Boom or bust Northern Ireland property developer Bradkeel Developments hit the headlines for the wrong reasons last week when its PR stunt was outed. What at first seemed to be an impromptu queue outside a Belfast estate agent turned out to be the work of PR firm Michelle McTernan Management. The Irish News ran a story with the headline 'Bogus boom busted', while the agency's MD had to explain the stunt on BBC Radio Ulster.
HOW I SEE IT
Paul McErlean, Managing director, MCE PR
Not only has this stunt dragged PR practice in Northern Ireland to an all-time low of embarrassment, it even had the estate agent disavowing it and saying it had nothing to do with it. You know you're in trouble when an estate agent says something is unethical.
So, never mind the damage it did to the PR industry (compounded by the PR consultant trying to defend it in print and on radio), think of what it's done to the fragile housing market and this development. We're supposed to be seeing the 'green shoots' of recovery here. What will people think, now that we are having to fake interest in a new apartment scheme? The development, Sugar Walk, may be a bit better known, but for the wrong reasons. This is an unmitigated miss of epic proportions.