Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Branding Palestine

Qorvis Communications is now in charge of Palestinian public relations and has registered as a foreign agent.

The Palestinians three-month, $90K contract with Qorvis involves PR, advertising, direct mail, social media as well as lobbying to opinion makers and policymakers.

From the paper work filed with the Department of Justice:
"The business community of Palestine is undertaking a branding campaign for Palestine. The goals of the campaign are to foster a better understanding of Palestine and its people and promote international trade and tourism.
Many people around the world do not have a clear understanding or picture of Palestine. This branding campaign is designed to break the many myths and misconceptions surrounding Palestine and help people recognize the great promise of growth, prosperity and peace that can arise from this land and its people. For example, Palestine has a very high literacy rate of 95 percent and Palestinian universities produce 45,000 graduates every year, including such world leaders as such as Mahmoud Darwish, the celebrated Palestinian poet who died two years ago.
The campaign is funded by the business community through the Palestinian American Chamber of Commerce. The campaign is being managed by Palestine's top public relations and advertising firm, Elam Tarn. The agency is organizing a global communications and branding strategy, with an initial focus on the US and Israel. In individual markets, Elam Tarn selects local agencies to help with the execution of the campaign. In the United States, Ellam Tarn has selected Qorvis Communications as subcontractor. The campaign will debut in September to coincide with the activities of the United Nations General Assembly."

D.C. based Qorvis is serving as subcontractor to Ellam Tam, a Ramallah PR firm and is funded by the Palestinian American Chamber of Commerce.

Qorvis, which has a history of servicing questionable regimes in the Middle East also represents Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Bahrain. John Deschauer, Tina Jeon, Sol Levine, Sam Dealey and William Dempster have been assigned to the Palestine account.

A recent article in the Huffington post documented an exodus of employees from Qorvis.

"In the last two months, more than a third of the partners at Qorvis have left the firm to start their own lobby shops, partly because of the firm's work on behalf of such clients as Yemen, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the Central African nation of Equatorial Guinea, say former employees.

"I just have trouble working with despotic dictators killing their own people," a former Qorvis insider tells The Huffington Post. "People don't want to be seen representing all these countries -- you take a look at the State Department's list of human rights violators and some of our clients were on there."

The article continues:

"One of the methods used by Qorvis and other firms is online reputation management -- through its Geo-Political Solutions (GPS) division, the firm uses '"black arts" by creating fake blogs and websites that link back to positive content, "to make sure that no one online comes across the bad stuff," says the former insider. Other techniques include the use of social media, including Facebook, YouTube and Twitter."


Juniper in the Desert said...

"Sol Levine": seems like he needs a parachute straight into Gaza for some "research...

Ban Ki Moon said...

So are they using American tax money or European tax money for this propaganda campaign?

Anonymous said...

Likely both. Why build infrastructure when you can spread propaganda?