Libya's continuing quest for a PR agency
Charting the future of public relations
Holmes Report

Libya's continuing quest for a PR agency

Arun Sudhaman

Earlier this year, when the Libyan civil war began in earnest, I heard that the Libyan government had contacted a few major PR firms in London, seeking help in putting its side of the story across. Unsurprisingly, these efforts came to naught. Given that both the US and UK are backing Libya's rebels, it would be a brave firm indeed that decided to offer counsel to Muammar Gaddafi. Still, for any firm seeking this type of existential challenge, the opportunity may still exist. Or so it would seem from an email forwarded to me by a PR agency in London. The missive comes from the Libyan Ministry of Information's 'Mission for Peace', and outlines a comprehensive list of PR requirements to help the country present its "just and fair case to the world." Perhaps anticipating some of the bureaucratic scrutiny that could accompany such a deal, the brief points out that "we can formalise any deal with your organisation through a third party to help move things forward fast." There then follows a long list of areas in which Libya needs help, including image management, public affairs, and comprehensive media outreach. Also of note, "day by day trouble shooting in media and PR sectors." There's plenty more, including international conferences, academic outreach, web management, and various publications. The Libyan government is certainly hoping to get a return on its investment. Fees are unclear, but I'm guessing they won't determine the outcome of this particular exercise.
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