BBC's PR disaster – a cry for attention, says Mark Lawson

BBCmugs.jpg Several mugs from the BBC are in trouble.

As a postcsript to my earlier post, the following view from The Guardian’s Mark Lawson has a certain ring of truth about it; he says it’s because of fearful of losing budget or journalistic jobs due to lack of audience participation. But if people don’t want to feedback Mark, shouldn’t an evaluation of your content be your best move, rather than falsifying connection to stuff that fails to engage?

In true PR crisis management style, BBC’s director general Mark Thompson has media-launched a mandatory training programme – entitled Safeguarding Trust – for BBC’s 16,500 staff (thereby being seen as taking identifiable action to ‘right a wrong’). This comes after revelations that key ‘editorial leaders’ had repeatedly passed themselves (or their family or friends) off as members of the public or fictitious winners in broadcast promotions. Sadly, even charity fundraising events such as Comic Relief and Children in Need appeals experienced such malpractice. Another programme was presented as live despite being recorded, too.

Memo to Mark Thompson: It’s not about ‘safeguarding trust’ – your people clearly need instruction on ego-management and abusing power.
We (the people) ain’t daft; do you really think we believe that senior editorial staff didn’t know what they were doing was wrong? I’d suggest they did, but somehow felt they’d never be rumbled. IMNSHO, too many media ‘players’ and minor celebs develop a conceited arrogance that imaginarily elevates them to a position where they’re ‘above the law’. They’re not. As part of this ‘Abusing Power’ workshop, Mark, why not give them a session on ‘reputation management in the internet age’, too. I have a long list of cases that show the folly of letting your personality or character flaws override fundamental ethical principles. (OK, OK, will get off high horse now…)

A few of the other mugs at the BBC.

2 thoughts on “BBC's PR disaster – a cry for attention, says Mark Lawson

  1. While rightly criticising the BBC’s breaches of audience trust, you should also credit the way The BBC Trust and Mark Thompson responded so quickly and effecively in classical crisis management and communications style.


  2. Sure David: how about “in swift, true classic crisis management…”? My main qualm is that the ‘safeguarding trust’ course sounds like a fudgeword; as an ex-journo, surely you’d concur that it’s weird to have to remind editorial staff at such a previously august body like Auntie to remember their ethical and social care of duty?


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