P.R. firm manages its own reputation by parting ways with Gordon Campbell until police investigation is concluded

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      How does a public relations firm respond when it's become part of a negative media story?

      In the case of Edelman, it appears to be doing exactly what it likely advises its clients who are in hot water—issue a concise statement to clear the air and get this issue out of the news cycle as quickly as possible.

      Last summer, Edelman hired Campbell as a part-time consultant a couple of years after he ended his tenure as Canada's high commissioner to the United Kingdom.

      But Edelman acted quickly when the U.K.-based Telegraph reported that Campbell was being investigated by Scotland Yard for alleged sexual assault back in 2013.

      The communications firm released a statement saying that it had "mutually decided" to suspend its relationship with Campbell until the police matter is cleared up.

      I couldn't find any mention of this statement, however, on the Edelman website, Facebook page, or Twitter feed—another sign that the company has a grip on reputation management, including its own.

      Here's how it works in the world of p.r.

      Feed the media a small serving, get the p.r. company as far away from this story as possible, and don't leave any digital crumbs for it to be continued to be passed around over social media.

      Most important of all: don't make any mention of how Campbell came to be employed by the firm and don't reveal which clients he might have been assisting.


      It's worth noting that another p.r. company, Navigator, employed some similar tactics when it felt the need to distance itself from a disgraced client, Jian Ghomeshi, back in 2014.

      Meanwhile, Campbell has issued a statement through a spokesperson saying the sexual-assault allegation was determined to be "without merit" after it was investigated by the government of Canada.