WASHINGTON: Under fire from Congress and a wary public, the
American Red Cross has hired Edelman's Washington, DC office and the
firm of Chlopak, Leonard, Schechter & Associates (CLS) to handle the
fallout from the Liberty Fund disaster that placed the charity group on
page one of top media outlets around the country.
The beleaguered Red Cross drew criticism when it was revealed that the
group would only give out $300 million of the $560
million-plus dollars collected for victims' families of the assaults on
the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
The rest of the money will be spent to update the Red Cross' frozen
blood inventory, and to prepare for future terrorist attacks.
"We're a small in-house PR shop that's been running at 100 miles an hour
since the attack on September 11, and we're exhausted. That's why the
leadership decided to bring in outside counsel," said Darren Earby, head
of crisis communications for the American Red Cross. "I wish we could
take every family to Ground Zero to see the great work that we've been
doing. And I hope that they craft the message to remind the public of
what we've been doing."
The group has drawn criticism from CNN, ABC News, the LA Times, The
Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, and The New York
None of the money spent on the campaign will be taken from funds
recently donated to the Red Cross.