The PR Guru

December 14, 2010

Image of police is going to suffer due to atrocious illegal actions by officers during student protests

Police launched an internal investigation last night after footage emerged of a man being pulled out of his wheelchair and dragged across the road by an officer during Thursday’s student protest in London.

The grainy video on YouTube does not show the moment Jody McIntyre leaves his wheelchair but shows the 21 year old being dragged to the side of the road by an officer.

McIntyre was interviewed by BBC’s Ben Brown last night.

During the interview, Jody talks of how the media has ignored people like Alfie Meadows, who had to be hospitalised after receiving brain injuries, and what the media reaction would have been if Charles or Camilla were in the same situation. As expected, the presenter completely ignores that and asks whether Jody himself had thrown missiles at the police.

The presenter then later asks whether Jody had shouted anything that would have induced the police to take action.

McIntyre said it was the second time police had pulled him from his wheelchair during the protest. He said in the first incident several officers lifted him from his chair and carried him 100 yards.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan police service said that although no complaint had been received it had launched an investigation: “As a result of media coverage, the MPS directorate of professional standards is investigating the circumstances surrounding this matter.”

There has been mounting pressure on Metropolitan police commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson after footage emerged showing an officer policing Thursday’s student protests not wearing identification.

Following the G20 protests last year, during which Ian Tomlinson died after being pushed to the ground by a police officer not wearing ID, Stephenson said it was “absolutely unacceptable” for officers to cover or remove their shoulder tags bearing identification numbers. However, a video taken by one of the protesters at Thursday’s London demonstration clearly shows an officer not displaying her ID.

On The Chris Moyles Show on Radio 1 this morning, Chris Moyles said that the BBC have been flooded with complaints about the interview Ben Brown did.

The complete opposite to this is the news that one of America’s top foreign policy advisors, Richard Holbrooke died following surgery to repair a torn aorta. His last words were “You’ve got to stop this war in Afghanistan.” He has been praised by the president and all the American government for his passion and dedication to peace.

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November 29, 2010

#cablegate: Comments that could ruin the image of Prince Andrew, David Cameron and the British Military are set to be published on Wikileaks

In a previous blog entry, we mentioned how whistle-blowing website Wikileaks had come under criticism for releasing Iraq War Logs.

Well, today, US diplomats have suggested that inappropriate remarks made by Prince Andrew about a British law enforcement agency and a foreign country are also set to be made available online. Secret U.S. embassy cables are said to show the Prince, who is a UK trade envoy, caught in a scandal.

The Guardian, who get early access to the content, said that the website also included criticisms of David Cameron and of British Military operations in Afghanistan.

The criticisms about British operations in Iraq were said to be devastating, while remarks concerning Mr Cameron were described as serious political criticisms.

They were also said to disclose technical details of secret US-Russian nuclear missile negotiations in Geneva and US efforts to combat al-Qaida in Yemen.

The White House said that the disclosure of confidential diplomatic communications on the front pages of newspapers around the world would deeply impact US foreign interests.

The Foreign Office also condemned the leaks but insisted that they would not affect Anglo-American relations.

November 23, 2010

Publicising a uranium enrichment facility and Korea’s heir leads to Korean warfare, plus… Stoke-on-Trent likened to Afghanistan by pottery director

EDIT 25/11 – Sarah Palin made a PR Gaffe yesterday by saying Americans were going to “stand with our North Korean allies” so much to the shock of the world that it is not only trending on twitter in the US but in the UK as well. Her interviewer pointed out that in fact, it’s South Korea, not North Korea, that is the US’s ally.

This comes on the same day that it is revealed campaigners accused The Prime Minister of breaking the law by jokingly comparing Commons Speaker John Bercow to one of the Seven Dwarfs; and on the day that Mr Cameron disowns remarks by MP Howard Flight, saying welfare changes would encourage ‘breeding’ among those on benefits. These high profile politicans need to learn to watch the way they phrase things.

Mr Flight was named by David Cameron last week as one of more than 20 new Conservative peers, after having previously been sacked as Tory candidate ahead of the 2005 election for suggesting the party had secret cuts plans. The MP, who is yet to take his seat in the House of Lords, was commenting on the government’s plans to axe child benefit for top rate taxpayers.

South Korea says two marines have been killed and 16 others injured in a North Korean attack on a South Korean island near the western sea border.

South Korea returned fire and launched fighter jets in response.

The skirmish came amid tension over North Korea’s claim that it has a new uranium enrichment facility, and just six weeks after North Korean leader Kim Jong Il unveiled his youngest son Kim Jong Un as his heir.

In South Korea, people initially responded with shock and various celebrities have expressed their concerns and feelings via. Twitter.

Jay Park wrote on his personal Twitter, “I just heard the news. Please be safe.

Simon D of Supreme Team said, “I hope that the issue does not escalate and there are no more casualties. NO WAR”.

T-ara’s Eunjung added, “I know. This is an extremely serious matter. I’m worried”, while actress Park Shinhye wrote, “My heart aches. All the people who wished for peace had their hopes ruined in a second. Please no more injuries.

Comedian Park Kyung Lim tweeted, “I just finished filming and what is this. At a time like this, we must have accurate news and unite to comfort each other.”

It seems that Korea’s decision to release this information to the world was the wrong decision and launced severe carnage. Let’s hope the fighting ends soon.

In more local news, Stoke-on-Trent has been likened to Afghanistan’s Helmand Province by Matthew Rice, director of Emma Bridgewater.

Referring to city planning as “feckless”, he called on the local council and developers to use historic buildings and former factories during regeneration rather than to knock them down.

He said, “If you go around Stoke these days there is lots of bare land where things have been demolished. I’ve no idea what it looks like in Helmand Province but I get a feeling it would look a little like here. There is always this idea that we have got to demolish everything to put things right. A blank canvas they call it. But I’d rather see people use the buildings in regeneration and development.”

Stoke was once the site of the country’s biggest pottery firms including Wedgwood and Royal Doulton. However, the decline in manufacturing the 1980s and 1990s saw dozens of factories, mines and steelworks closing and historic buildings left to fall derelict. At its height, Stoke housed 2,000 bottle kilns and 200 factories. Only around 30 factories now operate.

October 27, 2010

The press reveal the horrific truth about what happened to Baby P and we show you how the press always report stories in different ways

Most newspapers have today revealed that information in a secret report showed how Baby P was abandoned by the police, social workers, doctors and lawyers, to be left with his evil mother and tortured to death. This information, as always, was kept from the media because it is incredibly horrifying for anyone to know that that sort of thing can happen to a child. The police should have taken action to ensure that this did not happen and quite frankly I am shocked that it was allowed to.

The media always manage to find out this information in the end and when they do they tend to try and find a way to report it in a different way. Our PR Coaching Programme, has been designed to help you tailor your press releases to match what the newspapers/magazines are looking to publish – just as a jobseeker should always adjust a C.V. to match a job specification. Different newspapers will always want to publish things from their own perspective.

So, it is no big suprise to see that they are all handling the news about the UK’s unexpectedly strong growth rate in different ways, as they struggle to make sense of it.

The Sun chose to compare the economy to an ill patient, saying there is a pulse but no room for complacency. The Daily Mail agrees that the situation is good but The Daily Telegraph cautions people not to be too optimistic and The Daily Express called it a relief.

Russia’s plans to play a role in supporting Nato’s mission in Afghanistan has also made headlines in several papers.

The Independent referred to it as a remarkable turn of events, pointing out that in the 80s Nato encouraged the mujahideen to drive the Russians out, whereas The Times says a return would be hugely emotive.

The Guardian chose to publish a horrific story, by reporting that brown bears in Siberia have been digging up corpses in village graveyards and eating them, whilst The Financial Times reports that supermarkets are offering cut price deals on Christmas food and drink weeks earlier than usual.

In other news, John Barrowman is to star in the Christmas Special of Strictly Come Dancing, alongside other major celebrities (including Fern Britton) who were unable to commit to appearing in an entire series. The episode will be shown on Christmas Day but will be filmed on 20th November.

October 25, 2010

Nurse filmed switching off Jamie Merrett’s life support machine and Wikileaks criticised after releasing classified Iraq war logs

The NHS are to take action, in order to regain the trust of the public, after an agency nurse was filmed switching off her patient’s life support machine by mistake. However, the website Wikileaks have announced that they are going to continue releasing classified documents, including Iraq war logs, even though it has been feared that they could put the lives of troops at risk.

Tetraplegic Jamie Merrett asked for a camera to be placed in his home in Wiltshire, after becoming concerned about the care he was receiving.

It captured, just a few days later, the moment his nurse switched off the life support machine and left him brain damaged. This is one of the most awful things that can happen to anybody and something that she should have taken great pains to avoid.

Wiltshire social services knew they were supposed to supply a nurse with training in the use of a ventilator, but the company did not have the ability to check what training their staff had received.

Even now, after two years, the NHS have not sufficiently done anything about what happened. They have obviously been trying to hide it, in an attempt not to receive bad publicity. However, the BBC have now reported the story on the main page of their website (and it is in today’s issue of The Guardian) for the whole world to see, so perhaps the NHS will now start to take action.

Whistle-blowing website, Wikileaks, have today released a statement swearing that they are not anti-American and that they will continue releasing classified documents.

On Friday, the website released 400,000 classified US army documents on the war in Iraq, which publicised a very negative image of the war, especially the abuse of Iraqi civilians by Iraqi security forces.

The website released more than 70,000 secret files on the war in Afghanistan in July, which infuriated the US and coalition authorities who feared the documents could have put the lives of troops at risk.

At the weekend it was announced that WikiLeaks are preparing to release 15,000 more documents on the war in Afghanistan. The documents that were released before have since been proven as not having put the lives of the troops at risk, although the website did not think of that when it published them.

October 19, 2010

Stoke City giving Tickets For Troops and Shawcross praised for modesty

According to The Sentinel, Stoke City are getting plenty of positive PR by joining a campaign that offers British servicemen and women the chance to attend major sporting events.

The Tickets For Troops scheme allows those who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan to enjoy free entrance to a variety of entertainment venues in recognition of their service to the country.

Stoke gave out a hundred tickets for the recent Premier League match against Blackburn and a similar number will be offered for the fixtures against Birmingham City, Fulham and Bolton.

The team are also supporting the British Legion’s Poppy Appeal next month.

Some of the troops made a recent visit to Clayton Wood Training Ground to collect their match tickets, where they also got the chance to meet some of the players, including Ryan Shawcross.

Shawcross was praised in The Sentinel, on Monday, for not getting carried away by rumours that he could transfer to Liverpool or Madrid; saying he prefers to concentrate on playing for Stoke. Obviously this is great PR for the player because fans and the media admire him wanting to stay on playing for his home team.

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