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What would it say if the world’s largest PR firm divested from fossil fuels? It’s easy to talk about the irony of “Trust” or scoff at how we celebrate sustainability only to protect chevron, shell and other fossil fuels public narratives with the csr reports and innovation ambitions. It’s easy to criticize leadership for refusing to provide comment on a account they presumably are proud to put the Edelman name on. It’s easy to point fingers. What’s less easy is to hold ourselves, our leadership accountable. We’ve taken $millions$ from fossil fuel industry, we still do. This is now hurting our ability to attract talent, it hurts our ability to be authentic when out Purpose or Sustainability teams try to land work, it hurts staff morale, and positions us no different than how the public perceived tobacco’s pr firms. It’s a hell of a legacy to flirt with. I don’t have the answers, but I’d love to talk about, and hear other’s, ideas on how we hold our company accountable. How we can organize? Do people even want to? If no one wants to change this then I’ve truly misread the amazing folks I get to work with every day. So a things I’m thinking of: 1: We need disclosure and explanation regarding fossil fuel clients and how leadership sees those accounts as being aligned with who we are as a business? 2: we need to have this issue addressed at the next town hall 3: we should consider a sign on letter that allows those Edelman employees to voice concerns as a collective. Maybe I’d be the only signer, but I doubt it. 4: we need to join with other pr agencies, as we have for voting rights, gun violence, and racial equity to commit to being a force for progress on climate, otherwise we’re merely enablers. I remember when folks organized internally when Edelman was making millions from the American Petroleum Institute. Edelman lost some great leaders who stepped away because of Edelman’s work with API. We eventually dropped API and edelman is a better company for it. I was proud of Edelman. We should do this again, or I fear we’ll be faced with even harsher consequences now. Would love to hear others thoughts on moving away from serving fossil fuels clients and how we can make that happen.

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I love renewables, they can’t get to parity with fossil fuels soon enough! Your last sentence doesn’t make any sense though.

smart

I’m all for edelman doing actual public relations work on behalf of our clients. We are NOT an ad agency and more of an advisory services firm or consultancy. The hard issues is where we will make our mark and unlock growth. In no way should we succumb to bully editorial or the dogma of the urban liberal elite. We are non partisan and consult clients on business issues they face. If you want to advocate for something go work at a non profit.

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No, I don’t think I will. It’s telling that one person’s “obvious dog whistle” about Black and Latino is another person’s “coded language” for Jewish. Maybe, just maybe, someone disagrees with you for reasons not related to racism. Stop looking for something that isn’t there and join us at the adults table where the real work gets done.

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AFPM has been a long time client of Edelman’s and has a number of ex-Edelman folks there. To call them one of the most extreme fossil fuel trade associations is an ad hominem attack. Secondly, Edelman isn’t some activist organization dedicated to changing the world. Your job is to represent and defend your clients and execute the work they are paying you to do. If you want to go work for a progressive, ultra-liberal agency there are more than plenty. Finally, if you all want to put a total ban on any clients that don’t toe your ideological purity test be prepared for a good amount of your clients to drop you and force another round of layoffs. Get off the cross, we need the wood. P.S - if you don’t want to work on these accounts you won’t be forced. P.P.S - When I worked on all the energy work for Edelman never once did we promote an “anti-climate change agenda”. They are promoting one of the most important industries in the country which is absolutely vital to the future of the country post-pandemic.

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There’s more jobs and growth in renewables

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just left edelman to work on cleantech and thank goodnesssssss

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Working with energy companies doesn’t bother me, and this is a pretty toothless critique of that work. “They aren’t climate deniers, but they might as well be” - that’s not how it works. Weak sauce.

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We have different values.

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How about Edelman stops working for oil and gas when you stop using oil and gas? No paint for your walls, heat for your home or stoves to cook your food for you! Want to charge that electric car of yours? Forget about it! That power likely came from gas too!

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Ah yes, fossil fuels are just like [checks notes] slavery. Great stuff.

Wow I was just in final rounds of interviews with them

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This article reads more like a hit job for people who don't follow the industry closely. You will find these types of accounts at virtually every major PR firm, Edelman is no exception. Unless you're specifically interviewing to work on that business, I wouldn't worry about it.

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