Timing Is Everything

A British public relations executive is cautioning PR professionals not to release bad news in the wake of Michael Jackson's death. "No-one can ever trump Labour aide Jo Moore's debacle during the September 11 attacks, but there'll be cynics out there watching very carefully for companies releasing stuff under cover of global mourning," said Dougal Paver, Managing Director of Paver Smith.


Prying Doors Open at The Economist

"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.


Kremlin Comrades Crave Kinder Coverage

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.


Tobacco-Free Coverage for Australian Honoree

Should someone who worked for one the world's biggest tobacco companies be celebrated as a national role model?

Ms. Quentin Bryce, the Australian Governor-General who acts as the representative of the Queen of England, apparently thinks so. To coincide with the Queen's Birthday long weekend in early June, Bryce announced that Carla Zampatti had been made a Companion in the General Division of the Order of Australia for "service through leadership and management roles in the fashion and retail property sectors, to multicultural broadcasting, and to women as a role model and mentor." Two others were also made companions, the most prestigious honorary titles bestowed on individuals.The awards, announced twice a year, are extensively publicised in the mainstream media.

Insurance Companies Profit Twice from Smokers

A new study in the New England Journal of Medicine reveals that life and health insurance companies in the U.S., Canada and Great Britain invest heavily in tobacco companies. Tobacco use is a major cause of fatal lung diseases and cancer, and is known to elevate the risk for heart attack and stroke.


Behind Bate

In a major article profiling Roger Bate, one of the leading think tank players, Adam Sarvana writes that Bate is "to the environmental movement what Bugs Bunny is to Elmer Fudd, a clever, slippery and often triumphant adversary. But unlike Bugs, who cuts a wide swath, Bate is unknown even to his favorite targets.


Greenwashing a Coal Power Plant

The Guardian, a major British news publisher, is hosting The Guardian Climate Change Summit 2009, which it states aims to "explore how business can build and maintain a commitment to tackling climate change through the recession and beyond." The conference, which is sponsored by the energy company E.ON UK and the


Industry Celebrates Obama's Climate Caution, Enviros Self-Censor

Despite Barack Obama's bold rhetoric on global warming, the administration is pursuing a more timid line both domestically and in international negotiations leading to the COP15 conference in Copenhagen in December. John M.



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