Well, that was satisfying. Yesterday, DeSmogBlog caught coal PR flak Lauri Hennessey laughing about people worried about climate change. (Sightline has called out Hennessey before.) After that, I publicly asked whether we should begin a targeted divestment campaign that would encourage Northwest clients to stop working with her private consulting firm.

Today, all that’s left of the Hennessey PR website is smoking rubble. The subpages are 404 errors, and this is all that’s left of the front page:

hennesseypr.com ruins

Needless to say, I saved the pages in advance just in case she decided to delete them. And it may still be worth inquiring with the list of clients she used to boast about:

Lauri works primarily with non-profit organizations (including the Greater Seattle YMCA, Lifelong AIDS Alliance, Camp Fire USA’s Central Puget Sound Council) government agencies (including the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, the National Marine Fisheries Service, and the City of Seattle)…

But I’m not really being fair by picking on Hennessey alone. After all, there are other local firms that also adopt a green posture in public, but then privately do dirty work for coal.

So in the spirit of fairness, what do folks think about calling out clients for Nyhus Communications or Smith & Stark? Their rosters include some progressive firms and organizations that probably have no idea who their PR contractors really are. And it’s probably a safe bet they would rather not be publicly associated with the coal industry.


Update 10/10/13: A senior official at the City of Seattle informs me that the City has reviewed its relationship with Hennessey. There is only a single contract on record and it dates to 2007, which of course predates the current administration as well as the Northwest’s coal exports debate.


Please also see Sightline’s previous investigative reporting on this subject: Look Who’s Taking Coal Money, Look Who’s Taking Coal Money, Part 2, and Look Who’s Taking Coal Money: Seattle Times Investigates.

October 9, 2013