Supplement on Public Relations: Choosing & Using - The role of PR professionals

A delicate responsibility of the PR consultancy might be to suggest that a chief executive with a short fuse or patronising manner might not be the best person to represent the company. It should also research the nature of a TV programme to which a client has been invited, and perhaps to suggest caution or even refusal.

A delicate responsibility of the PR consultancy might be to suggest

that a chief executive with a short fuse or patronising manner might not

be the best person to represent the company. It should also research the

nature of a TV programme to which a client has been invited, and perhaps

to suggest caution or even refusal.



Some are so dazzled at the prospect of appearing before the camera that

it does not occur to them that they may find themselves in a no-win

confrontation.



But apart from such programmes, or where there is reason for the press

pack to scent blood, the majority of media meetings can be made to

benefit corporate aims or, at worst, to minimise damage already

caused.



As well as the media, other interviewers may have to be faced, with

press and public in attendance.



Prior preparation helped Andrew Lees, head of Microsoft’s Internet

section, when he gave evidence to the National Heritage Select Committee

at the House of Commons - a potentially intimidating experience.



Lees was there to give a view on how IT would affect the future of

broadcasting.



Beforehand, PR consultancy Text 100 briefed him on the aims of the

committee, the backgrounds of its members, likely questions and how to

present Microsoft’s role.



He also sat in on a session to familiarise himself.



Lees acquitted himself well. It may or may not have been a coincidence

that his boss, Bill Gates, was subsequently invited to Downing

Street.



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