THE BIRMINGHAM NEWS – Saturday, November 29, 2008
BY MICHAEL TOMBERLIN
News staff writer
Steve Bradley, considered an expert in handling crisis public relations for companies, said his Birmingham firm has joined 10 others from Florida to Oklahoma to tackle problems for clients.
Stephen Bradley & Associates LLC, which has a satellite office in Montgomery, has joined the Issues Management Network as a founding member. Besides PR, Bradley’s firm also handles lobbying.
Bradley – who over the years has done work for companies from Alabama Power to Bruno’s Supermarkets – said the idea emerged because the firms were seeing a growing number of clients with issues that reached beyond a single city or state.
Bradley thinks the network can help clients address matters such as reputation concerns, branding, public policy and litigation. It also should be able to help on economic development site searches between two or more states, or a natural disaster that affects a company’s operations in a region.
“The network enables clients to address issues that may impact audiences and markets across a broad area but still respond in ways that can vary according to each local market,” Bradley said.
Danny Mitchell, chairman of Jackson, Miss.-based GodwinGroup, the founding member of the Issues Management Network, believes the group is the first of its kind in the Southeast and possibly the nation. Mitchell said having experienced, like-minded firms familiar with working together offers advantages.
“The Issues Management Network is designed to allow clients to manage issues across a larger geographic region, but it enables them to utilize the local knowledge and resources of member firms,” he said.
Bradley said the firms in the group have experience across a spectrum of concerns.
“We have over 100 years of combined experience in what we do,” Bradley said. “There isn’t a problem or an issue we haven’t seen in one way or another.”
Bradley’s client list includes Alabama Power Co., Baptist Health System, Drummond Co., the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, Monsanto Co. and Honda’s Alabama plant.
Bradley said his work regularly reaches outside that of the typical public relations firm and often delves more deeply into public policy or crisis management and prevention.
“We’re a PR firm, but what we really are is an issues management firm,” Bradley said. “We feel like we can address any issue from a PR side but also from a government or public policy side. In today’s public political climate, you can’t be just one or the other.”
©2008 Birmingham News
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