Good News! Just had a call from a guy called Ian, says he runs a company called Vettle? Britoil? Vital? Can’t be sure. He says he’ll follow up with an email. Anyway, he asks if I’m doing PR now I’m out of the Beeb. He has a problem with his image. He gets accused of making political bribes in oil-rich Third World countries run by dictators. “Do you mean Scotland?” I ask.
Ian has business interests in some very strange places. You know, hot countries where you wouldn’t go your holidays. He mentions Iraq, Syria, Libya and Congo where people eat rotting food. “The Axis of Weevil?” I suggest.
He wants a PR strategy for someone forced to work with murderous dictators who gas their own people and torture them. He says someone’s got to sell on their natural resources or their leaders wouldn’t have helicopter gunships, poison-headed missiles, electric cattle prods and jumbo jets for their wives to go shopping. I jump on that one right away. “What you’re actually doing is helping half of the muslim world. You are venturing where few westerners go…like a missionary. It’s not just business. It’s humanitarian action. Think Nobel Prize.”
He wants to know how to get better press if he hired a war criminal to act as his agent. “Did you know he was a war criminal?” “He wasn’t convicted until later” So he couldn’t have known. “As far as you were concerned he was just a career killer and bank robber on the Interpol Most Wanted list who had his own private army.” Simple!
He’s also worried about his image for working with Saddam. But I point out that Saddam was a family man with deeply-held religious beliefs who carried a gun and was always ready to go to war with Iran…. just like an American president. I think I’m getting the hang of this PR thing.
Frankly, I say, you can forget genocidal murderers and corrupt dictators, the Scottish media couldn’t care less. Your real problem is giving money to the evil Tories. Now that’s a PR problem.
If you have any ideas for helping an honest British businessman with an awkward image, please pass them on. Would you be willing to sign a petition to have Ian nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize? There’s a £500,000 bonus in it. Contact me at Mejabollox.com