Here is this weeks Good PR and bad PR examples from new team member, Tom.
Good PR – “The Flying Scot”
Andy Gray and Richard Keys aren’t two names you’d expect to see under a “good PR” headline, but bear with us. They illustrated that Neanderthal attitudes abound in the sporting world. That’s why, just a few days after their story broke, another story which focused on unlightened attitudes in sport caught our eye. This time, though, it was a welcome development.
World champion cyclist Graeme Obree, daubed ‘The Flying Scot’, revealed to the world that he was gay. Obree was known to have suffered depression but his story about how that was rooted in his lifelong concealment of his sexuality was a tragic one. Here was a man whose inner turmoil drove him to attempted suicide and self-harm.
His story was rightly treated sympathetically. Sport is a macho world and it took guts for Obree to follow in the footsteps of footballer Justin Fashanu and rugby player Gareth Thomas and came out as gay.
Slowly, and step by step, homophobia in sport is being eroded – good PR all round.
Bad PR – Hosni Mubarak
Does Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak take PR advice? If so, his adviser should leave office probably before his boss quits as president.
The Egyptian leader isn’t stupid; however authoritarian his regime may have been, you don’t stay at the top for three decades without having some political nous. Yet, with his country having become a powderkeg of overheating emotions, he pledged that he would bow to pressure and stand down – but only at the next election, in September.
It’s hard to see how Mubarak will emerge from this with an iota of credibility. Meanwhile, his country will remain in a dangerous state of flux and the reputational damage he has caused it – and its important tourist trade – could do harm to Eygpt long beyond his departure.
Mubarak’s told his people that he will be judged not by them but by history. Sorry – but bad PR will influence even that.