BEIJING—French-owned public relations giant Publicis Consultants | Worldwide and Washington, D.C., law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld are cooperating to create a global issues response and management team, assisting clients in preparing for, responding to and navigating crises, including public relations, political and legal implications. The first focus market for the new alliance will be China.
“We have a pioneering approach to build and protect our clients’ stakeholder relationships as well as to defend their reputation,” says Public Consultants | Worldwide CEO Eric Giuily. “Today, the impact of a crisis in one country, China for instance, can be felt anywhere in the world. “Publicis Consultants and Akin Gump’s international assets and networks can now be offered together to provide a comprehensive set of services to help clients successfully navigate a crisis with global implications.”
The chief manager on the team for Publicis Consultants is Charles Winner, head of the Publicis Consultants crisis response team and president of Winner & Associates in Los Angeles. Winner says that as the world focuses on China for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics and the 2010 Shanghai World Expo approach, multinational clients can expect their activities in China to come under increasing scrutiny in the United States and Europe.
Adds Eliot Cutler, partner in charge of Akin Gump’s Beijing office: “As commerce becomes increasingly global, businesses find that their ability to compete at home and manage investment abroad is more and more dependent on how successfully they master a tangle of legal, regulatory, political and reputational considerations in several countries at once. The breadth of skills and depth of experience of the professionals involved in this joint effort will help companies do just that.”
Publicis Consultants and Akin Gump have a long history of working together on legal, political and communications challenges, both independently and in cooperation.