Who’d be a PR professional eh? Far from the absolutely fabulous image of a never-ending round of openings, events, champagne and glamour, it seems there’s sometimes a very heavy price to be paid by those who make this their career.
This week we learned of another example of a PR/media manager/spin doctor at the very heart of a national scandal.
For anyone looking at the unmitigated mess that the Care Quality Commission is revealed to be, did it all come down to the advice of the PR manager? The names given as those at the heart of the alleged cover-up included the Deputy Chief Executive (a former PR/Marketing Director), Jill Finney, and Media Manager, Anna Jefferson.
Earlier this week we saw how veteran PR guru, Charles Saatchi, handled the very public domestic abuse he has accepted a police caution for. Or as the Evening Standard called it, “a wretched week for this marriage.”
When the PR moves from being the power behind the throne, to being exposed in front of it, does all that crisis management and PR-nouse help? Or does it make them an easy scape-goat?
The career path for PR professionals doesn’t usually see them take the top job very often. Despite the PR challenge which faces most CEOs and MDs, the more usual background for those who climb to the very top of the organisational ladder is an operational, financial, HR or specialist one.
PR professionals should of course stand up and be accountable for awful PR, bad strategy and neglectful advice. But it seems that the role of the senior PR professional sitting around the decision-making table can sometimes put them, literally, in the firing line when a crisis becomes a potentially criminal organisational failure.