THIS WEEK’S BIG QUESTION: Should companies second PR staff to Buckingham Palace?

Palace headhunters have written to FTSE-100 companies asking them to second senior PR staff

Palace headhunters have written to FTSE-100 companies asking them

to second senior PR staff

Nigel Kennedy


’It would be a fascinating and enormously challenging job, but would the

client really be willing to take the advice the PR director gave?

Secondments are very difficult to manage on a part-time basis. I don’t

think my clients would be very happy if I was available for only one or

two days a week. On the positive side the company would get a higher

profile, which would lead to commercial benefits in the future.’

Locksley Ryan

British Aerospace

’Companies such as British Aerospace, which are very much part of the

fabric of the UK should respond positively when public interest is so

clearly defined. I would be delighted to second a high calibre member of

staff as the cost would be irrelevant, compared to the experience they

would gain. ’

Jonathan Clare

Citigate Communications

’The institution may be unique but the problem is not. It’s the classic

PR challenge faced by many companies: the management is out of touch,

the product seems out-of-date and the customers are shopping


But any individual that accepts the post should see it for what it is

and not be overawed by the logo above the factory. There would be value

in putting the name on my client list, but it would be no reason to tie

up my best people for peanuts.’

Tari Hibbitt

Edelman PR Worldwide

’It’s a seductive opportunity, but in reality there are many issues

involved. It would mean being in the forefront of the media gaze, and

therefore success or failure would be very public. A good consultant

cannot be a sycophant. It requires challenging clients at times and I’m

not sure if the Royals would accept this. The working relationship would

need to be well worked out before I accepted the position.’

David Reed


’I wouldn’t want to be seconded by the Palace, for personal reasons, but

I think the idea is a good one. The big criticism of the Royals is that

they are out of touch with the real world. The appointee will have to

possess excellent PR skills and diplomatic abilities. The Palace will

find it very difficult to find a company who will second a senior person

for up to three years.’

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