'If you screw up, admit it'

The BBC's top communicator has advised comms professionals that transparency is key when faced with a crisis.

Drawing on a turbulent past 12 months, BBC director of comms Ed Williams said: ‘If you screw up, admit it and
explain what you are going to do about it.’

Speaking at PRWeek’s Strategic Corporate Communications conference on Wed­nes-day, Williams said the Blue Peter cat scandal – when it was rep­orted a competition to name a cat was rigged – was the most damaging story of recent months, because there was a ‘decision to ignore viewers’.

Compared with this, he added, both the Jonathan Ross/Russell Brand controversy and the Gaza Appeal would not have a long-term effect on the BBC’s reputation.

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