|Berlusconi and the Media Love Machine
||[Oct. 13th, 2009|08:31 pm]
The much maligned Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, has set up a special 'Truth Taskforce' to love-bomb the international media, primarily any that write negatives about Italy and specifically any that write bad things about the Italian Prime Minister. Basically it's a crack team of journalists and PR's who will monitor the international media and whenever a report pops up that doesn't present the Motherland or it's great leader in a favourable light they will swoop with a rapid rebuttal of 'truths'.
Silvio bought his own television corporation and football club to make him look great, then botox and a hair transplant now he's using taxpayer cash to spend on PR.
Many Eastern European and South American regimes have for a long time done proactive PR aimed at the UK and US markets to present their leaders as pro-Western, pro-democracy and general good-eggs, but this is the first time I've heard it being done on such a reactive basis or by a Western European government. (Although Italy does have 'form' in this area).
I can't find any mention of how the news managers will handle social media but this serves as a salutary warning of the need to monitor and respond on an international basis.
Note to Berlusconi's team: all the usual rules of good engagement apply - listen to people's concerns, put your point of view across in a way that is constructive and show a willingness to pursue a genuinely two-way dialogue. If that fails, find out the other person's address and deposit a horse's head on their bed.