WASHINGTON: If anyone needs PR, it's EPA Administrator Christine
Todd Whitman. The former New Jersey governor is facing a number of
challenges, including convincing the public to accept higher arsenic
levels in its drinking water, dirtier air due to the relaxation of
carbon dioxide emissions from power plants, and international
condemnation of the Kyoto Protocol (see Analysis, p. 9).
That's why the EPA last week issued an RFP and quote to provide
strategic communications and public affairs services for Whitman and key
senior staff. These functions are usually handled internally, and the
media relations staff were unaware that this RFP had been issued.
The proposal calls for an assessment of presentation skills of senior
staff and technical guidance on effective speech delivery and
PR/communications strategies. The contractor also will be required to do
an analysis of the media to "determine the most effective means to
communicate different messages."
It was unclear whether a budget had been set aside for the project or if
this was a "fishing expedition" to determine the cost of such a
Since the contractor is expected to work closely with Whitman, it can be
assumed that only Republicans need apply. But interested parties have
until August 16 to submit credentials and proposals. A description of
the request may be found at www.epa.gov/oam/hpod.