Public Relations

Yet Another PR Ploy: The Un-Spokesperson

The Seattle Times' Jonathan Martin reports, "In response to a request to talk with [T-Mobile] CEO Robert Dotson and other executives this week, I got an email back from the PR firm Waggener Edstrom Worldwide that ended with a strange request.

Hi Jonathan, Thank you for your phone call this afternoon and your patience while I looked into your request. While we won't be able to provide you with an interview we are able to provide the following statement. ... Please note that if you plan to use this statement in your piece, I am not a T-Mobile spokesperson and to use my name would be inaccurate.

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The Lie Machine Killing Health Care Reform

"According to internal documents obtained by Rolling Stone, Conservatives for Patients' Rights had been working closely for weeks as a 'coalition partner' with three other right-wing groups in a plot to unleash irate mobs at town-hall meetings ... .

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CMD's First Golden Throne Award Presented to EDWARD YINGLING, Bank Lobbyist Extraordinaire

Today, the Real Economy Project of CMD is introducing a new award we are fondly calling our "Golden Throne Award." The Throne salutes the behind-the-scenes lobbyists and spinmeisters who have managed to maintain the status quo and hold off any meaningful reform of the financial services sector since the collapse of Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lync

Wendell Potter: How Corporate PR Works to Kill Health Care Reform

September 14th I addressed a gathering at the Center for American Progress in Washington, DC and delivered these remarks:

It is easy to think of efforts to influence lawmakers as the exclusive domain of K Street lobbyists. Much has been said and written about the millions of dollars the special interests are spending on lobbying activities and the hundreds of lobbyists who are at work as we speak trying to shape health care reform legislation. Very little by comparison has been written about the millions of dollars that special interests are spending on PR activities to accomplish the same goal and that are vital to successful lobbying efforts.

One of the reasons I left my job at CIGNA, where I headed corporate communications and was part of the Legal & Public Affairs division, was because I did not want to be involved in yet another PR and lobbying campaign to kill or gut reform. I finally came to question the ethics of what I had done and been a part of for nearly two decades to influence decision-making and bill writing on Capitol Hill.

TIME Features Wendell Potter, Obama Quotes Him

"Wendell Potter may be the ideal whistle-blower. The former head of corporate communications for health-insurance giant Cigna, Potter turned against his old colleagues in June to testify before a congressional committee about what he viewed as the health-insurance industry's 'duplicitous' behavior in the current health-reform debate. ...

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Thanks to the Plastics Industry, Big Tobacco's Lobbying Tactics Stay Fresher, Last Longer

The plastics industry has launched a $10 million PR blitz aimed at stopping the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from re-evaluating its declaration that a widely-used plastics additive called Bisphenol A (BPA) is safe.

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Republicans Criticize Big Pharma -- for Its Obama Ties

Senior Obama adviser David Axelrod's public relations and ad industry ties -- which received some scrutiny during the presidential campaign -- are again being questioned. Opponents of health care reform (mostly Republicans) are criticizing the "huge ad buys" that pro-reform groups are making through Axelrod's old firm. "Two separate $12 million ad campaigns advocating Obama's health care plan ...

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