The secret of good PR? It’s still this – know when to shut the fuck up

This is going to end up being a category in its own right.

Latest culprits of digging themselves a hole with their own mouths then cheerfully throwing themselves into it are the Met. They tried to mislead about the assault on Ian Tomlinson, the guy who later died on the day of the G20 protests. They only came clean about the assault by one of their officers on the bloke when video evidence became public. And since they were caught out lying, they’ve made everything far worse.

Now, of course, all this comes just shortly after the whole de Menezes thing when Ian Blair spent a whole month trying to lie his way out of what had happened. You can go back a long way with other police forces trying to talk themselves out of trouble, only making things worse. Notably at Hillsborough where David Duckenfield, not content with allowing his own negligence to contribute to the deaths of 96 people, then actively tried to cover it up for it all with ‘misleading statements’ to the newspapers about what had happened.

I can’t comment on the rights and wrongs of the Tomlinson incident in the context of this blog, but what I can say is this. From a PR perspective. Sometimes, you just have to shut up. Say nothing. Don’t lie. Shut the fuck up.


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