You can’t make good communications out of bad policy is a truism many readers of this blog will relate to. Lee Cain, former chief spin doctor to Boris Johnson, used it to describe the challenges of communicating through the pandemic while politicians made policy on the hoof. It neatly explains how communication of a policy […]
An inquiry into a historic murder has extraordinary implications for today’s communicators Daniel Morgan was a 37-year-old private investigator found dead with an axe sunken into his neck in a London pub car park in March 1987. Despite four police investigations, Daniel’s killer(s) were never brought to justice. This week, after eight years’ work a panel examining why the investigations collapsed – and the murky links between private investigators, police and journalists – reported […]
Gareth Southgate’s letter to England has rightly cut through to a country on the eve of the tournament. Capturing the issues about pride, identity, the meaning of what it is to be English, he has rallied not just his team but an entire nation. It was a masterclass in leadership and authenticity. Beautifully written, he chose to […]
When words mean more than action Royal public relations were a tough gig this week. As a crisis over race and mental health engulfed the House of Windsor, fast food royalty Burger King was flame-grilled in a row over misogyny on International Women’s Day. The King’s whopping gaffe was tweeting “women belong in […]
Knowing your limits
Smart campaigning through the pandemic intertwines the fate of our pubs with that of the nation For at least 250 years, we have been warned about the dangers of excess drink. Periodic panic over the morals of a nation pickled showed in art and popular culture, from Hogarth’s Gin Lane (1751) to Bravo TV’s Booze […]
This time it’s different?
Chief executives shoring up battered finances take a new interest in retail investors The surge of retail investors into stock markets as prices tanked is one of the more unexpected results of worldwide lockdowns. From India to the US, Australiato the UK, people have used time at home to take a punt in the markets. […]
Banking on goodwill
RBS’s new boss banks goodwill in a crisis It’s said that every great institution is the lengthened shadow of a single man. For ten years RBS bosses laboured under the spectre of Fred ‘the Shred’ Goodwin, whose decisions put the bank at the centre of the financial crisis and needing a huge injection of cash […]
Power to the People?
People – not regulators – are best placed to clean up the web The internet’s great promise was to free information and control from institutions, and put it into the hands of people. It was originally driven by what economist Shane Greenstein termed “innovation from the edges” rather than led by a “single, hierarchical and […]
Good governance in Britain famously relies on its ‘dignified’ monarchy and ‘efficient’ executive. This week both branches of Victorian writer Walter Bagehot’s dictum are in a state of toxic shock. Prince Andrew, reputedly the Queen’s favourite son, was humiliated on front pages worldwide over links to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. And our two candidates […]
You can’t be Sirius
Scandalised at the “false, malicious and dangerous” gossip percolating in Britain’s 17th century coffee houses by tradesmen “misspending their time”, King Charles II issued a decree to shut them down. The king worried that mercantile upstarts would defame his Government and disturb the peace and quiet of the realm. The shops were a new locus of power […]