Keynote speaker talks crisis communications, public relations and Drew Peterson at PRSA event in Alabama

Crisis management took center stage as Glenn Selig talked about high profile clients at Birmingham event

(PR NewsChannel) / July 19, 2012 / BIRMINGHAM, Ala. 
Keynote speaker Glenn Selig talks crisis communications at Alabama event.

Keynote speaker Glenn Selig, seen here being interviewed by CBC News in Canada, talks crisis communications at Alabama event.

He typically spends the bulk of his day defending or promoting his clients in the court of public opinion. Instead, as the keynote speaker on crisis management, Glenn Selig, the founder of the national PR firm The Publicity Agency talked Drew Peterson and dealing with both national and local news media.

During the 45-minute crisis management keynote speech, Selig defended and trumpeted his PR firm’s representation of Drew Peterson, the former Illinois police sergeant accused of murder who goes on trial later this month, along with Peterson’s team of high-profile, heavy-hitting lawyers.

“Drew Peterson is innocent until proven otherwise and just because someone acts wacky or strangely does not make that person guilty of any crime,” Selig told the crowd as the keynote speaker for the Alabama Public Relations Society of America. “The television pundits and hosts don’t know the facts and don’t have a clue as to whether Peterson is guilty. Drew deserves to be able to passionately and spiritedly defend himself in the court of public opinion and have his day in the courtroom.” 

Drew Peterson goes on trial next week for the murder of his third wife Kathleen Savio. Peterson has steadfastly denied any involvement.

Peterson’s third wife Stacy Peterson disappeared. Though a suspect, he has not been charged with Stacy’s disappearance.

During the keynote speech which focused on crisis communications and public relations, Selig said over the last three years he arranged appearances for Peterson on all the network morning programs and on various syndicated and cable news programs where Peterson subjected himself to tough questioning. For the trial, Selig and his PR firm are handling all the local and national media for the team of criminal defense lawyers.

Peterson, and his public displays that have involved toying with the media and making jokes while a search was underway for Stacy Peterson early on–the bulk of which happened before Selig became involved–became the focus of a great deal of scrutiny by the media.

During his keynote speech, Selig told the crowd of more than 100 public relations professionals and PR students that he has never tried to create a new image for Peterson, but rather help people understand that Peterson’s antics are largely attributable to an inappropriate use of “gallows humor.”

Gallows humor is a type of humor that is used in response to stressful situations. It is common as a coping mechanism in police departments, hospitals and newsrooms. The humor is often so off-color that the general public becomes horrified by what is said.

Selig says he’s tried to help people know more about Peterson: that he is indisputably a great father and a decorated police sergeant who, among achievements, successfully negotiated hostage situations.

Selig explained to the crowd that he will continue to be involved in high-profile cases because everyone deserves a fair trial.

Selig also talked about other famous clients he has represented including Rod Blagojevich, the former governor of Illinois, and Ginger White, the self-admitted mistress of former Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain.

The Alabama PRSA public relations event was held at Jefferson State Community College in Birmingham.

Selig is a frequent commentator and keynote speaker on crisis communications and other aspects of public relations.


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SOURCE:  The Publicity Agency

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