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Public Relations Firm SKDKnickerbocker Scrubs Website Of Tie To Planned Parenthood

You know things are bad for Planned Parenthood when even their crisis communications firm is trying to distance itself from them.


Politico reported that high-powered firm SKDKnickerbocker is helping Planned Parenthood manage its public relations crisis over the release of footage showing its medical officials engaged in the trafficking of organs harvested from recently aborted children.

SKDKnickerbocker sent out a memo to journalists trying to keep them from reporting on the undercover videos, on the grounds they were obtained under false identification and violated patient privacy.

Planned Parenthood botched a portion of its difficult public relations campaign when it was unable to provide any evidence at all for a claim that the group’s site was under attack and had to be shut down. As explained in “Planned Parenthood ‘Hacking’ Sure Looks Like An Orchestrated PR Stunt,” Planned Parenthood’s web page seemed to function fine. It just replaced the page with a claim of an attack, but then directed visitors to give the group money or otherwise help with their public relations campaign.

Some in the media, such as Reuters, reflexively ran with the abortion provider’s claim. But the Associated Press and CNN noted the lack of evidence for any attack on the website this week.

By Thursday the group changed its tune, saying the site was down for maintenance, not because of an attack.

It was a rare miss for SKDKnickerbocker, which has previously done highly effective work for Planned Parenthood, Sandra Fluke, and other high-profile advocates of abortion rights.

But Planned Parenthood wasn’t the only site undergoing maintenance and changes. SKDKnickerbocker also took the opportunity to scrub its site. If you go to SKDKnickerbocker’s site, you see a page with pictures and profiles of staff. These Democratic heavy hitters brag in their profiles of their ties to President Obama and Democratic candidates such as Hillary Clinton. Here’s former journalist Kate Nocera of BuzzFeed! Here’s a dude who did media relations for Jim Obergefell, of recent Supreme Court victory fame. Here’s Julie Norton, who went from the Clinton administration to fighting 2nd Amendment protections, and now lives in Dupont, “where she can frequently be seen walking her beautiful Goldendoodle, Scout, and her partner’s somewhat less-attractive pug, Marley.” (Yes, I read every staff bio, why do you ask?)

But after the Planned Parenthood story broke, and after SKDKnickerbocker’s role in the group’s crisis communications plan was brought to light, an interesting thing happened. All employee profiles stayed the same, except for one: Nell Callahan’s. Here’s what Nell’s profile looks like now:

Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 11.24.31 PM

And here’s Nell’s profile on July 26:

Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 11.26.17 PM

What was scrubbed after July 26?

Since joining SKDK, she has played an integral role in launching The New Republic’s redesign, framing the freight rail industry’s commitment to infrastructure investment and telling Planned Parenthood’s story during the 2012 election cycle.

What a hat trick of disaster! The New New Republic, the freight rail industry’s commitment to infrastructure, and Planned Parenthood?

I don’t blame Nell Callahan for wanting that off of her profile.

Even Abby Gardner, the lady who managed Sandra Fluke, isn’t too embarrassed to mention it

But kudos to Callahan and her colleagues. Not everything’s going horribly. They managed to get CBS News to publish a very weird 10-minute defense of Planned Parenthood from Vice President Dawn Laguens. It’s very … long. And she just utters talking points for 10 minutes with no response from an ideological opponent. Who knows — maybe someone less inclined to defend the harvesting of organs from aborted children will get equal time soon.