Xstrata PR; co-operation or collusion?

Excessive PR cosiness alleged in child lead poisoning case
PRs at Swiss miner Xstrata and the Queensland government will be embarrassed by media reports showing how stakeholder liaison seemed to border on stakeholder manipulation. The Australian newspaper claims that Xstrata PR Melanie Edgar and Chief Exec Steve de Kruijff were given access to draft Queensland govt reports and media materials prior to public release.
This was clearly to help ‘manage’ media interest and public outcry over alleged metal contamination of children in mining town, Mount Isa. Documents also reveal Xstrata’s keenness to establish and steer a grassroots ‘group’ – Mt Isa Plus – to address the problem.
Other embarrassing revelations show Qld government’s Rosalie Spencer alerting Xstrata community PR person Mel Edgar about a impending journalism visit. In response, Edgar asks Spencer to outline the Qld ‘position’ vis-a-vis the briefing materials they will supply to the journalist.
But is this a PR disaster? Or simply a portrayal of PRs practicing an effective form of stakeholder relations. Former Mt Isa Chief Environmental Officer Ted Prickett is in no doubt…he believes it’s indicative of a cover-up over child lead poisoning.

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