It was neat to come into the following query this a.m., because all
weekend long I was thinking about communications and sustainable ag,
and the concept of trustable information and real relationships.
> Dear friends - a local environmental NGO is offered a donation
> from a company which allegedly runs silver mine in Alaska. They
> would very much appreciate any trustable information whether the
> company is "bad" or "good" as far as the environment is concerned.
> Can anyone help? /The name of the company is not known to me. /
Greenpeace published /The Greenpeace Guide to Anti-Environmental
Organizations/, Odonian Press, CA, 1993. This lists "ecologically
destructive industries that have set up front groups that masquerade
as environmental organizations but actually work to destroy the
environment." It lists organizations in the US, their contact info,
their agendas (based on their actions and missions), their funders,
and their officers. The funders lists include the names of
corporations that contribute to the orgs, and are very revealing of
which corporations are spending money on what kind of communications,
media, and PR regarding environmental and social issues.
John Stauber's organization, the Center for Media and Democracy,
with its PR Watch project, tracks the efforts of PR firms, and the
corporations that hire them, to greenwash anti-environmental orgs'
activities, or to build astroturf politics-- "grassroots efforts" or
public opinion drives that are in fact engineered by corporations and
their flacks, right down to the kitty-cat stationery upon which they
send letters from nice elderly citizens...whom they have invented, or
written letters for.
IME, it would help the most sense to start with the name of the
company. Then it's possible to do research on them--via Web searches,
searches of the /Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature/, and other
commonly available sources to learn more about what they do. Of
course you're likely to get pre-digested (thru the bowels of their PR
staff) stuff that way...but we're all pretty savvy readers, eh? :^)
If you have that background info, it's likely that folks at regional
enviro organizations can help you.
Michele Gale-Sinex, communications manager
Center for Integrated Ag Systems
UW-Madison College of Ag and Life Sciences
Voice: (608) 262-8018 FAX: (608) 265-3020
Salamanders are important. --Mister 3D
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