Here’s a situation that is perfect for debating ethics in public relations. Someone has taken the once secretive Mexican drug lord, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, as a PR client, and this appears to be no joke.
In a report from Fox News Latino, Guzman stated that he wants his lawyers and common-law wife to “keep his name in the news,” such efforts including the use of his “PR team” to set up outside Mexico’s Supreme Court and the White House.
Emma Coronel, mother of Guzman’s 4-year-old twin daughters, has given multiple interviews with the media on issues around his health and the inadequate conditions he endures behind bars.
The attorney of Guzman, Jose Luis Gonzalez Meza, has gone as far as to wear an “Extradition Never!!!” sweat shirt with a photo of his client.
But this is not the best part, Meza is saying he is planning a hunger strike that allows only water and juice, and encouraging Mexicans to join him and support better conditions of imprisonment for the drug lord.
In my opinion, this blasphemy of creating a campaign to sympathize with a kingpin is an ambitiously planned strategy on Guzman’s part that makes little to no sense. It is obvious that Guzman’s hopes to negotiate his terms of imprisonment in the U.S. through such tactics. Especially since a separate attorney of Guzman, Jose Refugio Rodriguez, said the drug lord desires to quickly negotiate a guilty plea in exchange for a more “reasonable” sentence in a medium-security prison in the U.S. Sounds like El Chapo’s trying to use PR to persuade such efforts. Can his tactics work?
Samuel Logan, who works for the business and security-consulting firm Southern Pulse, says he doesn’t believe Guzman’s attempt will work.
“El Chapo’s folks are grasping at the straws,” Logan said. “I doubt the U.S. will negotiate on any level.”
The problem with Guzman’s tactics is this, the government is not a public to persuade, especially not the prison system. Lawyers work with the legal system through litigation, not enticing or tempting the judges to pick a side. Trying to wheedle, or even scheme, your way through the penal institution will never work. In fact, I believe it could irritate the system even more, as El Chapo is famous for having escaped prison twice and killing thousands of people.
El Chapo Being Arrested. N.d. PR Newser. Web. <http%3A%2F%2Fwww.adweek.com%2Fprnewser%2Fdrug-lord-el-chapo-guzman-launched-a-pr-campaign-really%2F121959>.
“‘El Chapo’ Guzman’s Team Launching a PR Campaign.” Fox News Latino. N.p., 7 Mar. 2016. Web. 01 Apr. 2016. <http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2016/03/05/el-chapo-guzman-team-launching-pr-campaign/>.
Wood, Shawn Paul. “Drug Lord ‘El Chapo’ Guzman Has Launched a PR Campaign.” PRNewser. N.p., 7 Mar. 2016. Web. 01 Apr. 2016. <http://www.adweek.com/prnewser/drug-lord-el-chapo-guzman-launched-a-pr-campaign-really/121959>.