St. Louis-based agency Common Ground Public Relations is supporting Ferguson, Missouri’s media relations team as the city struggles with the often-violent aftermath of the shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, last Saturday.
The firm said in a tweet Monday afternoon that it is "providing short-term assistance to the city of Ferguson’s media relations department in fielding media inquiries during this tragic time." It did not provide other information about its work with the St. Louis suburb.
We are providing short-term assistance to the City of Ferguson's media relations dept. in fielding media inquiries during this tragic time.— Common Ground PR (@CommonGroundPR) August 18, 2014
Common Ground’s website lists crisis management among its core capabilities, along with messaging, media training, employee relations, and social media.
Ferguson has seen more than a week of sometimes-violent demonstrations and looting after a member of its police department, identified on Friday as Darren Wilson, shot and killed Brown last Saturday. Early Monday morning, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon called in the state’s National Guard to police the city.
Last Thursday, the suburb enjoyed a brief respite from overnight violence after Nixon summoned the Missouri Highway Patrol to take charge of Ferguson’s security, removing local authorities from managing the situation. Yet a day later, the city’s police department identified Wilson as the officer who shot Brown and released video footage of Brown allegedly robbing a local convenience store. However, Ferguson’s police chief later said the alleged robbery and Brown’s reported scuffle with Wilson were not related.
Nixon, as well as many in the media, criticized Ferguson’s police department for releasing the video recording.
A private autopsy has shown Brown was shot six times, including twice in the head.
A phone call to Common Ground PR seeking comment was not immediately returned.
Common Ground PR did not describe the specifics of its work for the Ferguson media relations department in detail on Twitter. Yet many users of the platform had questions for the PR firm.
@CommonGroundPR Everything about the "PR" of this situation is shameful. Justifying a teen's death with weed + $5 cigs? Y'all goin to hell.— graham. (@grahamKNOXX) August 18, 2014
@CommonGroundPR Do any of the people ar CGPR understand the plight of minorities harassed and hole up in etnic ghettos? Probably clueless— dilip anketell (@da5650) August 18, 2014
Reporter Laura Nichols contributed to this story.