Public Relations

PR Exec Tells How Industry Manipulates Public Opinion

James Hoggan, the director of the James Hoggan & Associates public relations firm, has authored a book titled Climate Cover Up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming, in which he describes PR techniques that industry groups use to create the impressi

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Luxury Cruises Resume to Haiti: Bad PR, Good Deed, or Both?

Cruise purveyor Royal Caribbean stirred up a public relations storm last week after it resumed taking vacationing tourists to its luxury Haitian beach resort, Labadee, located just 100 miles from the shocking scenes of rubble, suffering and desperation brought by the earthquake.

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Plastic Front Group With Flexibility

A member of the Helena, Montana, chapter of the Coalition for Chemical Safety, a chemical industry front group, has been disavowed for calling for an all-out ban of the use of BPA, an additive in many plastic products. Richard Denison, a senior scientist with Environmental Defense Fund, noted that the woman was interviewed on Montana Public Radio’s Evening Edition.

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University of Colorado at Boulder Falls Prey to Philip Morris' Strategic Philanthropy

The University of Colorado at Boulder has accepted a $12.1 million grant from cigarette maker Philip Morris (PM) to put on "Life Skills Training" (LST) programs in middle schools, nominally aimed at reducing students' use of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs.

Notwithstanding that a federal court in 2006 found Philip Morris guilty of engaging in 50 years of public fraud and racketeering, a 2006 peer-reviewed study of tobacco industry documents conducted by the University of California San Francisco's Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education looked at why tobacco companies so robustly promote Life Skills Training. They found that since 1999, PM and Brown & Williamson have both worked to disseminate Life Skills Training programs into schools across the country. Why? As part of their effort, the two companies hired a public relations firm to evaluate the program. The evaluation showed that LST was not effective at reducing smoking, after either the first or second year of implementing the program. Despite this, the tobacco companies have continued to eagerly award grants to implement the program.

Five Questions, Five Doses of Spin

The Lansing State Journal is the latest in a long line of media outlets to provide a pro-nuclear platform to former Greenpeace activist turned corporate PR consultant, Patrick Moore, without disclosing his consultancy with the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI).

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Hill & Knowlton's Carbon Two-Step

In a media release, the PR firm Hill & Knowlton (H&K) boasts that the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has awarded the company a short-term consultancy for "an information campaign to encourage climate conscious behavior by delegates and others to help reduce GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions" related to the COP15 meeting in Copenhagen in December.

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Sugar-Coated Counterattack

The PR firm Edelman is handling a crisis management campaign for Imperial Sugar to "pick apart claims" by a whistleblower about poor safety standards at the Port Wentworth refinery near Savannah, Georgia. Graham H. Graham, who was Vice President of Operations for Imperial, testified that the refinery was a "dirty, dangerous facility" before a February 2008 explosion which killed 14 people.

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