Thursday, December 6, 2012

Dealing with a media storm

Today's news included reports that Max Clifford, PR consultant and publicist to the powerful, has been questioned about alleged offences from the 1970s.

His solicitor quickly published a masterful example of how to deal with the publicity around issues:

Max Clifford is being interviewed by police.
Mr Clifford will assist the police as best he can with their inquiries.
When we are in a position to provide further information, we will.
Notice a number of key elements:

  • The statement is very, very brief. The more you say, the more options become available.
  • It acknowledges fact(s) that can be easily verified independently; so there's no point trying to hide them.
  • It asserts that Mr Clifford will do his duty and co-operate fully, positioning him as a good citizen.
  • The final sentence attempts to close down further debate at this point, but in a manner that appears open and helpful.

This is a good boilerplate example to keep hold of as a model to use when appropriate.
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