PR Adviser to Wayne Rooney, Mr Monk commented in last week's PRWeek on the popular media's attitude to people in the public eye. Celebs, politicians, footballers, anyone remotely high-profile is 'public property' whose private lives are open to redtop scrutiny.
In a situation where 'self-regulation through the Press Complaints Commission offers limp and belated redress for past wrongs', he argues that smarter celebs turn to a PRO rather than a lawyer for better results and cheaper bills.
The advantage of the PR strike is that it can be pre-emptive, offering real protection of reputation and brand. And, with no legal battle and ensuing bitterness, there remains a positive, rather than negative, implication for the client's future media relations.
Clearly an advocate for win-win situations, Monk even presents an argument for how this can benefit the media themselves ('editors have been ordered by cost-cutting executives to cut out legal bills') and indeed lawyers ('...growing opportunities for PR and law professions to work together')
One of this week's guests on BBC1's Question Time, Tommy Sheridan clearly recognises the effectiveness of combining the PR carrot with the legal stick in his ongoing dispute with the News of the World. PRWeek also reports that he has now hired the former press secretary of the Scottish Socialist Party, Hugh Kerr to act as his media advisor.
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