NEW YORK—Weber Shandwick has formed a new global health crisis response team to offer counsel and expertise during an international health crisis, such as the current SARS epidemic.
The new team brings together Weber Shandwick’s experience in crisis management, healthcare issues management, public affairs and government relations. It will be led by Laura Schoen, president of
the global healthcare practice; Micho Spring, chairperson of the U.S. corporate practice; Sheila Tate, vice chairman of public affairs firm Powell Tate | Weber Shandwick; Andrew Pirie, co-president of Weber Shandwick in Asia Pacific and managing director of the firm’s Singapore office; and Liz Margles, a senior vice president based in Toronto.
Pirie and Margles have been counseling clients in Hong Kong, Singapore, Beijing and Toronto since the outbreak of SARS.
“Now more than ever, organizations that may deal with public health crises need to recognize the importance of crisis preparedness,” said Harris Diamond, CEO of Weber Shandwick. “Strategic planning and immediate communications can increase public safety, build trust, and provide a reasonable perspective regarding the magnitude of the risk-causing events. This can enable such events to be less disruptive at all levels, lowering the potential risk of long-term effects on countries, businesses and the global economy.”
The new unit will help companies handle the complex communications challenges posed by SARS, bioterrorism and other global health crises.