"PR Man," which opened in New York city on June 15, will run for the next two weekends through July 1. Written and directed by Robert Lyons, and based on Toxic Sludge Is Good For You by John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton, the play examines one PR man's strategic damage control surrounding a grassroots protest of "bio-soil" -- toxic sludge used as fertilizer. Bogus experts, seduction, and crafted deniability fuel a momentum that even he can't control in this fast-paced, sexually-charged comic drama.
Lobbyist Rick Berman runs the DC-based Guest Choice Network, a mean and nasty PR operation serving the tobacco, booze and food industries. (See PR Watch Volume 8 #1 for the inside scoop on Berman & Co.) His favorite target is often Michael Jacobson's "food police" at the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI).
In its annual display of PR for PR, the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) passed out Silver Anvil Awards to 46 winners during a ceremony held at Equitable Tower in New York City. According to a PRSA news release, the Silver Anvil (symbolizing the forging of public opinion) is annually awarded to public relations practitioners who, in the judgement of their peers, have successfully addressed a contemporary issue with exemplary professional skill, creativity and resourcefulness.
Curious to know which PR firms are working for Coca-Cola? Answer: Dublin & Assocs.; Manning Selvage & Lee; Robinson Assocs.; College Hill, U.K.; Icon Group; and Crawley Haskins. How did we find this out? Simple. We just used the handy "client search tool" on the website of O'Dwyer's PR Daily. Go ahead, try it yourself. Just enter a company's name and hit the submit button:
Patton Boggs is working to enhance the image of Haiti under a $50,000-a-month contract the lobbying firm filed with the Justice Dept. The overall goal is to generate U.S. economic aid for the hard-pressed country.
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..."