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Communications Team Set Up by Lawyers of Ex-President Lula Foments Social Media

10/06/2017 - 12h35

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CATIA SEABRA
FROM SÃO PAULO

Invariably dissatisfied with the space they get in the press, the lawyers of former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) decided back in May to create their own communications apparatus.

A team of seven professionals - which includes a screenwriter, a producer and a cameraman - has been producing videos that are primarily released on social media with the intent of supporting the former president's defense.

Set up on the 18th floor of the building that is home to the Teixeira Martins law firm in the neighborhood of Jardins, the team foments a Facebook page called "A Verdade de Lula" (or "The Truth about Lula") as well as the pages of lawyers Cristiano Zanin and Valeska Teixeira Martins, the daughter of lawyer Roberto Teixeira, a very close friend of Lula's.

A photographer/cameraman follows Lula's attorneys on their trips, selecting pictures and cropping statements, such as the ones that emerged from the former president's testimony before judge Sergio Moro in the city of Curitiba.

The videos last, on average, between two to five minutes and are produced at the rate of around one video per day.

The tone of the clips is reminiscent of tones used in ads, where a deep voice-over comes on, refuting accusations directed at the former president, while also including pictures taken from the testimonies and, on occasion, graphic imagery.

The couple that runs the law firm also released a series about "lawfare", a legal thesis that Lula's defense has embraced, in which the law is used as a pretext for political persecution.

The series on lawfare incorporates an American police-show aesthetic with its opening sequence and episode structure.

Most of the clips have somewhere between 5,000 and 20,000 views, although the more successful ones have around 200,000.

In order to get the project underway, the law firm hired the company Somos3 for an experimental three-month period.

Coordinating the project is Tatiana Chiari, a journalist from Minas Gerais who has worked for media outlets such as the magazine "Veja" and Rede Record, and ran the communications agency FSB.

OVERSEAS STRUCTURE

The law firm did not disclose costs connected to the communications apparatus.

On top of the team that was set up to manage the videos, the law firm also hired a press secretary.

When it comes to communications initiatives abroad, the firm hired BLJ London, an English public relations firm.

On its website, BLJ London says it is committed to handling crisis management while also offering "discrete and strategic advice".

On May 10th, John Watts, a managing partner at the PR firm as well as the CEO of BLJ World Wide's Middle East and Asia departments, came to Brazil in order to observe the former president's testimony before Sergio Moro.

The company was hired through the help of British attorney Geoffrey Robertson, who is overseeing Lula's defense abroad.

WORLDWIDE TREND

When approached, lawyer Cristiano Zanin issued a statement reading that "improvements in the communications sector are a worldwide trend and a must-have for law firms".

"Our firm has adhered to this trend. To that end, we have hired non-exclusive service providers who are helping us in that department", Zanin said.

Translated by THOMAS MATHEWSON

Read the article in the original language

Reprodução
The videos last, on average, between two to five minutes and are produced at the rate of around one video per day
The videos last, on average, between two to five minutes and are produced at the rate of around one video per day

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