Talking to senior PR operators, a frequent gripe is that, oftentimes, senior execs refuse to follow the advise that the PRs give, leading to the inevitable botched PR job. Whether itÂ´s a powerplay, arrogance or too much testosterone, hereÂ´s a refreshing situation where the PR guys decided theyÂ´d had enough.
HereÂ´s news of two PRs with cojones and integrity…
Guardian reports say that Duncan Bonfield, the head of corporate affairs at BAA (the owner of Heathrow airport) has resigned along with his head of media relations. The departure of BAA’s senior press men comes comes as the airport group faces daily negative attacks from the media and politicians and during two critical regulatory inquiries.
Word has it that a senior overseas Exec made the mens PR position untenable by tying their hands while BAA is caught at the centre of a media storm.
Interfering Exec Chairman To Blame?
Speculation says that the airport owner’s top two PR execs had become exasperated with the controlling tendencies of BAA’s Madrid-based owner, Ferrovial, especially Rafael del Pino, Spanish firmÂ´s executive chairman. Rafa (el autro gaffer) imposed a blanket media ban on the corporate press team in June, amid incessant criticism of overcrowded conditions at Heathrow and BAA’s other London airports at Stansted and Gatwick. BAAÂ´s PR team was apparently told by the Exec Chair not to answer any press questions unless they were requests for facts and statistics.
So, Rafa; tell us how a media ban will help communicate how youÂ´re managing the crisis? OR, tell us how losing your top PR guys in the mid of a live crisis best serves the companyÂ´s stakeholders?
We wish every success to Donald for the future (his compadre has made a new start already). Any companies looking for a PR guy with considerable guts and inner strength would do well to pick up the phone, quickly.