Courting the Media: Public Relations for the Accused and the Accuser

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Media relations are not just for the rich and famous. Mackenzie takes readers behind the scenes of high-profile cases in which men, women, and even children were thrust into the spotlight—many because they were victims of unwarranted prosecution by the justice system and inaccurate depiction by the press. With media-savvy guidance from Mackenzie, these people and their lawyers successfully challenged the prejudiced portraits that police and prosecutors tried to present. In this book, Mackenzie also weighs in on celebrity cases, analyzing how they and their lawyers used the media to their advantage, or how they failed to do so.

Mackenzie is a consummate expert in the use of media relations in the court of law. Her conviction that a right to demand a fair portrayal by the press must not be reserved for the prosecution or the wealthy has propelled her career as she has fought for the falsely accused, the unjustly portrayed, and their families.

The media coverage of suspects or defendants by CNN, the nightly news, the New York Times, or the local paper affects the court of public opinion, even before their trials, and is often as important as what happens in front of a judge or jury. Private industry and corporations have long used media consultants. Prosecutors have public information officers to advise their lawyers. To level the playing field, all lawyers need to be ready to represent their clients before the media as well as the jury. Not only can this be done ethically, but as Mackenzie shows in this book, given what defendants are up against today, it may be unethical to ignore the media when the other side is using every possible opportunity to advance their portrayal of the accused or the victim.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"It is an anecdotal book, easy to read, and authoritative. It focuses mainly on public relations strategies and tactics in high-profile criminal cases (including white-collar), though Mackenzie also talks about dealing with the press in high-profile custody disputes, personal injury cases, and others."


Law Marketing Bibliography

"Mackenzie, founder of a public relations firm that specializes in court-related work and high-profile criminal trials, explains the importance of media relations for both the accused and accuser in trails. In each chapter, she describes a media relations challenge, including cases involving celebrities (O.J. Simpson, Russell Crowe, Robert Blake), custody disputes, serious and white-collar crimes, and Andrea Yates. She includes a chapter on media training for lawyers. The book was written for subjects and lawyers of high-profile cases and those interested in them."


Reference & Research Book News

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275991258
  • Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/30/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 204
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

MARGARET A. MACKENZIE is the founder of Professional Profiles, a public relations firm with a unique specialization--court-related work, especially high-profile criminal trials. She teaches people who have never had to deal with the media how to present their side of the story when an accusation forces them into the media spotlight. Mackenzie has stood alongside many of the nation's top criminal defense lawyers, but has also worked with civil litigators, including those who successfully sued the tobacco industry for billions of dollars. She can be reached at

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Table of Contents

Introduction     ix
The Power of the Press     1
The Problem with Celebrities     9
Accusations in Custody Disputes     23
Matters of Life and Death     39
The Face of a Murder Suspect     55
White-Collar Crime     69
Empowering the Disenfranchised     83
Sexual Abuse: Accusations and Motives     101
The Mea Culpa Press Conference     111
Andrea Yates, Insanity and Gag Orders     131
Lawyers and the Media     141
High-Profile Cases in the Twenty-First Century     161
Notes     169
Index     183
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