Everglades Trust severs ties with Sachs' PR firm
Everglades Trust, a leading environmental organization in Florida, has broken off its professional ties to Ron Sachs Communications, Tallahassee's leading public relations firm. The reason: Sachs' firm was helping to promote the offshore oil drilling legislation in the 2009 session on behalf of California and Texas-based energy interests.
"Ron and I are and have been good friends," said a dismayed Thom Rumberger of the Everglades Trust. "I decided it was just terribly inconsistent with our work, and I thought we would just take a hiatus." He said he told Sachs that "we might want to go our separate ways." Rumberger said losing Sachs' advice "feels like I lost my right arm," even though the Trust paid for Sachs' service on a limited, case-by-case basis. (Sachs' firm continues to represent Rumberger's law firm).
Sachs said he regretted losing Everglades Trust as a client but he had no second thoughts about his advocacy of the drilling legislation, which did not pass. "This is not just being a hired gun," Sachs said. "I went through a very deliberative process with my top management team. We got very educated about the issue and reached a comfort level on this issue."
The public relations expert said public opinion in Florida is shifting to a more open-minded approach on drilling. "I'm a native Floridian," Sachs said. "I own a home on the Gulf. I'm as much an environmentalist as Thom Rumberger is."