Indemnify Thyself

A prerequisite for anyone working in a PR capacity is the indemnification clause. A what? Your client asks you to convey to a journalist something whose veracity is, well let’s say, less than grounded. The news breaks big, prompting the subjects of the malicious intent to sue…you. Without an indemnity clause in your contract, you are all but screwed.

This is standard operating procedure for most large, full-service firms, but perhaps less so for solo practitioners. It was therefore surprising to see today’s item in “Page Six” that commended Paris Hilton’s former publicist Rob Shuter for his foresight in securing from his faux-celeb client a waiver indemnifying him from any false information she might proffer.

Good thing. He now finds himself in court protected by that waiver…and a trail of e-mails and voice-mails that would make even Elliot Spitzer proud. Another Elliot (Mintz), Hilton’s current Hollywood-based “crisis manager,” declined comment. Could this be the beginning of the end of Ms. Hilton’s tacky public reign? Unlikely, but we can always dream, can’t we?

As for Shuter, he’s keeping busy with his other less-than-savory client, Ashley Simpson. Rob, with your clientele, my advice would be to save your e-mails and don’t forget to indemnify thyself.