Hacking crisis: the key PR players

Alec Mattinson looks at the main PR professionals embroiled in the News International scandal.

Simon Greenberg Head of corporate affairs, News International, Matthew Anderson Group director, strategy and corporate affairs, Europe and Asia, News Corp.

Greenberg and Anderson have led the official PR response from News International and News Corporation respectively. Greenberg was subjected to a number of media grillings as the scandal gathered pace two weeks ago, but has since been moved out of NI to work full-time for New Corp's Management and Standards Committee. NI currently has no overall PR chief. Anderson, described as James Murdoch's 'right hand man', has remained out of the headlines.

Alex Bigg MD, corporate and financial, Jamie Lundie MD, public affairs, Edelman

Edelman was called into the crisis by NI last week to support the lobbying of its newly created Management and Standards Committee. The MSC was shifted out of NI into a separate unit on Monday, with Edelman continuing to represent the MSC. Bigg is Edelman's expublic affairs head, replaced by ex-Lib Dem Lundie when Bigg took on corporate and financial duties.

David Wilson, Chairman, Bell Pottinger

Wilson was called into the crisis this week by Kingsley Napley, the law firm representing Rebekah Brooks. He is working as her official spokesman and briefed media on her arrest last weekend. Wilson previously worked with the PR team aiding Madeleine McCann's parents after her abduction.

Matthew Freud, Founder, Freud Communications

The uber-networked Freud was named by PRWeek as the industry's most powerful individual in part because of his impeccable connections across politics and the media. Freud is married to Rupert Murdoch's daughter Elisabeth but has no official PR role in the saga. Despite media reports claiming he was party to the decision to close the NotW, he has distanced himself by publicly stating through his agency he had no role whatsoever advising NI.

Andy Coulson, Former Downing Street comms director and founder of Elbrus Consulants

Coulson was forced to resign as PM David Cameron's comms chief in January. He edited the NotW between 2003 and 2007, and became Conservative Party comms director in 2007. He was seen as a key conduit between NI and Cameron. Coulson was arrested over hacking allegations on 8 July. Days later, he lost the founder client of his new comms consultancy Elbrus, the global forum One Young World.

Guto Harri, Comms director, Mayor of London

Boris Johnson's comms chief was at one time favourite to land the Tory comms director role before the appointment of Coulson. The ex-BBC journalist was said to be Cameron's first choice before he was convinced Coulson's NI ties would be more beneficial.

Neil Wallis, MD, Outside Organisation

Wallis, known as 'The Wolfman' around Fleet Street, was former NotW deputy editor under Andy Coulson before his move to PR in 2009. He was arrested last Friday as part of the Scotland Yard investigation into phone hacking, Operation Weeting. He joined Outside Organisation in October 2009 as a senior consultant and became MD in 2010. He also set up his own consultancy, Chamy Media, under which he was hired to support the comms of Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson from October 2009 until September 2010. Sir Paul resigned over his link to Wallis.

Alan Edwards, Founder, Outside Organisation

A friend of Coulson's and one of the top names in celebrity PR. Edwards employed Wallis in 2009 and ex-NotW showbiz editor Rav Singh in 2010. Singh has since left the industry and Wallis' name has been expunged from Outside's website. Other ex-NotW hacks in PR include ex-editor Phil Hall and associate editor Phil Taylor, both at PHA Media.

Dick Fedorcio, Director of public affairs and internal comms, Metropolitan Police

The Met's top comms man faced questions from the home affairs select committee on Tuesday along with his former bosses Met commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson and assistant commissioner John Yates. Both Yates and Stephenson have resigned, but Fedorcio remains at the time of going to press. Fedorcio was said to be instrumental in the hiring of Wallis. On Tuesday, he was referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission over links between Nl and the Met.

Tom Baldwin, Director of comms, Labour Party

Baldwin, a former Times journalist, was accused of journalistic malpractice by Tory chairman Lord Ashcroft - an allegation dismissed by Baldwin and Ed Miliband. During his campaign to become leader, Miliband's senior media adviser was Katie Myler, daughter of NotW editor Colin Myler and now a director at Burson-Marsteller.

Max Clifford, PR consultant, Clarence Mitchell Director of media strategy, Lewis PR

Clifford and Mitchell are publicly acknowledged to be on the list of people potentially hacked by the NotW. Clifford received a substantial payout from NI over hacking in 2010, but has spoken out in support of Rebekah Brooks in recent days. Mitchell, who once worked at Freuds, took a media monitoring role with the Government in 2010, reporting to Coulson. He handled PR for the family of missing Madeleine McCann and has met police over suggestions his phone messages were hacked.

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