Reich Communications, Inc.

  • Reich Communications, Inc. is a boutique public relations agency in New York City offering full service in a variety of areas, with specializations in business-to-business; advertising, marketing and media firms; transportation safety; non-profits, and select consumer products and services. For more info, call us at (212) 573-6000, email to david@reichcommunications or text to 914-325-9997. We are located at 228 East 45th Street, Suite 11-South, New York City 10017

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    « Sorry, but I'm not all a'Twitter | Main | Communications Revolution »

    May 16, 2009

    Comments

    Anna

    Chevron is willing to do anything to avoid helping the Ecuadorians suffering from their contamination. Drinking water is contaminated, people are dying of cancer and skin diseases, their lives are destroyed. Denying, downplaying and manipulating- that’s all Chevron can do. They should stop that nonsense, take responsibility and clean up that mess.

    Here’s an interesting blog about the contamination: http://www.thechevronpit.blogspot.com

    David Reich

    Thanks Anna.

    I don't disagree with you, but my post is about one aspect of the p.r. tactics, not whether Chevron is right or wrong in what they've done or what they should do about the contamination.

    CK

    Thanks for posting on this, since I learned about this about a week ago, it's been an interesting discussion with colleagues (including you!)--as the feedback I've been following has really been all over the map. Do I think it was "wrong"? No, because the reporter was no longer reporting--I understand he's now a private consultant. But, if the reporter were to do this in his free time and then went back to reporting during 9-5, I would have a problem with it. And, truly, while I may not agree with Chevron, they have a right to defend themselves.

    PS: I'd be interested in what your thoughts on are Thomas Friedman's (NYT famed reporter and author) snafu on those speaking fees which the LA Times reporter called him out on--and then he returned the 75k. Interesting times we live in, eh?

    David Reich

    I hadn't heard about the problem re. Tom Friedman's speaking fees. I know he often gets upwards of $20,000 for a talk.

    I have no problem with that, as long as his employer is ok with it. I would expect that his speaking engagements wouldn't impact impact his reporting.

    Actually, he's not simply a reporter, but a columnist who is paid to write his opinion, as opposed to the unbiased, non-subjective writing that straight reporters are supposed to do. So if someone wants to pay him to espouse his opinion, why not?

    CK

    "I have no problem with that, as long as his employer is ok with it. I would expect that his speaking engagements wouldn't impact impact his reporting."

    FYI to give you more on the story:

    When you write for NYT (and most papers), you cannot accept payment from corporations or lobbying groups. For obvious reasons as that can bias your coverage (either intentionally or subconciously). You can accept payment from academic institutions. But forget the obvious, he agreed to NYT ethics so it could be a mistake, or maybe not. (I don't assume the worst, btw). But we need to ensure that contracts matter given that the NYT is using their ethics to ensure ethical news--that's why the reporter, link below, had such a problem with it. Not sure if you knew the whole deal there... now you do!

    (And I would love for Friedman to make gobs of money, he deserves it for his hard work. But he should follow the rules that he agrees/signs contracts to--and I'm sure he won't make this mistake again).

    Here's the link: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-et-onthemedia13-2009may13,0,6155841.column

    David Reich

    CK, rules are rules and Tom Friedman should have stuck to them. In the Public Editor column in The Times, he claims his agent booked the speech and he didn't realize at the time it was for a firm that does lobbying. It sounds like an honest error, but one I'd bet he won't make again.

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