Porter Novelli brings out big PR guns to 'control' Levy coverage

WASHINGTON: Porter Novelli has deployed a small army of top

executives and a wide cross section of staffers in an attempt to control

the media campaign about missing intern Chandra Levy.



The firm began unofficially working on the campaign when both Chuck

Greener, EVP and general manager, and Mike Frisby, VP and ex-Wall Street

Journal reporter, were individually contacted by members of Levy family

law firm, Dyer, Ellis, Joseph last month. Said a source within the

agency, "(They) rushed in and started working, and after a few weeks

started realizing how much time it was taking. As an agency, we went

back and said we've got to come to an arrangement with the family."



A contract was being drafted last week, and sources within the agency

say the price tag is a modest one with a monthly cap. Greener said the

account is "not a moneymaking venture for us."



Nonetheless, Lorraine Voles (VP and former head of communications for Al

Gore), SVP Steve Daly, Greener, and Frisby are leading a dozen employees

in their bid to control the story.



PN's strategy thus far has consisted of selectively releasing

information to key outlets to heighten public interest and political

pressure. PN claims this strategy has solicited a confession from Rep.

Gary Condit (D-CA) and a spike in media attention to an 11-week-old

story.



"I think there's clearly a connection to the fact that in Friday (July

6) morning's Washington Post there was a big story with Chandra's aunt

Linda Zamsky, on the record, detailing the relationship that Chandra had

with the congressman. Hours later that evening, (Condit) decided to talk

to the police and acknowledge for the first time that there was a

relationship," said Frisby.



It was PN, Frisby added, that convinced Levy's aunt to go on the record

with her knowledge of her niece's relationship with Condit. Zamsky had

previously been widely quoted as an off-the-record source.



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