Chartis, the property-casualty subsidiary of AIG has introduced an insurance product for companies facing potential crisis management needs. "ReputationGuard," is a policy for crisis-stricken companies brought to you by the company that knows a thing or two about PR crisis.
Of course, American International Group (AIG) is an emblem of the Financial Crisis and Great Recession, being too big to fail and needing a $130 billion government bailout to survive. It is an understatement to suggest that AIG knows a thing or two about bad publicity.
ReputationGuard is designed to help companies offset the cost of bringing in outside experts when a public-relations crisis hits, paying policyholders to seek the counsel of PR firms. And, most interestingly, it is akin to a HMO--where you need to use the services of its two retained crisis-communications firms, Burson-Marsteller and Porter Novelli.
The whole idea of insurance to retain crisis-communications firms seems like a good idea, particularly for companies who may be affected by food contaminations, environmental disasters, or even executive scandals.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Burson-Marsteller and Porter Novelli were selected because of their expertise in crisis communications and their global reach. Under the arrangement with AIG, the firms will provide their services at rates they charge preferred customers.
And, it probably didn't hurt that Burson-Marsteller helped AIG after it received its $130 billion bailout in 2008.