Rishi’s wet D:Ream

As election campaign launches go, it was hardly the most auspicious start.
Drowned out by torrential rain and the Labour 1997 campaign anthem, D:Ream’s Things Can Only Get Better (cue myriad weather-related memes and media headlines), the optics were less than optimal, Rishi Sunak’s speech barely audible.

The overall impression was one of poor judgment and largely avoidable disarray, undermining Sunak’s attempt to portray the Tories as the safest pair of hands.

While he talked up his government’s track record in restoring economic stability and its commitment to ensuring the UK’s security, the nation – transfixed by the increasing sogginess of Sunak’s suit – just wanted to know why, oh why, he’d decided to deliver his speech exposed to the elements, and his rationale in calling a snap election now. Unless things really aren’t going to get any better for the foreseeable future.

It was a fitting metaphor for how washed up the government appears to many, if not most, voters – at least if the latest opinion polls are to be believed.

Contrast this with Keir Starmer’s slick (bar one hastily corrected typo) video and address, delivered inside – flanked by two Union Jack flags – calling for change and an end to Tory chaos.

Instead of trying to brazen it out and ignore the fact that it was raining – and raining hard – on his parade, had Sunak (and his communications team) had the wherewithal to plan in advance a quip about the inclement weather, then the response to his speech could have been so very different: respect (however grudging) rather than ridicule.

While we await publication of the political parties’ manifestos, with six weeks of election campaigning to ‘look forward to’, let’s hope – for Sunak’s sake, if nothing else – that his team learns from yesterday’s PR debacle and develops a more professional, fleet-footed approach to communications. And that they buy him an umbrella.

By Sarah Peters

23rd May 2024

We are recognised leaders in our field. We are proud to uphold the ethical and educational standards for the PR industry as members of the CIPR and PRCA.

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Counselling for Jurors for Traumatic Trials

Violence on the streets of London is something we have sadly become inured to. Reading Catherine Baksi’s article in Times Law this week about the proposal to offer jurors counselling if they are involved in traumatic trials however made us spare a thought for the members of the jury who will have to relive the recent brutal and senseless murder of 14-year-old Daniel Anjorin in a machete attack in East London.

The media coverage of the killing has been graphic and unsparing in the horrific details of how he died. That any victim, family and community should have to experience this is saddening beyond words. It is good to know that the jury who will preside over this case and the countless other dreadful and all too common cases of knife and sword crimes across the country will have access to support.

If you would like to donate to the appeal in memory of Daniel Anjorin, please visit: https://www.gofundme.com/f/daniel-anjorin?attribution_id=sl:2c08375f-f31c-4a0d-a485-f795d24ccc52&utm_campaign=m_pd+share-sheet&utm_content=ampSPPcontrol&utm_medium=copy_link_spp&utm_source=customer

‘Pilot scheme to provide counselling for jurors in traumatic trials’ (The Times): https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/pilot-scheme-to-provide-counselling-for-jurors-in-traumatic-trials-rwd3lqgml

We are recognised leaders in our field. We are proud to uphold the ethical and educational standards for the PR industry as members of the CIPR and PRCA.

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From bribes to sex scandals, lawyer investigations scrutinised over ‘whitewash’ claims – Bell Yard

How robust is our probe? That’s the question organisations may now have to ask themselves when they commission an “𝐢𝐧𝐝𝐞𝐩𝐞𝐧𝐝𝐞𝐧𝐭” 𝐢𝐧𝐯𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐠𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 in the wake of uncomfortable allegations being levelled against them.

Can employees, partners, clients, funders, regulators – let alone the general public through the lens of the media – really rely on the integrity of the following aspects of an investigation, when the business or firm’s alleged misconduct, systemic shortcomings or governance failings are put to the test?

–   independence of investigators;
–   sufficiency of investigation’s scope;
–   cooperation of all relevant parties;
–   reasonable timeframe of reporting and remedial action;
–   transparency of findings;
–   implementation of recommendations.

To what extent can the 𝑝𝑟𝑜𝑐𝑒𝑠𝑠 of an internal investigation, let alone its recommended resolutions, be relied on to uncover all the facts? If you can’t handle the truth, why would you expect others to accept the investigation? If the process is flawed, rather than resolving an issue it’s likely to provoke even greater reputational damage.

The FT has neatly outlined some of the shortcomings within the industry of investigations, and the SRA is soon to publish guidance to help uphold confidence in the process. However, in Bell Yard’s view, transparency lies at the heart of a good investigation, and it’s transparency that will ultimately drive reputation restoration. Fortunately we’re here to help with that!

By Melanie Riley

We are recognised leaders in our field. We are proud to uphold the ethical and educational standards for the PR industry as members of the CIPR and PRCA.

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