The news that the MoD had earmarked a block of flats in Bow to have a surface-to-air missile battery put on its roof as part of security during the Olympic Games was broken to residents via a poster and leaflet campaign last Friday. Some of the 700 residents in the block voiced fears about falling debris and that they could become a terrorist target. They were joined by the local MP in slamming the MoD for failing to consult.
HOW I SEE IT
James Clark, Director, Cardew Group (former head of news, MoD)
In pure PR terms, the missiles on the roof story has to go down as a 'miss', but one delivered with much sympathy to the MoD.
Firstly, while dropping leaflets through people's doors casually announcing you are going to put a surface-to-air missile battery on their roof might cause consternation, it is not easy to think of a better way to communicate with all the residents of a block of flats at the same time. Perhaps 48 hours of door-knocking, but that is about it.
Equally, one does wonder what the fuss is about. If the missiles are never used it is hardly a problem and if they are, who would begrudge the saving of many lives? Residents fear they will be a target - but of what? It is a ridiculous position to take and I rather like the MoD's stance of 'stop whingeing and get on with it'.