BW picks up on the LABO scooplet from a couple weeks back about L.A.-based crisis manager Mike Sitrick being hired by Julie Roehm, the fired Wal-Mart marketing executive who accused the retailer's top officers of violating conflict-of-interest rules - after the company accused Roehm of having an affair with a subordinate and accepting gifts from a potential business partner. Everybody denies everything, although it's hard to believe any of this will see a courtroom. Here's what NY-based PR fixer Howard Rubinstein said: "I've no doubt she hired him to tell her story in the most difficult, attacking method he knows."
For clues as to where the story goes from here, look to Sitrick's work on behalf of former Hewlett-Packard (HPQ ) Chairman Patricia Dunn, who was forced to resign in connection with HP's spying scandal. The parallels start with two women accused of wrongdoing by big opponents. "It doesn't take a lot of work to get Wal-Mart to come off as the bully," says Sitrick. "It's a clear David-and-Goliath situation. Julie is the underdog." In Dunn's case, Sitrick was instrumental in working closely with her lawyers to give influential reporters—what Sitrick calls "lead steers"—access to Dunn. That resulted in profiles that allowed her to put forth her narrative, earning her more sympathy.