Friday, July 10, 2009

Wish To Declare An Interest, Larry?

You're known, & sometimes defined, by the company you keep, so the saying goes. It helps to put views & comments into a context which is more rounded, thorough & clear. If you pen pieces for the old or new local media on subjects which involve civic matters, it's only fair to declare where you're coming from. If there's a connection, however tenuous, between a body you're associated with & an article's subject matter, it could be considered remiss not to state that link.
Larry Nield was for many years a distinguished hack on the Echo. In his time on the paper its claim to be a local journal of record could be taken seriously. Larry was also an NUJ rep at the paper. Since taking his leave of the Trinity Mirror circus he's written some thought-provoking pieces for Liverpool Confidential.
However, something he doesn't always declare at the foot of his articles is his role as a consultant for local PR consultants October Communications ( ), a capacity in which he's served for nearly eighteen months now ( ).
This news in itself would be greeted with at best a nonchalant shrug from many. There's long been an incestuous relationship between the worlds of journalism & PR, witness the current Guardian coverage of the role played by David Cameron's media handler Andy Coulson when he was editor of the News of the World at the time of its phone-tapping operations.
So what is October Communications' USP? Under its "what we do" page ( ) it enthuses:
"We can help you to change opinions, get your name in the headlines, create an advertising splash or deliver a profit-busting marketing campaign.
"We will help to boost your campaign's success and everything we do is aimed at ensuring you achieve your goals."
It also claims elsewhere ( ): "Your problems become our solutions."
October Communications list among their clients Neptune Developments. Here's what it says about the arrangement ( ):
"As a forward-thinking developer, Neptune's schemes always provide a talking point and October work closely with them to ensure that the end results in terms of media and public profile are positive and fruitful. October has provided a full range of media public affairs services for Neptune, supporting them in securing a number of difficult planning applications, and maintaining a strong media presence for the organisation and its developments."
Last week Wayne referred to Larry Nield's involvement with October Communications ( ) & questioned his willingness to be as open as he once was in his views on the changing face of the city centre, given that October's clients include Neptune Developments, the city council & the North West Development Agency (NWDA).
[I'm also intrigued to see that the full list of clients on October's books includes the noth west branch of the Royal Institute of British Architects, RIBA ( ).]
Just in case Larry reads this and starts to reach for the phone to consult his lawyer, I stress that in no way am I inferring, implying or basically saying that there is anything untoward in his dealings on behalf of October Communications; I have no reason, suspicion or evidence to suggest that. However, it would serve the interests of transparency & open debate, online as well as offline, for Larry to note his involvement with October Communications, in passing, when penning another wry & erudite piece for Liverpool Confidential.


waynecolquhoun said...

Well said,
I worked with larry Neild for what I thought was the public benefit in highlighting the fact that the world heritage site was being destroyed. I gave Mr Neild so much information in good faith and was to say the least dissapointed with him when he went to work for the company who had persuaded the public.........and the press...that it was a good idea to build Milton Keynes-On-Sea at the Pier Head.
What is more, is that he still thinks I am working alongside him and as most journos think he can nick your thoughts and ideas.
Hey Larry if you are reading cant you get your own ideas without taking mine

talking of solicitors is there any resemblence between the two articles above

Liverpool Preservation Trust said...

Question:I wonder if you know. Is the partner of the editor of the Daily Post Penny Fray and does she edit the magazine?

Esther Johnson said...

I see that October Communications' Jon Egan used to represent Ben Chapman M.P. (who recently resigned over his expenses). October's promise to their clients is "we will help to boost your campaign's success and everything we do is aimed at ensuring you achieve your goals". They seem to represent many interests in Liverpool. Question is, how well do they vet their clients?

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