Eric Dezenhall

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Eric Dezenhall

Eric Dezenhall is the founder and President of Dezenhall Resources which designs aggressive public relations campaigns to attack or "counter" progressive groups. Among his prior jobs, Dezenhall previously "served in the White House Office of Communications and the Office of Presidential Personnel during the Reagan Presidency".[1] He also worked as an account executive at Doremus Porter Novelli (DPN) from 1984 to 1987 before founding Nichols-Dezenhall.

Dezenhall's Approach to PR

In a 2001 column published in the New York Post, Dezenhall argued that "corporations guarantee their defeat when they let attackers scare them into not fighting back. Without exception, corporations must obey the law and never engage in the illegal tactics of some of their attackers. But there is no reason for corporations to fear a good counterattack if they tell the truth and use legal means. In fact, corporations perform a public service when they make people aware that attackers are advocating costly, unrealistic and harmful positions."[2]

"History teaches us that you don't win by surrendering. You win by winning. Instead of trying to turn their enemies into friends, corporations should find genuine friends and form strategic alliances. Appeasement and surrender today will only bring more appeasement and surrender tomorrow," he wrote.[2]

In an interview with the Washington Times Dezenhall suggested "You have to look at the origins of the term 'damage control," he said. "In the Navy, when your ship got hit by a torpedo, your objective was to live, not to get the ship back to where it was pre-torpedo. That's the great myth of crisis management."[3]

"The American public is far more offended by inconsistency than by naughty behavior," he said.[3]

"The desire of corporations to be accepted by the marketplace and to be personally liked has spawned an entire industry of activism and corporate capitulation that I've never seen before - it's unprecedented ... I've seen situations where companies are simply being harassed so badly that it pays to get out of a certain endeavor just to make the harassment stop," he said.[4]

In July 2006, Dezenhall "spoke to employees from Elsevier, Wiley and the American Chemical Society at a meeting arranged in July [2006] by the Association of American Publishers," reported Jim Giles. The publishers were seeking to counter perceived economic threats from open-access journals and public databases. In an email leaked to Nature, Dezenhall suggested that the publishers "focus on simple messages, such as 'Public access equals government censorship.' He hinted that the publishers should attempt to equate traditional publishing models with peer review, and 'paint a picture of what the world would look like without peer-reviewed articles.'"[5] These strategies appear to have been adopted by the AAP front group, the Partnership for Research Integrity in Science & Medicine.

Books by Dezenhall



  • Money Wanders, St. Martin's Press (Hardcover edition, January 2002; Paperback edition, February 2003) is described in the promotional material as taking readers "on a gonzo tour through the alleys of damage control at the millennium".[7] ISBN 0312311346 ISBN 978-0312311346
  • Jackie Disaster, St. Martin's Minotaur, June 2004. ISBN 0312307713 ISBN 978-0312307714 is about Jackie De Sesto who runs a crisis management PR company Allegation Sciences.
  • Shakedown Beach: A Mystery, St. Martin's Minotaur, June 2004. ISBN 0312307721.
  • Turnpike Flameout, St. Martin's Minotaur, December 2005. ISBN 0312340613 ISBN 978-0312340612
  • Spinning Dixie, Thomas Dunne Books, December 2006. ISBN 031234063X ISBN 978-0312340636

Contact details


Articles and Resources

Related SourceWatch Articles


  1. Dezewnhall Resources, "Eric Dezenhall, CEO", Deznhall Resources website, archived page from April 2007.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Eric Dezenhall, "Appeasing Extremists Brings No Peace", New York Post, March 30, 2001.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Scott Galupo, "Reputation repairmen", Washington Times, March 25, 2005.
  4. Joan Lowy, "Environmentalists bypass Washington to pressure corporations", Scripps Howard News Service, May 25, 2005.
  5. Jim Giles, "PR's 'pit bull' takes on open access: Journal publishers lock horns with free-information movement", Nature, 24 January 2007.
  6. "Nail 'Em! Confronting High-Profile Attacks On Celebrities & Businesses", Rothstein Catalog on Disaster Recovery, accessed November 2008.
  7. "Money Wanders", Money Wanders website, archived from September 2004.

External links

Biographical Note

Articles by Dezenhall

Documents Prepared by Dezenhall for Clients

  • Eric Dezenhall, "Proposed Coalition Strategies and Tactics", undated but 2007. (This document was drafted for the Association of American Publishers but leaked to New Scientist contributor Jim Giles. It was originally published at here.

General Articles