keeping an eye on the Kingdom's PR
Nature of Business: Public relations
1101 Pennsylvania Ave NW, 6th Floor
Washington, DC 20004 (map)
|Fees and Expenses: $194,634|
Relationship with Bahrain Government
Sanitas International was subcontracted by Joe Trippi & Associates to work on its account for Bahrain's Information Affairs Authority in July 2011. In the contract, Sanitas explained the work it planned to do for the Bahraini government:
"Sanitas International will provide senior strategic counsel and strategy development in the areas of strategic communications, reputation management and public affairs for the Kingdom of Bahrain and their leadership. Our team will immediately focus efforts to protect the Kingdom and their leadership from the constantly evolving media landscape and 3rd party attacks. Part of this effort will be to assist the overall team in a robust US-based communications program in the previous ways we have discussed and to look at other areas of opportunity."
In return, Sanitas would receive half of the $30,000 per month that Trippi was receiving from the Bahraini government (plus reimbursement for expenses).
According to a disclosure covering its activities between May and November 2011, Sanitas's work for Bahrain seems to mostly involve sending emails (many unsolicited) to journalists and thinktanks passing on press releases, requesting meetings with Bahraini officials, and requesting for op-eds to be published.
Many of the emails, it seems, go unanswered. For example, in October 2011, Sanitas emailed staff at the Huffington Post separately three times requesting to publish an op-ed by a British resident in Bahrain who earlier had a piece printed in a local pro-government newspaper. Sanitas had better luck the next month when the Washington Times printed an op-ed it had submitted attributed to former commander of the US Navy's Fifth Fleet Vice Admiral Charles Moore. The Washington Times forgot to mention the PR connection between the op-ed piece and Sanitas or the Bahraini government.
Sanitas is also responsible for a number of pro-government news features distributed through the North American Precis Syndicate, a paid press release distribution service.
Fees and Expenses
$15,000 per month consulting fees, not including expenses.
According to FARA disclosure documents, between August 2011 and March 2012, Sanitas received at least $125,000 in consulting fees and reimbursement for $69,634 in related expenses, for a total of $194,634.
Date of Hiring
- US Dept of Justice: FARA Exhibit AB to Registration Statement, Aug 21, 2011
- US Dept of Justice: FARA Exhibit AB to Registration Statement (contract), Dec 15, 2011
- US Dept of Justice: FARA Supplemental Statement (period: Jun 2011 to Nov 2011), Dec 15, 2011
- Salon.com: Lockheed Martin goes to bat for oppressive regime, Jan 4, 2012
- The Bureau of Investigative Journalism: The inside track: how lobbyists have helped launder Bahrain's reputation, April 20, 2012