Was inept PR expert, actually a journo?

Adding to my ever-growing list of journos who make for dubious PR advisers, may be one Scarlett MccGwire, named by UK leftsheet The Grauniad as a media trainer paid a share of circa $AU50,000 to train Haringey council honchos, under flak after the death of an abused child, dubbed Baby P. The reason I say “may be”, is that Net sleuthing shows a Scarlett MccGwire (very unique spelling) to be extensively referenced as a writer and broadcaster. Haringey Council is refusing to reveal the company name of the other PRs who co-supplied the training saying: “The climate is such that at present any party associated with Haringey or the handling of the Baby P case is themselves likely to attract media interest and adverse publicity. This is considered likely to damage the commercial reputation of the provider involved and their current and future relationships.” Clearly now, Haringey has learnt some reputation management tips itself. Anyone in Lahndahn confirm the identity of Scarlett’s co-experts?The child at the centre of a fatal abuse enquiry was on the council’s child protection register at the time of his death, and died aged 17 months in a blood-spattered cot in August 2007. The training aimed to support officials in dealing with being in “the full glare” of the media spotlight, and the media defence tactics saw council execs displaying graphs to prove how well the council was performing. After the child killer’s trial, another exec insensitively said: “The very sad fact is that we can’t stop people who are determined to kill children. I am satisfied that the action that should have been taken was taken.”  David Winskill, the Lib Dem councillor who requested the PR consultancy figure, said he believed the media training had been designed to protect Haringey from criticism but had failed. “As a Haringey rate payer, from what I saw on the TV and having an idea of how much it cost, it’s a classic example of spending big and getting very little,” he said. Here here, David.

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