Everything PR has learned that J. Austin & Associates has been hired as the public relations firm for Dr. Walter Palmer, who shot Cecil the lion to death in a story which is capturing news headlines worldwide. Media reports indicate that Palmer paid $55,000 for the right to hunt in that area, and hired “guide, who lured Cecil, a lion, out from a protected area, where Cecil, a lion, then met his end.”
Palmer issued a statement which read:
“I hired several professional guides, and they secured all proper permits. To my knowledge, everything about this trip was legal and properly handled and conducted. I had no idea that the lion I took was a known, local favorite, was collared and part of a study until the end of the hunt. I relied on the expertise of my local professional guides to ensure a legal hunt. I had no idea that the lion I took was a known, local favorite, was collared and part of a study until the end of the hunt. I relied on the expertise of my local professional guides to ensure a legal hunt. Again, I deeply regret that my pursuit of an activity I love and practice responsibly and legally resulted in the taking of this lion.”
J. Austin & Associates describes the agency as “a full-service communications firm with expertise in crisis and issue management, special situations, transactions and transitions.” The CEO of the firm, Jon Austin describes his team as “available to its clients and prospects 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. “
He even lists his home phone number on his website – one may think that with all of the worldwide anger this story is receiving he may be re-considering that decision.
Piers Morgan wrote in The Daily Mail (UK) today:
“I will sell tickets for $50,000 to anyone who wants to come with me and track down fat, greedy, selfish, murderous businessmen like Dr Palmer in their natural habit. We’d lure him out with bait – in his case I suggest the fresh blood of one of his victims would be very effective as it seems to turn him on so much – and once lured, we would all take a bow and fire a few arrows into his limbs to render him incapable of movement. Then we’d calmly walk over, skin him alive, cut his head from his neck, and took a bunch of photos of us all grinning inanely at his quivering flesh.”
The principal of the firm, Jon Austin founded J Austin & Associates, a in 2006 and previously worked for Fleishman-Hillard, Northwest Airlines, and his client list has included 3M, Target, Comcast, Northwest Airlines, Digital River, ILFC, Sun Microsystems, and Best Buy.
He has his work cut out for him here. Everything PR will continue to follow this fast moving story.