PR Agency in Iraqi “Pay for Play” Responds to Charges
A little housekeeping about The Rendon Group, the “PR” agency involved in paying Iraqi reporters for coverage, as well as a whole other boatload of covert activities.
I blogged about in this scandal after an article appeared in Rolling Stone.
At the time, The Rendon Group was MIA as media tried to contact them for comment (Media Relations 101 Gaffe), but eventually, they sent in this little missive to Rolling Stone.
The reporter, James Banford answered their corrections point-for-point.
One correction managed to make them look worse (if that were possible).
The moral of this story is that the media does hold the power of the pen, so you really should remember that you can’t “control the story” forever. Especially with media that can’t be bought.
Ultimately, it is about employing ethical practices all of the time and reachong out to help the media get the information that they need.
Also, Rendon’s group doesn't engage in PR, that phrase implies a two-way relationship between and organization and its publics. This group just crams information down the throat of journalists in a budding democracy.
What kind of example does this set?
And as for the PR fees that Rendon gets from the government of $311.26 per hour ($12,450.40 per week), that he claims is a “step down” from corporate rates – I know many agencies in D.C. (and elsewhere) that would love to get that rate.
As a PR practioner, I am still disgusted.