This essay by politics professor Jackie Stevens examines the behind-the-scenes influence of the biotech industry on "Paradise Now: Picturing the Genetic Revolution," a multimedia art show in New York City with a Madison Avenue publicity budget. "Why fund installations and images that might frighten us -- a painting of a designer farm, transgenic frogs, even pieces criticizing the industry itself?
The Bulldog Reporter, a publication that specializes in compiling dossiers on journalists for corporate PR use, has given its "gold award" in "crisis communications" to Michael Fineman of Fineman Associates Public Relations for his work on behalf of the Pacifica radio network. Fineman was hired to help contain the image problems that arose when the Pacifica's management used armed guards to forcibly expel veteran broadcasters, arrested demonstrators, and shut down station KPFA in Berkeley, CA.
The Burson-Marsteller PR form has established a partnership with Leeds Metropolitan University, the UK's largest university provider of public relations education. B-M will provide input into LMU's courses, share research, provide visiting lecturers and offer undergraduate and graduate training programmes, and LMU has also offered an honorary degree to company founder Harold Burson.
Agribusiness needs to use "attack technologies" against activists, according to Nick Nichols of the PR/crisis management firm Nichols-Dezenhall. Speaking to the annual business meeting of the National Pork Producers Council, Nichols quoted gangster Al Capone, who said: "You can get more with kind words and a smile and a gun than you get with kind words and a smile." (PR Watch has obtained a copy of Nichols' Powerpoint presentation to the pork producers.
"The Korean War veteran stares out from the television screen, an American flag waving behind him. 'Environmentalists are telling us how to live our lives ... preventing us from driving cars, and forcing us to live downtown,' he says. 'In America, these are still personal choices. Tyranny didn't win in South Korea,' he concludes. 'Don't let it get a foothold here.' The message, brought to you by the Georgia Highway Contractors Association, began airing on metro Atlanta television stations last week. Similar messages have been airing for months across the country..."
This article examines attempts in England to establish a "press council" that would control what reporters are allowed to write about issues involving science and product safety, particularly in regard to genetically modified foods. Mae-Wan Ho and Jonathan Mathews report on the seamless way in which the corporations, the state and the scientific establishment are co-ordinating their efforts to suppress scientific dissent and force feed the world with GM crops.
PR Seminar, a secretive spinoff of the National Association of Manufacturers, held its 50th annual meeting on June 6-9 of this year. "You have entered a very elite circle, you are the cream of the crop of the PR world," one of its members said in 1979. Not a word of the proceedings is supposed to escape although the O'Dwyer Co. has covered the event with varying degrees of completeness since 1970.
Dairy Management Inc., a trade association funded by dairy industry check-off money for building U.S. dairy product demand, awarded an issues management account to Weber Shandwick. The contract is believed to be around $2 million. Weber Shandwick won the account over top-tier agencies Fleishman-Hillard, Edelman PR Worldwide, Burson-Marsteller and Porter Novelli. Sara Galvin heads the DMI account from WSW's Minneapolis office. She is supported by staffers in Washington, D.C. The campaign had been expected to focus on concerns raised by foot-and-mouth and mad cow disease in Europe.
Burson-Marsteller has hired Jordana Friedman, a veteran of several non-governmental advocacy organizations, as a director in its U.S. corporate and financial practice. She joins B-M from the Council on Economic Priorities, a U.S.-based corporate social responsibility research organization, where she served as director of the London office.
The Center for Defense of Free Enterprise, led by anti-environmental "Wise Use" organizers Alan Gottlieb and Ron Arnold, has created this website which claims to "unmask" the Rainforest Action Network for its "ties to other radical groups," "anti-capitalist ideology" and "lawless and dangerous activities." To "unmask" Gottlieb and Arnold themselves, read the Environmental Working Group's excellent backgrounder.