Crisis Management

PR-Inflicted Nightmare Hits Cell Therapeutics

"A public-relations firm is dealing with a public-relations nightmare
after unintentionally e-mailing journalists and others documents about
one of its clients, Seattle-based Cell Therapeutics.
The mass e-mail from Shepardson Stern + Kaminsky on Wednesday revealed
the candid views of Cell Therapeutics managers and outside analysts on
the strengths and weaknesses of the biotechnology company. SS+K asserts

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Managing those Pesky Activists

PR Week continues the industry's preoccupation with managing activism with a variety of articles examining the strategies activists use to advance their causes, "the proactive approach to averting protests," and an article on corporate social responsibility titled "CSR: Beyond Lip Service."

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Working for the Pipeline

Chlopak, Leonard, Schechter & Assocs., a PR firm that specializes in crisis management, is helping energy companies fend off environmentalist and human rights groups that oppose a planned 400-mile pipeline in Peru that will pass through indigenous homelands in the Amazon rainforest. CLSA's other clients have included the Arthur Andersen accounting firm during the Enron scandal.

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Qorvis PR in Turmoil Over Saudis, Three Partners Quit

"Saudi Arabia's latest public relations
problem may be with its public relations firm. Three of the founding partners in the Washington firm, Qorvis Communications, have announced that they are leaving, and associates say their departure reflects a deep
discomfort in representing the government of Saudi Arabia
against accusations that Saudi leaders have turned a blind
eye to terrorism. The firm, hired by the Saudi government in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, has been paid about $200,000 a month

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Who Ya Gonna Trust?

A major global public opinion survey suggests that trust in many key institutions has fallen to critical proportions. The survey of 36,000 people conducted by Gallup International and Environics International reveals a dramatic lack of trust in democratic institutions and global and large national companies; and trust is even low when it comes to non-governmental organizations (NGOs), trade unions and media organizations around the world.

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More PR Help for Catholic Sex Abuse

Guthrie/Mayes PR is helping the Archdiocese of Louisville handle its sex abuse crisis. Eight of the Archdiocese's 182 priests have been "permanently removed" from their ministries. Other clients of Guthrie/Mayes include Philip Morris, Toyota, Eli Lilly and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts.

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Tainted Turkey? Call In The Flacks

Wampler Foods, a unit of poultry producer Pilgrim's Pride, has hired Edelman PR Worldwide to help handle a recall crisis, according to O'Dwyer's PR. Over the weekend, Pilgrim's Pride recalled 27.4 million pounds of cooked sandwich meat, primarily sold under the Wampler brand. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have traced a deadly strain of listeria bacteria to a Pilgrim's Pride plant in Franconia, Pennsylvania. This is the largest meat recall in U.S. history.

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The "Sgt. Schultz" Defense

Enron CEO Ken Lay and Global Crossing CEO Gary Winnick are both claiming that they knew nothing about the billion-dollar shortfalls, deceptive accounting and other problems at their companies. Experts say ignorance is a "potentially effective legal strategy," even though "you should expect chairmen to be aware of major factors affecting the business." After all, isn't that why they pay them the big bucks?

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