Monday 20 November 2017

Coalition must be open and honest to stem the flow of bad publicity

John Downing

John Downing

'Don't just stand there – do nothing." The old public relations maxim for crisis management comes to mind as the Government contemplates a situation that will get worse before it ever gets much better. It faces rapidly sinking popularity ratings and yet another week of fire-fighting controversies about the gardai.

The above maxim refers strictly to what you do in public. The advice for behind the scenes is the exact opposite, with priority given to assessing the extent of the problems and identifying short and medium-term remedies.

Tomorrow is the start of the second quarter of the year and, counting from next Friday, we are seven weeks from polling in local council and European Parliament elections on May 23. The reality is that this Government has not caught much good publicity since December 15 last year and the formal exit from the EU-ECB-IMF bailout.

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