keeping an eye on the Kingdom's PR
November 23, 2012
On October 16, 2012, the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre contacted Bahrain Watch, and offered to ask the PR companies profiled in our PR Watch project to respond to the information on our website. Bahrain Watch accepted the offer.
In a series of e-mails on November 7, 2012 and November 15, 2012, Policy Impact Communications -- one of the firms profiled in PR Watch -- contacted Bahrain Watch, and alerted us to unsubstantiated information in our PR Watch press release and introductory page. Specifically, we had claimed on our introductory page and press release that Policy Impact Communications was hired by the Government of Bahrain. Additionally, our press release contained an unsubstantiated claim about the reason that Policy Impact Communications established the non-profit Bahrain American Council.
On November 23, 2012, Bahrain Watch made the following changes to its site:PR Watch Intro Page
- Modify the first paragraph to make clear that not all of the 19 firms profiled in PR Watch are necessarily hired by the Government of Bahrain.
- Remove Policy Impact from the list of firms hired by the government. Create a separate list of firms that are not necessarily hired by the government, but that Bahrain Watch is monitoring anyway, as they have taken steps that have influenced the narrative in Bahrain. Place Policy Impact in the new, separate list.
- Modify the press release to make clear that not all of the 19 firms profiled in PR Watch are necessarily hired by the Government of Bahrain.
- Remove the paragraph about Policy Impact Communications, as the paragraph implied that PIC was hired by the government, and contained an unsubstantiated claim that Policy Impact had established the Bahrain American Council to skirt rules banning lobbyists from paying for US Congressional travel.
- Modify the homepage to make clear that not all of the 19 firms profiled in PR Watch are necessarily hired by the Government of Bahrain.
- Add a sentence to the "Relationship with Bahrain Government" section reiterating that Bahrain Watch does not have any evidence that Policy Impact was hired by the Government of Bahrain, in order to avoid any confusion.