AP NEWS

PR firm tracked Nassar victims’ social media for university

March 30, 2018

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The public relations firm hired by Michigan State University amid the scandal surrounding disgraced ex-sports doctor Larry Nassar says it monitored social media accounts, including those of Nassar’s victims, but its contract was to provide crisis communications.

The statement issued late Thursday by Weber Shandwick responded to a Lansing State Journal story Wednesday saying the New York-based firm billed the university roughly $500,000 for work in January tracking media coverage and social media activity.

Weber Shandwick says its work mainly “involved crisis counsel” from late December to early March. The firm adds it wasn’t hired to track accounts, but it shared media coverage and social media with university officials. That included posts by women who say they were sexually assaulted by Nassar.

The firm says Nassar’s victims are “the most important voices in the conversation.”

Nassar is serving a decades-long prison sentence for molesting patients and possessing child pornography.

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