Winner & Associates Decades of Crisis Experience

Philips – Regulatory & Civil Litigation Support

Amsterdam-based Royal Philips Electronics engaged W&A to help it develop a pioneering Global Issues Management program. As a world leader in manufacturing healthcare, lighting and lifestyle products, Philips faces a broad range of issues around the globe.

W&A designed a detailed program that enabled Philips to receive early alerts about issues of potential importance to the company; assess the impact of the issues on its products and corporate reputation; and address issues of concern in a strategic and cost-effective way.

W&A also assisted Philips in dealing with issues raised about specific products by global environmental and product safety NGOs.

ExxonMobil – Chad Cameroon Development Project – W&A assisted ExxonMobil in overcoming a crisis triggered by a global NGO campaign against this highly controversial $5 billion oil development and pipeline project in Central Africa. These efforts helped secure essential World Bank approval of the project. Since then, W&A has played an integral part in public affairs and public consultation for the Chad/Cameroon Development Project.
Recent services have included:

Response plans for pipeline disruption and shut down, including land and marine spills.

Transparency reporting for a wide array of regulatory topics including environmental infractions, safety incidents, employment levels, local business and health.

Strategic counsel on the project’s relationships with the World Bank Group, the host countries, the financial community and other project stakeholders.

El Paso Electric – General Rate Case and Power Outage

W&A is currently helping El Paso Electric (EPE) protect its reputation and achieve its business objectives in the midst of a controversial General Rate Case.

W&A recently conducted opinion research surveys with EPE customers in two states to gauge public opinion of EPE and assess reputation recovery messages and strategies.

In addition to strategic counsel, W&A is currently helping EPE to develop a plan for public and regulatory communications in both Texas and New Mexico.

W&A also recently helped El Paso Electric (EPE) recover from damage to its reputation caused by severe freezing weather in February 2011 that led to the loss of almost all local generation, resulting in three days of rolling blackouts and a major water emergency.

Ameren – Dam Breach – In 2005, a mountain-top dam at Ameren Corporation’s Taum Sauk hydroelectric plant in Southern Missouri failed, releasing 1.5 billion gallons of water that destroyed portions of a popular state park and nearly killed one family. In the aftermath of the accident, Ameren faced tremendous scrutiny and criticism from regulators, legislators, the public and the media.
W&A helped Ameren manage all public communications and activities related to the accident, including:

Conducted public opinion research to measure public attitudes about the company and the reservoir breach.

Developed a strategic plan designed to help the company repair reputational damage.

Advised senior management on every aspect of their legal, regulatory and public responses.

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory – Digital & Traditional Reputation Protection & Enhancement

Engaged by DOE’s National Nuclear Security Administration, W&A, led by Justyn Winner provides strategic communications counsel on the largest and most promising fusion energy project in the world, LIFE.

Laser Inertial Fusion Energy (LIFE) is under development at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and has the potential to meet future worldwide energy needs in a safe, sustainable manner without carbon dioxide emissions.

W&A plays an important role in managing digital and traditional communications that impact the public perception of LIFE. W&A also educates key stakeholder audiences about the enormous benefits of project, including:

o Government officials
o The media
o Public and private entities that may serve as essential sources of funding for the further development of LIFE and commercial fusion energy.

Three Mile Island – Nuclear Accident

Two days after the reactor accident at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant, W&A, led by Chuck Winner was hired by GPU to help the firm manage the maelstrom of sensational media reporting, regulatory attention and public concern.

In collaboration with company management, W&A developed a step-by-step strategic communications plan that included media relations, direct mail and advertising in print, radio and television.

W&A also initiated a massive grassroots campaign structured around a strategy of concentric circles, gradually expanding the communications geography as local support increased.

Public attitudes improved sharply within a very short time after the launch of the strategic communications campaign.

The easing of public attitudes made it possible for Congress to permit the company to bring the undamaged reactor back into service and to dispose of the damaged reactor.

General Public Utilities’ stock rebounded to new highs, and bankruptcy was avoided. The president of the company personally credited W&A for saving the utility.

Space Shuttle Challenger Accident – Manage Space Shuttle Challenger Crisis

In January of 1986, shortly after launch, the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded and indelibly stamped in the world public’s consciousness this dramatic and terrible tragedy. Winner & Associates (W&A) was called in immediately following the accident by Rockwell, which was the prime contractor for the shuttle and was at the center of the agonizing and turbulent public and governmental response that followed the accident.

Winner & Associates personnel were on site in Downey at the Rockwell communications control center within thirty minutes of the accident and were asked by Rockwell to manage all communications activities surrounding this crisis. For well over one year, the intense public and media scrutiny in response to the accident continued and our firm was integrally involved on a day-to-day basis in formulating and managing Rockwell’s response strategy.

NASA honored W&A with a special commendation for our work during this national tragedy.

Drexel Burnham Lambert – Junk Bonds Crisis

From 1987 to 1989 Winner & Associates (then Winner/Wagner & Associates) provided strategic communications and marketing services to the investment banking firm of Drexel Burnham Lambert.

Working closely with Drexel CEO Fred Joseph and his senior management team in New York, Winner & Associates developed and implemented strategic communications and marketing plans that helped the company to continue to compete on Wall Street while under federal criminal investigation.

Among the services provided by Winner & Associates were public opinion and marketing research, television and print advertising, media relations, speakers training and preparation for Congressional testimony. The television campaign involved approximately 10 spots highlighting the importance of the product with which Drexel was most closely associated — high yield or “junk” bonds. This TV advertising campaign, supported by print, targeted priority audiences both nationally and in local markets, was credited with helping legitimize “junk” bonds.

Major League Baseball – Managing a Leadership Crisis

Winner & Associates was retained from 1992 to 1993 to provide highly confidential strategic counsel to club owners of major league baseball on two highly visible public communications challenges.

The firm provided strategic planning during the firing of former Commissioner Fay Vincent. Senior staff members met with all of the team owners and advised them on how best to communicate the details of this action in compliance with legal conditions.

Winner & Associates also provided strategic planning and communications services during the suspension of Cincinnati Reds owner, Marge Schott.

Senior members of the Winner & Associates were intensely involved in counseling on negotiations and in crafting strategies, training spokespersons and shaping messages that were used by major league baseball in communicating with the American public.

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