The PR Guru

December 10, 2010

Manchester United player Patrice Evra puts his foot in it, labelling Arsenal a training ground, whilst Westboro Baptist Church gets heavily shunned for picketing Elizabeth Edwards’ funeral

Manchester United full-back Patrice Evra has claimed that Arsenal’s lack of trophies means it is no more than a training ground.

He sure knows how to start a riot….

The two sides will play at Old Trafford on Monday, with Arsenal having not won any significant honour since the FA Cup in 2005 when they beat United on penalties.

That particular game was 0-0 after 120 minutes of play, and the penalties saw Patrick Vieira score the winning goal – in what was to be his last kick of the ball.

Arsene Wenger’s men are yet to win some silverware, prompting the Frenchman to add more emphasis on the League Cup this term.

Ahead of the Premier League game between the two sides, Evra told French TV channel Canal+: “The Red Devils will enjoy playing against an attacking team, as teams have been known in the past to set out to earn a point against them.

However, Evra insisted that United still remain a better side than their opponents as they are not only good at playing positive football, but can also employ a physical style of play when necessary.

In other news, members of the Westboro Baptist Church, known for its radical stance against homosexuality and the war in Iraq, said it will picket Elizabeth Edwards’ funeral in North Carolina.

Edwards, the estranged wife of Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, died on Tuesday after battling breast cancer.

According to the Church’s press release, members of the Kansas-based congregation are planning to gather at 12:15pm to rally against Edwards for issues relating to her personal life deemed offensive by the church.

The Church is already monitored by anti-hate groups such as the Anti-Defamation league and the Southern Poverty Law Center because it is known for its extremist opposition against homosexuals, Jews and other groups.

Westboro members often hold protests against the war in Iraq, many at funerals held for U.S. service members.

He describes himself as an old-time gospel preacher who says, “You can’t preach the Bible without preaching the hatred of God.”


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.

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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