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A PR Plan: Pandas And Peer

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A PR plan: Pandas and peerages

The flak trade has arrived. There is a new column in the FT called Critical Comms taking the p*** out of all (or at least some) of you.

Rutherford Hall, channelled by Robert Shrimsley, is the name of our hero (and of student accommodation at Loughborough University, Google tells me).

The “communications strategist” this week has advice for a Russian oligarch who has so far not been sanctioned…”great news!” says Rutherford.

His oligarch special package offers dinners with cabinet members, a hotline to Carter-Ruck and “even a pathway to a peerage if you don’t mind losing a fortune in the media”.

Similarities with actual Russian oligarchs are coincidental.

Rutherford warns against being too flash, at least inside the M25. “Four houses knocked together in South Ken, with an upstairs pool for the days when the basement is just too far away, are not the smart play,” he says.

Our flak is an ex-politico now advising absurdly rich people whose source of wealth is, erm, cloudy, and who need to take control of their message.

“As we used to say in Downing Street – a blank canvas is only fine if it’s you holding the paintbrush,” he suggests.

One PR I know who was doing such work for a tycoon with money to burn said the man in question had his own plan.

Forget university libraries and other charitable donations. The way to the UK nation’s heart was to have two pandas sent over from China.

With this gift, all probes from the authorities would cease as a grateful nation fell in love with the tycoon and the bears.

Nothing would persuade him that this wasn’t a potryasayushchaya ideya (a brilliant plan).

Rutherford Hall is set to become a must read, but note to Robert Shrimsley: Writing about public relations is harder than you think.

Press release of the day

Good quotes here from Plum on today’s pay and employment data.

It points out a striking gap between private sector pay growth – 8.2% — and public sector – 1.6%. That can’t last.

It’s a really good detail I didn’t see in my brief scan of the ONS paperwork.

Stories that will keep rolling

1) What’s the cause for optimism in the inflation report?

2) How will Amanda Blanc of Aviva pacify activist investor Cevian?

3) Should Andrew Bailey go?

4) On which items is Premier Foods seeing the worst inflation?

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