ANALYSIS: BIG QUESTION; Should PR advisers share the spotlight with their clients?

Recent events have seen PR advisers getting as much coverage as their clients

Recent events have seen PR advisers getting as much coverage as their


Brian MacLaurin; MacLaurin Communications

‘It doesn’t take a PR genius to point out that whatever game you’re in,

publicity is a double- edged sword. Clients need publicity to boost

sales and win new business. The same holds true for a PR firm. But

equally, if a PR is gaining more publicity than his client, his client

has every right to feel aggrieved. And when PRs become personalities in

their own right, their client must ask: ‘Who are they serving - us or


Mark Borkowski; Mark Borkowski PR

‘I suppose your clients focus the media onto you and many like to feel

they have a publicist who is respected by the media. If you weren’t

delivering the goods then you could get into hot water so it’s a good

way of keeping you on your toes. The problem comes if you eclipse your

client. I have been asked if someone can do a fly on the wall

documentary but I’m not in Clifford’s league. Self publicity is a tiny

amount of what I do although I am happy to proffer an opinion when it is


Jane Atkinson; Atkinson Courage

‘No definitely not. A public relations person should work in the

background giving advice. I have been in the media spotlight myself and

it is not a comfortable place to be.’

Gerry Agar; Impression Management

‘Emphatically no. There are times when limelight sharing is enforced,

but publicity-seeking should be avoided at all costs. It is the PR

adviser’s job to pull the strings while the puppet is performing out

front. You can’t ensure total anonymity like when the word got out about

me advising Paula [Yates]. But I think it’s a form of showing off. Some

PR people’s egos get out of control and they forget who they are. PR

should be about being persuasive in a subtle way.’

Max Clifford; Max Clifford Associates

‘The pluses always outweigh the minuses. Normally the celebrities I deal

with are only concerned about results. It’s easier for me to get the

message across knowing the right people in the media to deal with,

rather than them talking to a total stranger. It gives you more control

and the more control you have, the better it is. But most of the time I

am invisible. People don’t know half the clients I am involved with.’

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Already registered?
Sign in