The Chevron Ecuador case contains thousands of pages of documents, many online for anyone who cares to research. One document contains the emails and papers of Chevron Ecuador lead plaintiff lawyer Steven Donziger. This blogger found a great October 2005 document that details the public relations plan of attack against Chevron – one that Donziger and Karen Hinton of the Amazon Defense Coalition have put into play for the past seven years. Here it is, in full:
October 1, 2005
Please find specific steps we should consider in order to fully leverage the
criminal investigation of the Chevron executives (this document assumes we have
independent confirmation that the matter is indeed accurate). We should view this
development as the opportunity to build on the success of this case to date and launch the
second phase of the campaign.
“Y Foundation Story Reporting on the Criminal Investigation: Our immediate
objective is to make public the government’s criminal investigation of the Chevron
executives. Here are the options to generate this story (the choice will be dictated by
the actual facts and what information we have access to – we may need to do
something that jump-starts the story):
o Exclusive Print Story – Give the story to a major print outlet such as the NYT
or WSJ. To make this happen, we will need to have some information to
provide. Name(s) of the Chevron personnel being investigated; who is
conducting the investigation; status of the investigation; any documentation as
to the subj ect.
o Letter to the Board that is Released Publicly – Letter from either A W or some
other entity to the individual Board members that asks Chevron to come clean
on the status of the investigation. The letter is then conveyed to a wire service
to stimulate coverage and get the ball rolling.
o Letter to the SEC – Letter to the SEC pointing out the issue and calling for an
investigation as to Chevron’s failure to make public such a material matter.
Letter would be cc’d to a variety of entities. The letter is then conveyed to a
wire service to stimulate coverage and get the ball rolling.
o Print Ad in a Paper or Internet Ad – The ad would accuse Chevron of being
the subject of a criminal investigation.
DONZ00027919 Page 1 o
Immediate Follow-Up Steps After StOry is Published: The day the story appears,
we will want to pursue a number of follow-up steps designed to apply shareholder
pressure on Chevron, including:
o Issue a Press Release – Issue a press release providing details and advancing
the story by taking a specific step. Specific follow-up steps could be:
• SEC letter calling for an investigation
• Letter to the Board Members reminding them that under SarbanesOxley they bear personal responsibility for corporate malfeasance
• Letter to elected officials who head major pension funds asking them
to investigate the matter (California’s Angelides and Westly; NY’s
o One on One Call to Chevron Beat Reporters — We (combination of A Wand
the lawyers) will want to do individual one-on-one calls with Chevron’s beat
reporters walking them through the criminal matter and setting up an
individual in-person meeting (which we will do as part of a road show).
o Analyst Communication – We (combination of A Wand the lawyers) will want
to do individual one-on-one calls with Chevron’s analysts walking them
through the criminal matter and setting up an individual in-person meeting
(which we will do as part of a road show).
o Major Shareholder Communication – We will want to reach out to major
investors with a call and set up a future meeting (again, part of a road show).
We should focus on major public and university funds, but also engage other
‘” Sustained Pressure: In the days and weeks following this development, we will
want to keep imposing tremendous pressure on Chevron. Here are a list of activities
that we can pursue:
o Meetings with State Pension Fund Elected Officials – We should seek
meetings with Westly, Angelides and Hevesi. Our goal will be to get one of
these elected officials to publicly demand a meeting with Chevron to discuss
o Op Ed – Op ed from an Ecuadoran Indian on the subject.
o Analyst Road Show – Series of meetings with Chevron’s top analysts to walk
them through the case and most recent developments.
o Chevron Reporter Road Show – Series of meetings with Chevron’s beat
reporters (business, trade, etc.) – to walk them through the case and the most
o Investor Road Show – Series of meetings with Chevron’s top investors – with
a special focus on public pension funds and university investors — to walk
them through the case and most recent developments.
o Protest in Front of Chevron — Protest in front of Chevron to generate tv
coverage off of the developments.
o Google Ad – Have a Google ad that puts out some provocative information for
anyone who types in a search for Chevron. Put out a release announcing the
o SEC Letters – SEC letters calling for an investigation of Chevron (depending
on what we have filed to date).
• SEC letter on Chevron’s failure to disclose the criminal investigation.
• SEC letter on Chevron’s failure to disclose the suit in Ecuador.
“Y Long-Term Initiatives: Building off of the initial activity, we will want to consider
several targeted specific mini-campaigns all designed to create pressure points on
o Securities Suit Filedfor Failure to Disclose Material Information –
Shareholder lawsuit for failure to disclose information.
o New Legal Filing/Information – Dress up some new developments in the case
and use it as an opportunity to generate significant coverage.
o NY Attorney General- Ifwe get traction on the disclosure issue, we should
look to see whether we can get Spitzer into the game.
o Development of a Specific University Effort – Target a major university that is
invested in Chevron for a divestment campaign. Student groups; pressure on
the President and Board; etc.
o Development of a Specific Pension Fund Effort – Target a major public
pension fund for a divestment campaign.
o Venezuela Effort – Specific outreach, which is made public, to interact with
the Chavez government to “expose” what happened in Ecuador and get
Venezuela to take steps against Chevron.
NOTE by Zennie: Obviously, the Chavez part of the strategy has not worked well. The Venezuelan leader has not bothered to listen to Donziger’s false claims.