NEW YORK—Hill & Knowlton has been named the exclusive public relations provider for a new crisis management product introduced by AIG Consultants.

Parent company AIG International introduced its first crisis insurance program, CrisisFund, in 1996, providing customers with insurance that would pay for public relations services—from approved firms including Abernathy MacGregor, Burson-Marsteller, Edelman, and Kekst and Company—in the event of a crisis expected to have “an immediate and material negative impact on stock price.” H&K was added to the approved list two years later.

The new product, called Patrol (Planning and Tracking Response OnLine) was introduced in October and provides customers with access to a global network of firms providing business continuity and security-related services, including PR. The Patrol program utilizes a Web-hosted information system that connects clients with services companies, and in the event of a crisis facilitates rapid notification. Incident management and resource tracking software allows easy compilation and dissemination of the information, coordination of response activities, and advanced planning.

“At a time when safety and security have new relevance, businesses are expected to identify and manage the potential risks that can impact their organization and be prepared to immediately and effectively respond to crisis situations,” says John Carey, president of AIG Consultants. “This program can provide the cornerstone for every company's risk management program, offering not only an organized response to such incidents, but evidence of a responsible and prepared company.”

Other service providers include CARCO, Crisis Management International, Decision Strategies, TRC, and Vance International.

Says Dick Hyde, director of Hill & Knowlton’s U.S. Crisis Management specialty. “In a crisis, Hill & Knowlton will mobilize its strategic communication resources to ensure the client’s message is heard in the crucial first hours. Swift public response to a crisis is often the best hope for limiting damage.”