin – and everyone else on the email list – a little note asking to add us:

For what it’s worth, 55 of the email addresses on Justin's list came back as undeliverable. Also, Bill Countryman with Ardmore’s 97.7 KICM asked to be removed from our email database.

Don't worry, Bill! You'll never hear from us again! Now get back to playing those big country hits.

Anyway, I really do look forward to working with Justin and seeing how good of a job he does spreading lies, misinformation, and enflamed right-wing rhetoric for the OSDE on the taxpayer dime. I doubt he’ll do as good of a job as Carly Atchison does for Stitt, but then again, who could?

Stay with The Lost Ogle. We’ll keep you advised.

P.S. – If you work in PR and want to leave us a tip for providing a decent enough press release distribution list, you can do so here.

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