The PR Guru

November 19, 2010

Jason Manford quits The One Show after admitting he shared sexual messages online with fans, and Lord Young resigns after saying we’ve never had it so good

Last night on Twitter a lot of people were upset with the BBC because Jason Manford has quit The One Show.

The presenter admitted that he shared sexual messages online with female fans.

It is only three months since the comic took over the show with Alex Jones after the departure of former presenters Adrian Chiles and Christine Bleakley to ITV.

The 29 year old comedian handed his resignation to the show’s bosses, saying he wanted to leave to ease the situation surrounding newspaper allegations.

In an interview with The Sun, Manford said: “I have only myself to blame. I have never felt so low.”

BBC bosses are expected to hold talks over the weekend to find Manford’s replacement.

The presenter apologised to fans and his family at the beginning of the month after he was accused of exchanging a series of Twitter messages with a 22 year old female fan.

Manford took over presenting The One Show in August. He was an avid user of Twitter and had more than 200,000 followers – but has now removed his page (for obvious reasons).

Another story, making headlines today, is that the Prime Minister’s enterprise adviser has resigned after making a PR Gaffe. Lord Young apologised after saying most Britons had “never had it so good” despite the “so-called recession”.

He told The Daily Telegraph that the Bank of England’s decision to cut the base rates to 0.5% meant many homeowners were better off.

Following this, he wrote a letter to David Cameron apologising for his remarks, but has since resigned.

Other comments he made include his belief that the forecast of 100,000 public sector job losses a year was “within the margin of error” in the context of the 30 million-strong job sector.

Further to this, he suggested that the coalition government had overemphasised the impact of the cuts to “protect” the value of the pound.

November 15, 2010

I’m A Celebrity – is Gillian McKeith playing a PR game?

The latest Gillian McKeith-related story from the jungle is that her daughter Skylar (who is 16) has told the Daily Mail that she does not like to see her mum being put under so much stress.

McKeith has attracted the wrath of television audiences and fellow contestants, having been nominated for six bushtucker trials despite her list of insect phobias.

Fellow I’m A Celebrity contestant and X Factor singer Stacey Solomon was so concerned by the incident that she tried to convince McKeith to quit; but Gillian won’t because she believes that if she does her television career would be over.

Previous Gillian news, includes the fact that she smuggled banned food products into the Australian jungle in her underwear, breaking strict rules by hiding items including rock salt, garlic powder and soup in secret pockets she had sewn into her knickers. She had earlier been caught with contraband when she slipped salt in to her campmates’ food, resulting in her jungle jail privileges being removed.

This deception is only going to serve to make the public hate her more… a twitter page has been set up mocking the nutritionist here.

Another story from the series was that sprinter Linford Christie was forced to step up to the challenge of a bushtucker trial, after Gillian McKeith fainted live on air.

The thought of taking part in another trial was too much for the famous nutritionist who dramatically collapsed on live television after being told that the public had voted for her to take part in a seventh task.

Hosts Ant and Dec quickly cut to an ad break and then revealed that Gillian had been excluded from the task on medical grounds.

However, McKeith seems to be on the completely wrong programme. She has a phobia of water, heights, insects and more, which is why viewers chose to pick her for the tasks in the first place.

This is why some viewers have begun suggesting that her fainting episode was nothing more than a ploy to get out of doing the task.

Those who voted 50p a time for Gillian to take part in the bushtucker trial will get refunds, ITV confirmed last night.

Linford Christie stepped up to the task instead, after receiving the second highest number of votes – and managed to win 12 out of a possible 13 stars.

November 9, 2010

X Factor’s controversial contestants get booted off the show – when will Widde go from Strictly though?

This year it was thought that Wagner would win the X Factor and Ann Widdecombe would take the Strictly trophy, due to the public wanting to show that the talent shows are not always necessarily about talent.

Well, this was finally proven wrong this week when Wagner was evicted from The X Factor by the judges. However, Ann Widdecombe is still in Strictly – having avoided being in the bottom two for yet another week. Still, it looks like everyone on Facebook and Twitter are getting behind the fact that Scott Maslen, Matt Baker, Kara Tointon and Pamela Stephenson should be in the final.

Last night, Katie Waisel, who was hated by the public, and Wagner were sent home from the ITV talent show X Factor in a double eviction.

Wagner performed a version of Nat King Cole’s 1951 hit Unforgettable.

Ahead of last night’s show, a Facebook group called Rage Against the X Factor had more than 20,000 supporters. And Wagner has become the focus of a campaign on the U.S. website votefortheworst.com.

Katie Waissel was recently in the news because Treyc Cohen got knocked out of the TV show, in favour of the singer – who keeps forgetting her lines when singing.

Cheryl Cole refused to vote and let Treyc go, which has obviously resulted in an investigation.

Cole’s refusal to cast her vote for either of her acts during Sunday night’s results show sparked more than 1,000 complaints to TV watchdog Ofcom, ITV and The Sun. Why she didn’t just chose someone I will never know…

Host Dermot O’Leary tried to make her, telling her she was expected to cast a vote as one of the show judges, saying: “This is part of the role.”

Mr Cohen, Treyc’s father told the newspaper: “It’s a fix. It’s as simple as that. I have no idea why Treyc is out. She was easily the best singer and should not have lost to Katie.”

Even Treyc herself has admitted that she “put [her…] all into it, so if it was based on that then, yeah, I definitely feel I should have gone through.”

Simon Cowell and Louis Walsh opted to save Katie, despite saying she was the weaker singer.

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 7, 2010

Lily Allen awarded damages after press falsely print offensive comments

Looking back to our blog yesterday, about Hipp Organic printing false claims about their baby milk, we have found yet another PR story relating to false allegations being made.

The latest PR news is that famous singer Lily Allen has accepted damages at the High Court in London following claims that she made offensive remarks about the Beckhams, Ashley Cole and Cheryl Cole.

Rude comments were published in French football magazine ‘So Foot’ in May 2009 but it has taken until now for the matter to be resolved.

Allen’s solicitor, Mark Thomson, told Mr Justice Eady that the publishers now accept that she had not made the comments, although obviously it was very bad PR for her. She does, at least, now get to put that behind her and move on.

This is not the first time she has recieved damages relating to this incident though, She claimed £10,000 worth of damages from The Sun, when they reprinted the allegations. The paper issued an apology in a later edition. It seems that she is someone who is not afraid to stand up to any negative comments made against her.

‘So Foot’ has also agreed to pay damages and it is hoped that Lily Allen can get back some positive press from this.

January 5, 2010

PR Gaffes of the Year 2009 (Part Six)

In November, the banks – and the British legal system – did nothing to improve their public standings after the High Court’s ruling on ‘unfair’ bank charges.

Maybe it’s a naive view, but perhaps the banks could’ve done themselves a favour and agreed to the payout – particularly considering our money has saved them from disaster more than once over the past couple of years.

The ruling merely added fuel to the fire of those who claim the legal system is weighted towards those with money.

PM Gordon Brown was also taking the flak, from The Sun and the Daily Mail (surprise surprise) yet again, after fouling up a letter of condolence to Jacqui Janes, mother of a soldier killed in Afghanistan.

I must admit to having some sympathy for him over this, because it should have been checked by someone in his office before it was sent out. And it also smacked of hypocrisy from The Sun, who of course have never spelt anyone’s name wrong 🙂

The highlight of the November headlines for me though was Katie Price’s stint on ITV reality show “I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!”

She was looking for some much-needed good publicity – she’d taken a bit of a pounding from the press after splitting from husband Peter Andre – and decided a few weeks in the Australian jungle would help.

The reality couldn’t have been further from the truth, with thousands of I’m a Celeb viewers putting her forward for Bushtucker Trials day after day, until she walked out.

I think she seriously misjudged the feelings of the British people, which surprised me as I think she is usually quite astute. She assumed she could win people round by eating a few bugs and then come out with everyone back on her side.

What a disaster it was! In fact it’s probably been a year to forget for her, because the handling of her divorce from Peter Andre has been terrible.

My advice would’ve been to keep a low profile until everything blew over, which is pretty much what her ex did. Instead she was all over the papers, partying hard and showing off her new beau Alex Reid.

Her lack of humility and dignity has drastically affected her popularity, and her stint in Oz certainly won’t have helped. Shockingly she doesn’t seem to have learnt anything from the experience, judging from Reid’s appearance in the Celebrity Big Brother house this week.

Maybe the message will start sinking in if he’s evicted pretty sharpish?

And finally, onto December, which perhaps saw the biggest gaffe of the lot. But more on that later.

Eurotunnel will be regretting their response to the breakdown of their trains at the worst possible time – the weekend before Christmas.

It’s one thing to have a breakdown, I think that can be explained away as they’ve had a pretty good record since the tunnel opened in 1994. But five???

I was shocked by how unprepared they were though! Surely they could’ve expected a breakdown to happen at some point and have some kind of plan in place?

Unfortunately, they didn’t, and more than 2000 people were stuck in that horrible confined space, with no food, water or air conditioning – just what you want in the middle of a cold snap.

And their offer of a free journey when the problems had been sorted was hardly likely to appease. Hopefully they’ll have a better crisis management plan in place for the next breakdown.

Charlie Sheen isn’t exactly the most popular bloke at the moment either. He’s no stranger to controversy so you would think he’d know how to behave like a grown-up by now.

Allegations of domestic violence against wife Brooke Mueller will not have helped his standing. I’d be surprised if we see Charlie on our screens any time soon.

Despite those cock-ups, there is only one person worthy of the prize in December – and it’s a man who is pretty used to winning trophies.

Tiger Woods had a month to forget after his little car accident on Nov 27. Various women came forward claiming to have had sordid affairs with him over the past few years, putting his marriage to Elin Nordegren and career in serious trouble.

And the sponsors who made him sport’s first billionaire began to leave him in droves. Gatorade, AT&T, Accenture and others have all cancelled deals with him in recent weeks, and games developer EA is supposedly considering doing the same.

Yes, he has taken a big hit – one far worse than the one his Cadillac took – if only he had listened to us before coming out with all those wishy-washy media statements.

So that’s it for another year – hope you enjoyed our review! We’ll be keeping our eye on the gaffes of 2010 – of which there will be plenty – so make sure to bookmark this page and check out our updates.

Or just come back at the end of the year for our next review!

Have a brilliant year everyone, from all at Richard Swancott Associates 🙂

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