Penn State’s Board of Trustees has hired Ketchum to handle crisis comms, Ad Age reports. The hire was made on November 6, the day after former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was arrested. The firm has already helped with the press conference announcing that coach Joe Paterno and university president Graham Spanier were leaving their positions.
According to Ad Age, Ketchum has about 50 crisis experts in the U.S.
It had previously been reported that Penn State’s former coach Joe Paterno was working with MSLGroup’s TMG Strategies for crisis help. A spokesperson for TMG tells PRNewser that inquiries for Paterno are now being directed to King & Spalding. That law firm confirms that it began working with Paterno on Friday and issued the statement available here on behalf of Chris Paterno, Joe Pa’s son. In the statement, Paterno says that, under legal advice, the family will make no further media statements.
Penn State students have also banned together to help the school move forward from the child abuse sex scandal. The Penn State Crisis Response Team says that a number of schools and programs, including the PR program, have been helping with the effort. A Facebook page for the team is live.
PR Daily published a story from a Penn State PR student yesterday, discussing crisis comms and the week since the scandal broke. And a separate Ad Age column criticizes the lack of a crisis plan. We agree.