Penn State hired two public relations firms to handle communication relating to current Penn State litigation, including the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse case.
Edelman and La Torre Communications will be working as a team to support the university by ensuring appropriate information is shared to the public in a timely fashion, David La Torre, founder of La Torre Communications, said.
Edelman and La Torre communications are hired for 12 months at $208,000 per month, La Torre said.
Though La Torre said his firm will fulfill Penn State’s needs for as long as necessary, they are focusing on “month one” and can’t say if they’ll be with the university longer than a year. As of right now, La Torre said anywhere from six to 10 people at a time will be working in State College.
University Spokeswoman Lisa Powers said the fees associated with Edelman and La Torre will be included with the total costs associated with the Jerry Sandusky matter.
As of Feb. 29, the total fees spent on legal counsel, consultants and public relations were at were at $7,577,643.
La Torre said Penn State is working on being more transparent and have broader communication with current and prospective students, alumni, the Penn State community, faculty and staff, as well as others.
“Penn State wants to improve how it communicates with the public and how it interacts with local and state media outlets,” La Torre said. “It’s as simple as that. It’s a step forward in the process for them.”
The firm will report to the university’s administration and work with Penn State’s Office of University Relations and public information officers, La Torre said.
La Torre said university public information and public relations will be able to focus on the stories Penn State has yet to tell because of handling information related to current litigation.
“Penn State is clearly an important institution to the people of Pennsylvania,” La Torre said. “I think everybody that has a special place for Penn State will see that this really is the next phase of the university’s ongoing commitment to being more transparent and accessible.”
La Torre Communications is a full-service public relations and public affairs firm based in Harrisburg, Pa., La Torre said.
Edelman Communications is an independent and family-owned business, according to a Penn State Live release. It is the world’s largest public relations firm, with more than 63 offices, according to the release.
Senior Counselor & Director, National Litigation Communications Practice for Edelman Charles Bakaly deferred comment to the press release.