BACK from all the joys that go with having a home in Spain, I've been doing various radio and TV interviews about how to successfully survive the England manager's role. In this country, it's probably the only job that carries more media pressure and scrutiny than that of the Prime Minister.
Apparently, the FA will be announcing its choice soon. So what awaits Sven-Göran Eriksson's successor? And how can he survive his time without too much damage professionally or personally? In the perfect scenario, England would win everything, in which case it would be a wonderful way to make a fortune. But since this won't happen, one of his most important decisions will be the appointment of a very good personal PR to work with him.
This person will give him the right kind of promotion, but also important, maximum protection from the excesses of the British media, including the likes of Mazher Mahmood. To do this the PR would need to know everything there is to know about his personal, private and professional life.
As I know better than most, the person who can make the difference between success and failure is the personal PR for those most in the media spotlight. Ideally, they'd have maximum control of a client's life in a way that person often resents, but puts up with because of the massive benefits it achieves for them. As Sven found out to his cost, you can't trust anyone, including your employees who are there to look out for you.
The kind of protection the FA gave Sven against the British media was the equivalent to fielding a side against Brazil with no keeper, centre back or striker. A good and experienced PR will anticipate destructive problems and hide them away or bury them. Of course, bad results are beyond even the remit of the best PR, but that aside, a vital part in maximising the pleasure and minimising the price that goes with the England job is the choice of the PR person.
The Queen's 80th birthday celebrations have been a PR triumph for her. Even the most critical journalists have praised the way the celebrations were staged and, most of all, the way she handled the event. If the Monarchy is to survive and prosper then I hope she stays in place for many years until she hands over directly to Prince William. If Charles becomes King it will be downhill all the way.
A great Mirror exclusive on Wednesday about John Prescott's affair took everyone by surprise. Fortunately for the deputy PM, as it's 2006, it would do no damage to his career or popularity with those who support him. The days when affairs or sexual scandals destroyed political careers have all but disappeared. But is that a good thing?
The fee for this column is donated to the Rhys Daniels Trust