Transcript of “Opinion Battlegrounds” Podcast By Chelgate Chairman, Terence Fane-Saunders Welcome back to Opinion Battlegrounds. My name’s Terence Fane-Saunders , and I’m Executive Chairman of Chelgate Ltd – an international strategic PR firm specializing in Issues and Crisis Management. Usually I’m joined for these podcasts by one or two friends and colleagues, but the challenges of this virus lockdown mean that I will be flying solo for a while, talking to you from my remote self-imposed isolation here high up in the North York Moors. If you have joined us before, you’ll know what this is about. We look […]Read More..
When Chelgate Itself Was Under Attack by the Misinformation Merchants Over the years, many of our clients have been the targets of misinformation, fake facts and social media storms based around carefully planted false narratives. This is the new world of opinion battlegrounds – something we discuss in our new “Opinion Battlegrounds” podcast. But it was quite a new experience for Chelgate itself to be targeted this way. This happened shortly before Christmas. The story, in short, was that a prominent online newspaper ran a story about Chelgate that was then picked up, promoted, republished, embroidered and commented upon across […]Read More..
MAKING FOOLS OF THE EXPERTS A Perspective on the Brexit Campaign By Terence Fane-Saunders This has been a bad time for experts As the people of Britain headed for their polling booths, the opinion polls were almost unanimous. The Remain camp would win, and win comfortably. The financial experts in the City of London rushed to take positions reflecting their same view. Britain would remain “In”. And in the betting markets, hard-nosed professionals were staking heart-jolting sums on what they saw as a certain outcome. These experts all were wrong. Quite simply, the British people lied to the opinion polls; […]Read More..
I heard somebody on the radio yesterday trying to talk down the impact of negative media coverage. So, of course, the old chestnut was hauled out: “Today’s newspaper headlines are tomorrow’s fish and chip wrappers”. Yes, of course, that used to be the case. Time buried most scandals. And the strategy for crisis and issues management took good account of that. “This time next year”, we’d say to a troubled client, “will anyone really remember this?”. But no longer. The arrival of the Internet age means that the media storm that breaks about your ears will be still rumbling on […]Read More..
Brexit is not a seven day crisis; nor even seven week or seven month. In fact, in a long career of crisis management, I have never seen its like. Yes, of course, there are immediate issues to be addressed. In an utterly changed landscape, issues of confidence have suddenly been unleashed. Previously solid, secure, safe enterprises now find their very futures questioned. Staff look for reassurance on job security; lenders want to know that their exposure is still without risk; clients and customers need to be sure that delivery will in no way be impaired. But in a time of […]Read More..
Donald Trump doesn’t do hand shaking outside the local church. He rarely even stays the night in any one state. Rather than the folksy meet and greets previously the staple of Primary season, Trump opts for huge rallies, a relentless focus on spectacle and an unrivaled ability to court controversy. This is the new political reality for the Republican Party, in fact for the entire American political landscape. Trump has torn up the rules of electoral trail; and now the mavens of the PR world need to reassess the strategies and techniques we had once taken for granted. By harnessing […]Read More..
I have just been reading a blog by PR exec George Snell. He was giving the inside story on an assignment a few years back, when he was asked to set up interviews for Saif al-Islam, Colonel Gadaffi’s son, to talk about the release of the Bulgarian nurses who had been held in Libya on charges that they had infected Libyan children with HIV. An interesting little blog, but it made me feel very uneasy. A large part of our business in Chelgate is devoted to issues and crisis management and I do believe that in this area especially, certain […]Read More..
Chelgate Chairman, Terence Fane-Saunders has again been listed as one of the Top Ten Reputation Managers in the profession in the January/ February edition of the Spears Index. Spears is the “house magazine” for Ultra-High-Net-Worth Individuals , with a readership whose average assets exceed £5 million. Fane-Saunders, whom the Index rates as “Outstanding in Field” , said he was “charmed and flattered” at this recognition, despite the low-profile approach he usually adopts in his work.Read More..
As a PR technique, wholehearted apology can do wonders for you. It takes the wind out of your critics’ sails, displays your integrity and courage and puts you on the side of the angels. So you’d think more people would apologise more often. The trouble is, they just can’t bear to do it. And when, under pressure, they finally do, their apologies are so filled with weasel words and sneaky justification that they end up doing more harm than good. We’re all too familiar with the classic “I’m very sorry if anyone was offended by my remarks….” meaning, of course, […]Read More..
Personal attacks on Donald Trump just don’t work; in fact, they may actually strengthen his support. This is an empirical, uncomfortable, simple fact. It’s Issues Management for Beginners. You can see the same rule applying in British politics, where Jeremy Corbyn’s critics are jostling for the opportunity to pour vitriol on their new hate figure – to very limited effect. Whether it’s political naivety or self-indulgent posturing that drives them, time and again the only result is a strengthening in the following of those they attack. It’s quite simple really. Insult the beliefs and values of a popular leader, and […]Read More..