Last Wednesday Heather Mills, estranged wife of Sir Paul McCartney, undertook a series of media interviews presumably designed to defend her own position against an almost universally hostile tabloid media in the UK.
She kicked off her day with a GMTV interview featuring a fair selection of claims, including comparisons between her treatment by the media and those experienced by Princess Diana and Kate McCann. This interview generated subsequent coverage itself in other news outlets throughout the day.
During the day it also emerged that she had parted company with her publicist, Phil Hall, over a disagreement on PR strategy. Basically it seems he didn’t want her to take the GMTV approach, advising her to “keep your head down and let’s wait until the divorce is over, and then rebuild your career “, while she wanted to go public as she eventually did.
I’ve always been interested in the role of publicists in managing celebrity reputations. While much of their work is generating coverage for their clients, publicists, probably more than any other PR practitioners, do much of their work behind the scenes keeping clients away from the media and managing reputations skilfully.
If you want a really interesting insight into this, it’s worth checking out this post on publicist Mark Borkowski’s blog. Mark talks in depth about the Heather Mills GMTV meltdown and the role of a publicist when dealing with a client in that kind of situation.[tags]heather+mills, GMTV, mark+borkowski[/tags]