"The Economist," bemoans Andy Rowlands, the director of corporate, issues and technology practice at the public relations giant Burson-Marsteller, "is one of the most influential, but also most difficult places to secure coverage." The former head of PR for the London-based magazine (now a PR consultant), Eileen Wise, suggests that persistence pays off.
Wendell Potter came to the Center for Media and Democracy in May as an admirer of our work exposing corporate front groups, lobbyists and PR manipulators. He should know, he was one of the best PR executives in the health insurance business, CIGNA's Vice President of Corporate Communications until he had a major change of heart.
Today Wendell is CMD's Senior Fellow on Health Care, testifying before the US Senate Commerce Committee. His passion is health care reform and his expertise is exposing how the powerful industry he once helped run is manipulating and managing the health care reform debate raging among policy makers, the public and in the media.
In May, the Russian government "created a high-level commission to overhaul its image on the world stage as the first anniversary of Russia's war with Georgia approaches." The commission is chaired by President Dmitry Medvedev's chief of staff, Sergei Naryshikin, "underscoring how serious the Kremlin considers the problem, which it often blames on shadowy external enemies and ill-wishers," reports the Wall Street Journal.
"Well aware that their cause is in trouble and unpopular, purity proponents are revamping their image to appear more mainstream," reports Jessica Valenti.
Weber Shandwick UK counts among its clients Viking Energy, a company "seeking to build a 153-turbine wind farm in the Shetlands." But the PR firm's chair of public affairs, Jonathan McLeod, recently launched an anti-wind power campaign, using his Weber Shandwick email address.
From March 2008 to January 2009, the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) spent $7.6 million on public relations and marketing, to "instill confidence in the stability of the insured banking system" and mark the agency's 75th anniversary.
After conducting "focus groups, a phone survey, an online survey" and other public opinion research, the PR firm ecoAmerica released a report on effective talking points "for speaking with the American public about energy climate change, climate solutions, renewable energy and carbon based fuels." As the New York Times noted pre