Public Relations

Soldiers Follow the Script

In Afghanistan, BBC correspondent got a revealing look at US military propaganda, when two soldiers showed him the laminated cards they had been given with scripted instructions on how to deal with journalists. The card listed suggested answers to questions like: "How do you feel about what you're doing in Afghanistan"? Answer: "We're united in our purpose and committed to achieving our goals." "How long do you think that will take?" Answer: "We will stay here as long as it takes to get the job done - sir!"

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Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammo

KCSA PR Worldwide, whose clients include the Zionist Organization of America, is doing PR for the Christian Coalition to support the war in Iraq. The Christian Coalition is organizing a "Christian Solidarity for Israel Rally" and is urging its members to pray for the Iraqi people while we bomb them. Some PR counselors see a conflict of interest and problems down the road when Jewish and fundamentalist Christian agendas collide.

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B-M Organizes Anti-Kyoto Front Group in Canada

"National PR is organizing the debut tomorrow of the Coalition for Responsible Environmental Solutions, a group composed of Canada's trade associations largely opposed to the country's plan to adopt the Kyoto global warming treaty. ... [R]epresentatives from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Council of Chief Executives will outline the Coalition's goals during a press conference tomorrow in Ottawa. ...

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"Public Diplomacy" Chief Gets Mixed Reviews

"As veteran ad executive Charlotte Beers finishes her first year as undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs there are mixed reviews over whether she has accomplished her goal of improving the nation's image beyond its borders," writes Advertising Age. "Even supporters [of Beers] agree that the nation's image has suffered, but they suggest it is unfair to blame Ms. Beers, placing the blame instead on Bush administration policies on Israel and Iraq. Ms.

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The Battle of the Band

"We're getting the band together," White House Communications Director Dan Bartlett told the group on their first conference call last week. "The 'Band' is made up of the people who brought you the war in Afghanistan -- or at least the accompanying public-relations campaign," explains Martha Brant.

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America's 10 Worst Greenwashers

EcoPledge.com, a coalition of environmental organizations that uses boycotts to put pressure on environment-abusing companies, has joined Earth Day Resources in putting out a report titled "Don't Be Fooled: The Top 10 Misleading Environmental Claims of the Year." The report calls attention to the companies that have made the most misleading claims about the environmental benefits of their products and industr

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Saudis Seek The Best Image Money Can Buy

"The Saudi government has spent millions of dollars on well-connected lobbyists and national television advertisements since Sept. 11 in a drive to improve its image among Americans and is poised to spend more as the anniversary of the events approaches," The New York Times' Christopher Marquis reports. "In all, the Saudis have hired several public relations firms and have already spent more than $5 million, according to new Justice Department filings.

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Heads Roll at BM-Australia

PR wheeler-dealer Ian Kortlang has become the new chief of Burson-Marsteller's Australian office, ousting CEO Varina Nissen. Kortlang has a reputation for backstabbing former clients, such as a local Australian winery that he represented before switching sides to represent its adversary, a well-heeled multinational corporation, in a bitter business dispute.

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