THIS WEEK’S BIG QUESTION: Does a royal connection help or hinder a PR agency?

Sophie Rhys-Jones is trying tokeep her work separate from her royal engagement

Sophie Rhys-Jones is trying tokeep her work separate from her royal


Michael Cole

Lehmann Communications

’Of course it is a tremendous help. There must be hundreds of PR

companies in London and there is little to distinguish them from each

other, so in this instance it can only help give them a competitive


Obviously if the performance does not match the publicity then it will

not be a long-standing relationship. But it is a plus and anyone who

thinks otherwise is not living in the real world.’

Quentin Bell

QBO founder

’For an agency, it’s actually a disadvantage. I did interviews about the

monarchy last week. If Sophie still worked for me, I wouldn’t be free to

say what I wanted. It might work for clients if the Royal person is a

great strategist. But if they’re more tactical, then that would be a

disadvantage. When the curtain falls, it is the quality of the advice

that matters not whether or not the person giving it has royal


Nicholas Coleridge

Conde Nast

’Being Royal does help, in the same way that being famous and

high-profile always helps. Clients like a well-known, well-connected,

attractive PR executive because more people are likely to turn up to

events they organise. That’s human nature. But it does depend on the

famous PR person being competent and highly efficient.

From everything I hear, Sophie Rhys-Jones is a good PR person, so it

will be an extra boost for her business.’

Max Clifford

Max Clifford Associates

’Anything that puts you centre stage, providing you’re good, helps.

I know better than anybody. A lot of media people will want to be

Sophie’s best friend. She can use that to achieve all kinds of things

for her clients. But she’s not in a sprint, she’s in a marathon, and

must not be seen to be abusing her position. You work with editors you

know and trust.’

Adrian Wheeler

GCI Group

’Probably a hindrance. Royals are celebrities who operate according to a

special protocol. I can see endless conflict between what the media

want, what the business would like, and what the rules require. Everyone

could end up very unhappy.’

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