Italian judge Marco Billi has jailed (pending appeal) six scientists and one public official for six years for manslaughter. They were condemned for downplaying – in their communication – the risks of an earthquake in L’Aquila, Italy, which killed 309 people in 2009. The verdict should send shockwaves through the ranks of public relations professionals, because the precedent it sets could be applied to PR pros just as easily as to our clients and their other advisers. Read on ›
PR comes into its own when clients are in deep trouble – whether of their own making or not. Speed, intelligence, guile, contacts, PRs need them all when the chips are down.
[This is a guest post by Richard D North.] The most important questions about the BBC and Savile saga are often left a little late in the discussion. First, why did anyone of ordinary savviness at the top of a mass entertainment organisation think the old weirdo was worth a post-mortem tribute, granted the strength of the rumours which had been going round for years? Read on ›
You cannot have missed it. A strike at the Marikana platinum mine owned by Lonmin in South Africa led to 34 workers being killed and many more injured in a confrontation with the police. Weeks later the number of people on the illegal strike has increased considerably with only 13 per cent of workers turning up at the mine on Monday. Read on ›
Barclays Bank has to pay a penalty of £290 million to the Financial Services Authority in the UK, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and Department of Justice in the US. Its crime? Between 2005 and 2009, it lied to them about the interest rate it was paying to borrow money. The reason? To benefit the bank’s derivatives trading positions by either increasing its profits or minimizing its losses. What can we PR pros say? Read on ›
Hating the Murdochs is a sport in some quarters. It is almost all the old British left has left. Socialism is not doing well, but loathing Thatcher and her biggest media supporters still resonates. In the case of culture secretary Jeremy Hunt, we have what looks like the perfect mirror-image foolishness from the right-wing of politics. Read on ›
I have noticed that there’s an increasing interest among PR pros in chaos theory. It might be because we’re in recession, the result of recent earthquakes and tsunamis, or even the new complexity that social media throws up. But whatever motivates them, here’s some insight into why they are misguided. Read on ›
Last week there was “outrage” over the bonus awarded to Stephen Hester, chief executive of Royal Bank of Scotland. This week we are set for another moral outburst when Barclays announces expected profits of more than $9 billion, which will result in its CEO Bob Diamond pocketing around $3 million. In the midst of a global crisis that heralds austerity for many, what strategy should be adopted by PRs tasked with defending banks, bankers and bonuses? Read on ›
Who should PRs work for? Well, according to Rosanna M. Fiske, Chair and Chief Executive, Public Relations Society of America, everybody has the right to have their voice heard in the global marketplace of ideas. I agree. But Ms Fiske doesn’t, not really. Read on ›
I’m sitting lakeside near Zurich after a swim, and I surf on my friend’s handheld electronic thingamajig. It lands me on Paul Holmes’s eponymous Report. There I click on a video by Richard Levick, CEO of Levick Strategic Communications. He’s discussing three common mistakes that companies and countries make when faced with a crisis. Oops, and he then makes four classic PR errors himself. Read on ›
So, the scandal-ridden English FA accuses the scandal-ridden FIFA of corruption. The media are calling for Mr Blatter’s head on a platter. PR Week’s PR “experts” are urging FIFA to cringe and apologize, reform and move on. (What we call ARM PR.) Meanwhile, Mr Blatter asks, crisis, what crisis?