Papa John’s taps crisis PR firm to burnish CEO’s image

John Schnatter was a polarizing figure last year due to his remarks about Obamacare. Now he wants everyone to know the reporting about him was wrong.

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You may remember the Papa John’s CEO from widely reported stories saying he planned to raise pizza prices and slash employee hours due to Obamacare. The alleged comments made Schnatter a villain to the political left and a hero to those on the right, some of whom led a “buycott,” urging people to frequent Papa John’s.

He inspired countless articles, op-eds, and TV rants, as well as a PR Daily story questioning whether joining the political fray is a wise move for companies.

Now Schnatter wants to make something perfectly clear: The reporting about him was either misconstrued or dead wrong. To help set the record straight, the CEO hired Sitrick and Co., a crisis PR firm that’s worked with a number of high-profile clients, including celebrities, corporations, and churches. The firm’s namesake CEO has been called the “king of crisis PR,” as well as the “wizard of spin.”

Schnatter “was tired of being mischaracterized,” Mike Sitrick, chairman and CEO of Sitrick and Co., told PR Daily. “It unfairly hurts his reputation, and he didn’t want it to bleed over into the brand.”

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