Maximum Impact 21.07.06

Peter McKay's criticism of my client Catherine Davies in Monday's Daily Mail was as predictable as it was inaccurate. But then him knowing so little of what had gone on since Catherine's recent chance encounter with Prince Harry, I think is an excuse for his mistake.

He dismisses her attempt to put the record straight concerning their evening together, in last weekend's Mail on Sunday, as simply her "seeking attention". However the reason why she spoke to the MoS is actually very different.

Many "kiss ‘n' tells" are all about money and/or attention seeking, but not this time. The Daily Express first broke the story a few weeks ago with how Cathy "sucked Harry's face dry" during an evening out following a chance encounter. This story had absolutely nothing to do with Cathy, as the Express readily admits.

This then led to Fleet Street's finest descending on the 34-year-old mother of two like a plague of locusts. "I've got nothing to say, please leave me alone," was the message she gave out time after time. She went to Harry's mentors for advice and guidance as to how to handle this problem. She was told: "just say nothing and keep your head down, they will soon go away."

Day after day there seemed to be more photographers following her everywhere she went, even turning up at her children's school when Cathy dropped them off and picked them up.

Throughout this ordeal Cathy made it abundantly clear to Harry and his aides that all she wanted was for her and her children to be left alone. When, on the advice of close friends, she eventually decided to come and see me, I explained that the best way to take care of her problem was simply to do a controlled interview, so there was no longer any reason for Fleet Street's finest to hound her and her young children.

So last Sunday, somewhat reluctantly, Cathy Davies came out with a simple, truthful and light-hearted account of her hours with Prince Harry. By doing this she has upset Harry's aides — who, incidentally, did absolutely nothing to help her — and she's been dismissed as nothing more than an "attention seeker".

The one really important thing that has happened is that she has now been totally left alone by the British media, which is all this attractive and intelligent lady wanted in the first place.

THIS week's annual Guardian Media poll of the 100 most powerful in the British media listed only two people from the PR world — myself and Matthew Freud.

The media pundits who put this together don't want to acknowledge the power and influence of many in the PR world — at least that's the belief of PR Week editor Danny Rogers.

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