Spying on grass-roots citizens' groups, manufacturing press releases to discredit boycotts, and lobbying to defeat legislative reform are all in a day's work for America's big public-relations firms. "The ascendancy of the PR industry and the collapse of American participatory democracy are the same phenomenon," writes John Stauber, editor and publisher of PR Watch, a new quarterly publication out of Madison, Wisconsin. "When the corporate status quo is threatened by |the rest of us' (seeking better working conditions, national health care, fair prices for farmers, safe food, freedom from toxic pollution, and social justice), the PR flacks, lobbyists, and trade associations mobilize to crush or co-opt the outnumbered, outgunned reformers," Stauber writes. The first, twelve-page issue of PR Watch takes a stab at the public-relations monster. Packed with fascinating information--including a report on the activities of two undercover PR spies, a list of leading PR firms and their annual net fees, and sections from speeches and internal memos--PR Watch is fun to read and a helpful tool for activists who must dodge PR flacks. Stauber is looking to add to his stable of PR whistleblowers, and is happy to accept unsolicited memos, corporate strategy plans, and other documents. To exchange information or subscribe, call (608)233-3346.
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|Article Type:||Periodical Review|
|Date:||Nov 1, 1993|
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