AS viewers may have learned, following the Daily Politics programme on BBC TWO yesterday*, the Mayor of Toronto, in Canada, has confessed to having smoked crack cocaine after previously having vigorously denied it.
It’s a not uncommon narrative: a senior person first denying, then admitting.
How clever a communications strategy?
The Canadian broadcasters, CBC, quotes Bill Walker, general manager of the PR firm, Fleishman-Hillard’s Toronto office, as saying it must be “one of the most unconventional and mind-boggling communications strategies that I’ve ever seen in my life”.
From the same office, an Alicia Johnston, described as a ‘communications consultant’, is quoted by the Toronto Star newspaper as being equally bemused.
Writing on the website of Bottom Line Communications – in Kansas City, USA – a John Landsberg notes, among other things, how newspapers are liable to “see blood” when they are called liars.
And a seven-point plan on how the admission should have been handled, when it did come, is proposed by Brad Phillips, here. One is to avoid doing so in a media scrum.
On Friday, ahead of the admission, Gerry Som, a blogger on the Huffington Post, was describing the Mayor’s PR strategy as a “disaster”.
* Watch here, for as long as the programme is available on iPlayer (go to 1hr 23min).