EDITORIAL: Wessex breaks her own PR rules

Sophie Wessex's alleged ability to put her foot in her mouth has

taken to new heights the PR industry's appalling record for inability to

take its own advice.

Admittedly, Wessex's professional area of operations is unlikely to have

brought her into contact with the likes of News of the World

investigations specialist Mazher Mahmood.

Aside from the potential for product recall, most of her accounts could

not be classified as defensive. But surely her day-to-day experience in

the Royal Family should have prepared her for the concept of the tabloid

sting, particularly one as notorious as that so frequently pulled off by


As a member of the Royal Family, there can be no such concept as an

off-the-record comment to a mere acquaintance. And such naivety is

incompatible with the role of a PR practitioner.

More to the point, if such statements were made - and there was

obviously something to apologise to Blair and Hague about - what on

earth was she doing talking about her fellow royals and the government

of the day in what was ostentensibly a new business presentation?

When Sophie Wessex broke her media silence just prior to her 1999

wedding to talk to PRWeek about her role as a working royal, she stated

categorically that the only way she could continue to run her business

was by eschewing any suggestion that she was trading on her royal


She has in the past been accused of lack of judgement regarding the

Rover debacle, but such gaffes pale into insignificance in comparison to

this shambles. And this time, crucially, she has broken the cardinal

rules that she established for her business at the time of her


At the very least, clients are hardly going to be queuing up at the

doors of R-JH for crisis management advice.

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