Clients advised to face cameras during crises

Steve Boulton, the editor of Granada Television’s World In Action, last week called for the PR industry to encourage clients to face the cameras during a crisis situation.

Steve Boulton, the editor of Granada Television’s World In Action,

last week called for the PR industry to encourage clients to face the

cameras during a crisis situation.



During a seminar at the IPR conference in Manchester, Boulton said that

the regulations the broadcast industry operates under should ensure that

contributors to programmes get ’impartial, fair and accurate

coverage.’



’In many cases advice from crisis advisers is wrong.’ Boulton said.

’They tell people not to go on TV because interviews will be

butchered.’



Boulton said that although he understood the panic that a call from an

investigative journalist can cause, bringing in crisis management

heavyweights can often be a waste of resources.



’The money would be better spent on training a company spokesperson to

appear in front of the camera.



’In many situations there is a case to argue, and a willingness to

answer questions and admit to errors makes a company accountable,’ he

added.



Boulton also expressed his concern over moves to use the law, rather

than communication skills, to try and contain a problem. He said the

’scorched earth policy’ of trying to intimidate programmes by inundating

them with legal letters was ’a waste of time’.



Boulton has worked on World In Action since 1983, becoming a producer in

1988 and series producer in 1993.



World In Action is currently embroiled with Marks and Spencer in a legal

battle over a programme it made in January 1996, alleging the high

street chain’s use of overseas child labour.



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