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The trusted advisers of McEwen McMahon have counseled scores of clients facing the most challenging of communications issues. To cite just a few:

  • The president of a leading university had taken a sabbatical with the Central Intelligence Agency without informing the board of trustees, faculty or students. After an initial firestorm of outrage by left-leaning critics, the school emerged with its reputation untarnished, its enrollments up and its endowment at record levels.
  • A leading US automaker moved its headquarters to downtown Detroit in a gesture of good corporate citizenship but was accused unfairly of trying to displace black inner city residents with white suburbanites. A carefully crafted community relations campaign helped restore peace and resulted ultimately in a major revival of the Detroit waterfront.
  • A major restructuring by a leading appliance company eliminated 10,000 union jobs and required precision timing to manage employee, media and investor relations across five continents. The company earned respect for the way it communicated difficult news and remains today a highly competitive US manufacturer in global markets.
  • Fifteen deaths were traced to listeria tainted hot dogs and luncheon meats packaged at a client’s plant in western Michigan. An immediate voluntary recall, close coordination with the Centers for Disease Control, and transparency with the media earned “crisis management of the year” plaudits in judging by PR industry leaders.
  • Two of the four planes hijacked on 9-11 were those of a client. A McEwen McMahon principal then living in Chicago raced from his office to airline HQ near O’Hare to manage the crisis “war room” virtually around the clock for more than a week, managing communications with the media, families of the victims and The White House.
  • The leaseholder on the World Trade Center maintained that two planes hitting the twin towers constituted two separate incidents, and that our client, a leading commercial insurance company, should have to pay double. Working closely with attorneys, we ensured our client won the case both in the court of law and the court of public opinion.
  • A leading fast-food retailer was the subject of a popular film documentary by a satirist purporting to show how his health declined after dining exclusively at our client’s restaurants. “Taking the high road” and engaging media transparently helped the company not only survive the crisis but set records for sales and profitability that year.
  • Extensive fraud was discovered in an overseas office of one of the country’s most respected philanthropic foundations. More than $10 million earmarked for impoverished children and communities was siphoned off into private bank accounts. The reports of forensic auditors were skillfully disseminated and carefully timed to minimize damage to the foundation whose stature today remains unblemished.