UK's Jews set up crisis PR 'nerve centre'

Britain's Jewish community last week set up a crisis PR 'nerve centre' in response to the ongoing Middle East crisis.

Britain's Jewish community last week set up a crisis PR 'nerve centre' in response to the ongoing Middle East crisis.

The Cross Community Emergency Co-ordination Group (ECG) represents a rare unification between the UK's Jewish organisations. It has set up a communications wing, BICOM, the British Israel Communications Office.

Undisclosed donations have been made from community benefactors to hire professional public affairs PROs to 'address the media balance', and keep the UK's Jewish community 'informed at this difficult time'.

'We have developed a 'war room' to ensure correct information and solidarity with Israel is maintained,' said Ilan Jacobs, public affairs account director at Consolidated Communications, who has been released on a two week secondment at a reduced fee to help run BICOM.

Jacobs is responsible for the ECG's political desk, with a role to brief British political figures and opinion-formers about the feelings of solidarity between the UK's Jewish community and Israel.

Shandwick International's PA division has agreed similar secondment terms for consultant Lee Petar, who is in charge of media relations at BICOM, and is co-ordinating the monitoring of the British press. He is also responsible for answering media queries and ensuring visiting speakers on the crisis, such as former Israeli prime minister Shimon Peres, get media coverage.

Roy Graham is running the rebuttal desk, complaining to, and briefing, those journalists believed to be writing 'inaccurate stories'. The Chief Rabbi's head of communications, Jeremy Newark, has been appointed the director of ECG, and will oversee BICOM operations.

This is the first time the UK Jewish community organisations have pooled resources to create a united PR front to deal with a Middle East crisis.



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