Timing was on Shandwick’s side last week, when the agency organised
the annual British Beef Barbecue for its public affairs client, the Meat
and Livestock Commission.
It just so happened that the meat fest was held on the day the European
Commission lifted its three-year export ban on British beef. Which meant
the barbecue got more publicity than ever before.
A record 150 people turned up to sample square beef burgers, sausages,
lamb chops and spare ribs on Westminster’s College Green.
The throng included MAFF’s three big hitters: agriculture minister Nick
Brown, fisheries and countryside minister Elliot Morley and farming and
food industry minister Lord Donoughue.
To top it all, the event was covered on BBC 1’s Nine O’Clock News, ITN’s
Nightly News, Newsnight and in the Evening Standard.
Shandwick public affairs director Jon McLeod says: ’We took an educated
guess on when the EU’s College of Commissioners would meet and, like a
lucky punter, we came up with the right date.’
McLeod’s timing was so good that he managed to slip Shandwick director
Chris Savage into view when it came to the publicity shots of Brown
chomping into his cutlets (over Brown’s left shoulder, see above).