The New York Post reports that Blankfein apparently finally noticed that everyone in the world hates Goldman, and it doesn't help that their current in-house flack is the aggressively unpleasant and disdainful Lucas Van Praag, who responds to all criticism by lighting a long European cigarette with a hundred-Euro bill and then attacking Cary Grant with a biplane.
So Blankfein brought in Public Strategies, a Texas-based PR firm that's run by Dan Bartlett. Bartlett was President Bush's longest-serving aide and, more importantly, the press's official "Senior Administration Official speaking on the condition of anonymity" of 2001-2007.
What kind of work does Public Strategies (most recently in the news when MSNBC decided not to inform its viewers that Richard Wolfe was a "strategist" there) specialize in? According to their website, they're a good friend to have when your natural gas company is responsible for killing old people in an explosion.
Public Strategies was engaged to direct the company's communications in the wake of the explosion. We quickly implemented a plan to ensure the company drove the daily news reporting and public dialogue. We developed messages that addressed the immediate needs and concerns of the company's key audiences - victim's families, affected neighbors, customers, media, city officials, and regulators.
We implemented an aggressive outreach strategy, providing company executives with multiple platforms to communicate with important audiences in a timely manner. The company took the lead in releasing information to the media, ensuring daily news cycles were driven by company actions.
The company mitigated the fallout from the explosion and remains the largest pure natural gas distributor in the United States, and now has a crisis communications plan to follow in the event of a future crisis.
Thank god they have a crisis communications plan in place, for the next time they are responsible for blowing up old people.
Aren't you excited for Goldman to drive the daily news reporting and public dialogue? They blew up the world economy, but pretty soon they'll have a really good message in place to "address the immediate needs and concerns of the company's key audiences." (The Senate Finance Committee.)