Ruder Finn

Profile: Ruder Finn

1- Name of NGO:

Ruder Finn

2- Brief & Mission:

Ruder Finn is a prominent public relations company headquartered in both the United States and China. As a substantial privately held communications agency, it caters to corporations, governments, and non-profit organizations.

Recent reports have unveiled that Ruder Finn has been enlisted by Saudi Arabia to oversee corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability initiatives for Neom, the visionary city project intended for the shores of the Red Sea.

3- Bias, Agenda & Motivation:

According to recent reports, Saudi Arabia has supposedly entered into a one-year contract worth $1.7 million with Ruder Finn, a public relations agency. This decision follows negative media coverage concerning the development of the NEOM megacity, a $500 billion project spanning borders.

As per a lobbying disclosure filed on June 10, the public relations company will oversee social media management and execute “communication and marketing strategies” throughout the construction phase of the futuristic city. The contract, effective from June 10, 2020, involves the involvement of CEO Kathy Bloomgarden, Senior Vice President Brian Laird, and Group Vice President Brianna Rabe in handling this account.

4- Links to Governments/Political Agenda:

The Saudi government enlisted the services of Ruder Finn to oversee the management of social media and implement “communication and marketing strategies” during the construction period of the visionary city. This highlights a distinct connection between the Saudi monarchy and the aforementioned firm.

5- Sources of Funding:

Under the agreement with Saudi Arabia, Ruder Finn received an annual payment of $1.7 million to oversee social media management and implement “communication and marketing strategies” during the entire construction phase of the futuristic city

6- Activities:

The company will be responsible for managing Neom’s corporate social responsibility digital platforms and digital community management. The contract specifically outlines Ruder Finn’s involvement in various areas, making it the second US firm hired by Neom to enhance its reputation. The tasks include social media management, program development for brand strategy and visual identity, website development, design, and management, as well as filming services. According to the legal agreement shared by several PR blogs, this campaign aims to portray NEOM as “a place that is dedicated to establishing new benchmarks for community health, environmental conservation, and the efficient and effective use of technology.”

Furthermore, the PR company’s role extends to shaping the perceptions of US public opinion and members of Congress concerning the development of Neom.

7- NGO Leadership:

At Ruder Finn, the leadership team includes Kathy Bloomgarden as the CEO, Brian Laird as the Senior Vice President, and Brianna Rabe as the Group Vice President.

8- Controversy:

Engaging with a country entangled in human rights violations and the tragic fate of journalists raises concerns. Even the rights of laborers in Saudi Arabia are not adequately safeguarded, casting doubt on the conditions for construction workers in the NEOM city project. Collaborating with a nation or government associated with the unfortunate demise of a journalist and implicated in human rights transgressions is viewed as a departure from ethical norms.

9- Contact Details:

  • Website: https://ruderfinn.com
  • Address: USA
  • Email: info@ruderfinn.com

10- Classification/Blacklist:

By involving itself in public relations endeavors for governments, entities affiliated with governments, state-supported investment funds, or individuals associated with the Saudi Arabian administration accountable for serious transgressions such as war crimes, torture, arbitrary imprisonments, and extrajudicial killings, Ruder Finn is contributing to the continuation of these unjust behaviors. Consequently, the company’s connections with the Saudi government have prompted its recognition as a concerning entity and its placement on a list of organizations under scrutiny.

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