One of the funny things about being a comms person are the situations where there are equally valid points of view on a highly charged situation.
Take the engagement between, say, a large energy company and an environmental NGO. Both can effectively and objectively communicate the almost binary opposite position in good faith.
Journos and stakeholders get told an awful lot of things through the prism of “a certain point of view”. Mostly they accept that as part of the job and understand that committed professional communications practitioners are by and large positive actors because we can provide both the necessary information but also the context that frames it
“Facts” are nothing without a wider context through which they can be fully to understood.
What is interesting about the Cummings situation is that a number of journalists and few members of the wider UK political establishment believe they have caught someone spouting full on lies that demonstrate a pretty amazing level of personal hypocrisy, and therefore, they won’t let it go.
This is a step or two further than the raised eyebrow or even the tougher questioning that I’ve received following telling my side of the story, “from a certain point of view “.
Is it personal dislike of Cummings? Is it political? Is it looking to sell more newspapers?
Sure, it could be all three and we should not ignore these issues. However, it would appear that the Government comms effort of the last few days has entirely failed to convince the majority of the country (see the poll in today’s Daily Mail) that their point of view is legitimate or acceptable.
For one of the first times in my professional experience the word “lie” is being used on a regular basis from people that the Government are meant to be trying to persuade.
It is quite rare that “a certain point of view” is so thoroughly rejected.
What happens next, it will be interesting.