SEATTLE: Seattle is about to become the focal point for a glut of PR and media attention, as the World Trade Organization prepares to invade the city later this month for its ministerial meeting.
SEATTLE: Seattle is about to become the focal point for a glut of
PR and media attention, as the World Trade Organization prepares to
invade the city later this month for its ministerial meeting.
The gathering, billed by one source as ’the largest trade event ever
held in the US,’ is likely to foment further controversy about the
country’s trade policy - and PR pros for several interested parties will
find themselves in the eye of the storm.
Both critics and supporters of the current WTO see the meeting as an
opportunity to air their opinions about rules-based trade. Leading the
anti-WTO charge is a left-leaning coalition including Ralph Nader’s
Public Citizen, the Institute for Policy Studies and representatives of
organized labor. The latter group contends that rules-based trade favors
transnational corporations at the expense of workers and the
Public Citizen’s global trade watch deputy director Mike Dolan said that
protests and media-centric activities will only be ’the tip of the
iceberg’ in terms of activity. Symposiums and press conferences built
around daily ’themes’ (such as corporate accountability and
standard-of-living issues) have already been scheduled, with the AFL-CIO
labor union planning a massive rally and march on November 30.
Communication Works, a non-profit PR firm, is assisting another WTO
critic, the San Francisco-based International Forum on Globalization, in
publicizing its opposition to ’unaccountable’ organizations such as the
Of course, the political right doesn’t plan to let the left dominate the
debate surrounding the WTO. Reform Party presidential candidate Pat
Buchanan is planning to be in Seattle, while the US Alliance for Trade
Expansion has turned to the Seattle-based Rockey Company for public