That’s the way to do it

Mulled wine

Great example of good corporate communications (in stark contrast to shockingly bad approach).  Norwich Council sent out a letter telling hair salon owners that they would be prosecuted if they served mulled wine (or any alcohol) to customers during the festive period – warning them they could face six months in jail and a £20,000 fine.  Prime example of public sector over zealous madness.  Cue Steve Morphew, city council leader on the Today show – you could hear the glee in John Humphrys' voice at the prospect of grilling another bumbling bureaucrat.  But this is where it got interesting, he launched into a "So Mr Morphew, isn't it ridiculous to be wasting public money chasing hairdressers who are just giving their customers a bit of festive cheer?" (or words to that effect).  "Yes" came the answer. Now agreeing with him isn't something JH is used to so there was a slight pause at which point Mr Morphew carried on, "It was a complete mistake, that letter should never have gone out.  I can only apologise and say that although it's technically correct to say that we could prosecute hairdressers for serving alcohol, of course this was heavy handed and unnecessary." Hurrah, a public figure that doesn't try to dress it up and argue the difference, they just hold their hands up and say sorry.  It's such a better approach than the one Council's usually take.  Everyone is forgiving of mistakes but they're not forgiving of spin.  He went on to have a chat with JH who, you could tell, was feeling exactly the same thing, and it ended up being a positive piece.  Just a shame that you can't appease Google the same way.

*image courtesy of Satbir

One Response to “That’s the way to do it”

  1. great example – while I work in comms now, a long time ago I did a placement as a retail mananger.
    my boss taught me that if a customer complains, agree with them – a completely disarming technique and a great way of diffusing a confrontational situation.
    the same applies in the interview situation – it just takes the organsiational and personal confidence from the interviewee to do it!

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