Amid scrutiny over its response to the coronavirus pandemic, the World Health Organization in early May hired an American public relations firm to burnish its image, including through identifying so-called “influencers” to help amplify messaging about COVID-19.
According to documents filed with the Justice Department this week, WHO inked a $135,000 contract on May 1 with Hill and Knowlton Strategies to craft a public messaging strategy.
“There has been criticism and assertions leveled against the World Health Organization (WHO) and media coverage that could undermine WHO as a trusted and critical information source on global public health issues,” Hill and Knowlton wrote in its proposal to WHO.
The contract earmarked $30,000 for “influencer identification,” $65,000 for “message testing,” and $40,000 for a “campaign plan framework.”
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