Losing control of the media arena as result of the activities of a pressure
group has become a
nightmare scenario for the modern multinational enterprise. This creates a big market for PR-companies
that are hired to change the worst scenario into a business opportunity.
These questions were discussed at the Next
5 Minutes Conference, in Amsterdam, March 1999.
The Art of Campaigning was one of the main themes during this three day tactical media event.
This website includes an extended report on the Counterstrategy Panel.
After the N5M a network was founded to exchange information on corporate counterstrategies.
First a mailinglist was set up to put a spotlight on the public relation industry: the Pandora Project.
Now, autumn 2000, this crew is working on a guide-book for activists on corporate intelligence
and PR-strategies of multinationals against their critics, to be published by the end of next year.
Report on the N5M Counterstrategy Panel.
Read the full text presentations here!
Internet activism vs. “Dialogue PR”
Andy Rowell quotes PR strategists from the early sixties urging companies to ally themselves with ‘moderate’ green partners to put public protest against environmentally destructive products to rest. The bottom-line is divide and rule by classifying your critics in four categories: Radicals, Opportunists, Idealists and Realists.
Spectacular PR failure & Monsanto’s
Helen Holder outlines how Monsanto’s European PR effort is a good example of becoming a spectacular failure in public health and environmental campaigns. Monsanto PR executives have grossly underestimated the European resistance against the introduction of genetically engineered products.
Astroturf meets Grass Roots
Claudia Peter tackles a special form of countercampaining called astroturf. She dismantles so-called environmental organisations who present themselves as concerned citizens, while carrying out corporate agendas and using slogans like 'Windmills, nein danke!' Sounds familiar? It's not a coincidence.
Violence against campaigners
Sheila O'Donnell investigates cases of activists being harassed, threatened and killed. Some companies hire security agencies to set up those who dare to criticise them. Wackenhut went after oil-activists in Canada.
Engineering of Consent.
Judith Richter's inspiring suggestions on unveiling hidden PR practices, exposing transnational companies and developing clever strategies for campaigners. Excerpts from a briefing paper on the Nestlé Counterstrategy against babymilk-campaigners, paper published by The Cornerhouse, March 1998
Big Brother Ltd Inc. Proudly Presents:
A Corporate Counterstrategy Near You.
Extended report on the paneldiscussion during the Next 5 Minutes Conference.
Exclusively including many links supporting the talks of the speakers. By Josselien Janssens.
N5M-special van Ravage in Dutch
met inleidende stukken die mensen naar de N5M moesten lokken, waaronder de Nederlandse versie van het introductiestuk over Counterstrategies: Tegenstrategiën, bedrijven wapenen zich tegen actiecampagnes.
In het daaropvolgende nummer van actieblad Ravage ook een verslag van de conferentie.
Ook in het Nederlands: een stukje in de DDS-krant.
There is even a report in Italian
Le contro strategie delle multinazionali Attivismo su Internet.
Political Activism Online
Amongst other interesting pieces, again the report on the N5M panel in Issue Five of Cybersociology Magazine, a multi-disciplinary, non-profit webzine which takes a critical look at cyberculture, cyberspace, online communities, and life online. Joint Issue With Crash Media. Published Online 01 April, 1999