The voice that counts in the world of PR

As expected, so-called “friends” of the Blunkett girl, estate agent
Sally Anderson, have been busy. The News of the World front page had an
ex-boyfriend saying she was seeing Blunkett behind his back. The Sunday
Times claimed she wants to have his baby and the Mail on Sunday had
friends saying they met through a controversial businessman.

All
this is part of a predictable media game that pushes the person
involved into giving their exclusive story to one of the papers. In
this case it was successful, on Tuesday Sally asked me to represent her.

She told me that she didn’t intend to do anything but keep her head down.

The
irony, of course, is that if and when Sally does sell her story, she
will then be attacked unmercifully by every paper that she doesn’t kiss
and tell with, even though they themselves have been bombarding her
with offers.

She told me that she and members of her family were
increasingly upset about what was starting to appear in the media. She
hasn’t spoken to anyone on the record, although Monday’s Daily Mail
revealed details of conversations she’d had in her local pub, saying
Blunkett had proposed to her, but she has had two weeks of these
headlines.

Most kiss and tells are motivated by money, fame and
revenge – or a combination of all three, but two of the biggest –
Antonia de Sancha/David Mellor and Faria Alam/Sven Goran Eriksson –
would never have appeared but for the kind of press attention now
surrounding Anderson. FA PR chief Colin Gibson brokered the original
Alam story in a bid to save the skin of his boss Mark Palios.

Likewise,
Antonia de Sancha had nothing to do with the original David Mellor
revelations – they came from one of Mellor’s friends.

In both
cases neither would have broken their silence but for so-called friends
revealing everything they knew, and an awful lot more besides, about
their private lives.

For some people, going public works. But
while it might be great for Climax Productions (the newspaper
exclusives division of my firm MCA) and for newspaper circulations,
you’ve got to have a very thick skin and/or be extremely ambitious to
do it. There could be lots of money, but the papers that didn’t get the
deal will crucify you.

With regards to David Blunkett, there’s
more to come, mainly from close friends of Sally, some of whom may
actually even know her.

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