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NY Gov. Cuomo is hunting for crisis PR help as he battles negative press

Published by Business Insider on Wed, 31 Mar 2021


<p><img src="https://static3.businessinsider.com/image/60649709daf0f10018f993a7-2400/AP21050028463229 (1).jpg" border="0" alt="Governor Andrew Cuomo" data-mce-source="AP" data-mce-caption="Governor Andrew Cuomo"></p><p></p><bi-shortcode id="summary-shortcode" data-type="summary-shortcode" class="mceNonEditable" contenteditable="false">Summary List Placement</bi-shortcode><p>Embattled New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's team has been calling some of the nation's most seasoned <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/meet-the-top-pr-people-in-crisis-communications-2020-3">crisis PR specialists</a> for media help, three sources told Insider.</p><p>Cuomo currently has criminal defense lawyer Rita Glavin, who exited law firm Seward &amp; Kissel this month to set up her own firm, Glavin LLC and has been issuing press statements on his behalf.</p><p>Cuomo's team <a href="https://nypost.com/2021/03/29/new-andrew-cuomo-accuser-sherry-vill-speaks-out-about-allegation/">faced off</a> against sex harassment crusader Gloria Allred Monday when a new accuser suggested she had received an unwanted kiss from Cuomo, and Glavin responded that there are lots of photos of the Governor kissing and hugging people to comfort them.</p><p>Three PR sources confirmed that Cuomo's team has been calling around for the past few weeks, most recently late last week. It is unclear if Cuomo's team has hired anybody, though at least one high-profile crisis PR firm said they are looking at how they can get on board.</p><p>Another person familiar with New York's political elite said that Cuomo is friendly with crisis PR executive Ken Sunshine of Sunshine Sachs. The firm has also done work for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. Sunshine declined to comment on whether he is advising the Governor.</p><p>Famed PR exec Steven Rubenstein might be another candidate, though the firm doesn't represent politicians. Embattled executives also frequently turn to Matthew Hiltzik, who has worked for celebrities such as Brad Pitt and on Hillary Clinton's 2000 Senate campaign.</p><p>It's a tough potential assignment, though, given Cuomo faces multiple accusations by woman of unwanted touching and an FBI investigation into the state's handling of COVID nursing home deaths, on top of his famously frosty relations with New York media.</p><p>"There isn't much a PR person can do," said one crisis PR specialist. "This is a guy who had a really difficult relationship with the press long before he was governor, as attorney general. It's not only dealing with a lot of allegations, but a pretty broken relationship with the media. He is known to do his own PR. It's not an assignment where you can rack up some wins."</p><p>Despite the deluge of bad news and threat of impeachment facing Cuomo, his approval rating has declined but is still mostly positive. <a href="https://morningconsult.com/2021/03/25/cuomo-schumer-gillibrand-approval-rating/">Morning Consult</a> reported on March 25 that the Governor's approval rating among New York voters was 53% approve versus 43% disapprove. The survey was conducted between March 15-24.&nbsp;</p><p>A Cuomo spokesperson referred a request for comment to Glavin, who did not immediately respond to requests for comment.</p><p><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/embattled-ny-governor-cuomo-is-looking-for-crisis-pr-help-2021-3#comments">Join the conversation about this story &#187;</a></p> <p>NOW WATCH: <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/what-its-like-travel-during-coronavirus-outbreak-planes-airports-virus-2020-3">Here's what it's like to travel during the coronavirus outbreak</a></p>
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