A Possible Answer for Global Warming

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This article by Kathleen McGinn Spring was prepared for the November 20, 2002 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Don’t Imitate Martha In Times of Crisis

Accidents happen and products get recalled. Like Boy

Scouts and Girl Scouts, communications executives need to "Be

Prepared" for crisises, says Mike Cherenson of the Cherenson

Group, an ad agency in Livingston (www.cherenson.com). Martha Stewart’s

recent brush with the SEC, he says, is a good example of what happens

when someone is not prepared.

Cherenson is on a panel entitled "Oh my gosh! What do we do now?

The role of communications when a crisis strikes," for the Business

Marketing Association of New Jersey on Thursday, November 21, at 6

p.m. at the Somerset Ramada. Tom Lento of the Sarnoff Corporation

will moderate the panel, which also includes Phyllis Miller

of Montclair State; Becky Yeaman, vice president of media and

analyst relations at Global Crossing; and Bud Grebey, vice president

of public relations at Siemens Corp. Cost: $40. Call Erica Littig

at 609-409-5601.

The panel will cover how to put together a crisis communication team,

making sure to include one spokesperson who represents your company

to the media and the investment community. Also, how to decide who

will be the audience that you need to address during the future crisis

— consumers? parents? government regulators? and/or investors?

Cherenson is vice president of the Cherenson Group, founded in 1958

by his father Lee Cherenson. A politics major at Ithaca College,

he went to the Graduate School of Political Management, now located

at Georgetown University. Be forthright and candidly talk about your

company’s campaign to solve problems, he advises: "Don’t pretend

things are OK when they are not. Tell it all and tell it fast. Martha

Stewart made a big mistake dragging it on."

Be calm and direct , he advises. "Much of what gets

communication is non verbal. Panic shows."

Be more responsive and open and responsible than people

expect. Speak plainly, don’t use jargon.

Keep your perspective . A crisis is not a win/win situation.

"A lot of people try to think `how do I win’ but in not all instances

can they win. Sometimes it is about helping people in need." Johnson

& Johnson weathered its Tylenol debacle in part because it focused

on the medical professionals and consumers who needed information.

Be available . Provide regular updates. Don’t be evasive.

if the information can’t be divulged, give reasons why. If you don’t

know something, say you will look it up.

Knock down rumors and listen carefully. If the reporter

asks an off-the-wall question, the public may be misunderstanding

something.

Prepare your points of agenda. Your comments will become

the record of the event. So when the situation is over, wrap it up

and put it in perspective. The silver lining might be that your company

has a better relationship with the press.

Says Cherenson: "PR people are supposed to remind business

that it operates with the permission of the public. Nevertheless,

the lawyers and the accountants have different agendas. Sometimes

the greatest crisis management is the PR person who whispers into

the CEO’s ear `I don’t think we should do that. I don’t think we should

dump those chemicals there.’ We are supposed to be the conscience

of the organization."

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A Possible Answer for Global Warming

Human beings, similar to other powerful or numerous

species, affect the environment and ecosystems. Now the combination

of power and numbers means that the alterations are occurring at a

greatly accelerated rate. One of the ecosystem alterations taking

place is the rapid and possibly significant increase in greenhouse

gases with special reference to carbon dioxide (CO2). Limiting the

increase in CO2 can be viewed as an insurance policy against possible

severe consequences — economically and socially important alteration

in weather patterns, rise in ocean levels, production of large numbers

of refugees, possible catastrophic events, and sizable economic dislocation.

On Thursday, November 21, at 10 a.m., Michael C. Trachtenberg

speaks on "CO2 Capture and Sequestration: One Approach to Global

Warming" at a meeting of 55Plus at the Jewish Center of Princeton

on 435 Nassau Street. Call 609-737-2001.

Trachtenberg is director of the Sapient’s Institute (SI), a research

and development institute located at Cook College, Rutgers University,

and the CEO of Carbozyme in Burlington. Working together, Carbozyme

and SI are developing a number of separation methods generally based

on catalyzed or facilitated transport liquid membranes. These are

directed at separating and capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) from a variety

of gas sources including air, respiratory gas, flue gas, landfill

gas, and natural gas. One of the most important applications is the

capture and subsequent sequestration of CO2 as a step towards reducing

greenhouse gas concentrations.

Trachtenberg reviews the alternatives and discusses his organization’s

recent work for effective CO2 capture as one possible solution.

Trachtenberg consulted for NASA on sustaining humans in space. He

has held faculty positions at Harvard Medical School, Boston University

School of Medicine and the University of Texas Medical Branch. He

was also vice president for research and development at NeuroGenesis

Inc., a nutriceutical company focused on the psychopharmacology of

addictive diseases.


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