INSURER ADDS CRISIS PR TO COVERAGE
The Chubb Group of Insurance Companies, the global insurer, has added up to $300K in crisis communications and other support to its corporate policies, the latest move tying reputation to corporate insurance.
The move by Warren, N.J.-based Chubb follows the creation by WPP, Aon and Zurich Financial of a corporate reputation insurance policy providing up to $100M for PR, lobbying and advertising efforts.
Chubb said the added feature will help businesses manage a major liability crisis expected to generate significant adverse national or regional media attention. Examples given were a manufacturing plant explosion, hostage situation at a financial institution, tainted batch of products or workplace violence.
Sard Verbinnen & Co., Abernathy MacGregor Group and MSLGroup, as well as the risk and litigation consulting firm USIS/Kroll, are the firms approved by Chubb for crisis/PR services.
March Schussel, PR manager for Chubb, told O’Dwyer’s that the company has many clients that may not have a PR agency on retainer, so the policy will help them get a firm in place in the event of an incident.
Should they have their own PR counsel, they are certainly welcome to opt for that but the firm must be approved by Chubb to be eligible for the insurance coverage, he added.
In addition to PR, the crisis funding could go toward temporary living expenses, counseling and other related expenditures.
WIDMEYER GETS PETKUS
Doug Petkus, a veteran healthcare pro with more than 30 years of experience, is now senior counsel at Widmeyer Communications.
He was VP-corporate communications at Wyeth until its acquisition by Pfizer. In that role he served as chief corporate spokesperson, handled all financial/disclosure communications, dealt with product recalls/litigation and did media relations for Wyeth's Women's Health Initiative.
Before joining Wyeth in 1996, Petkus held PR positions at Abbott Laboratories, Schering-Plough and Hill & Knowlton (Procter & Gamble, Kodak, Wendy’s, National Hockey League). Most recently, he was running Petkus Communications Consultants.
Washington-based Widmeyer chalked up $10.6M in fees last year. That was up 8.4 percent from 2009.