Meghan Markle defended by Alison Hammond on This Morning
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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have made a potentially-damaging calculation error with their Netflix documentary, a marketing strategist suggested. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex vented their frustration at the treatment they claim to have received at the hands of the Royal Family and the British media during their tenure as working royals. But expert Edward Coram James told Express.co.uk the couple’s failure to examine their own behaviour could “come back to hurt them” in the long-term.
Mr Coram James said: “In crisis comms, when someone comes to us and says, ‘I’m in a spot of bother, this has happened, this has happened, people on social media are saying really nasty things about me. Help.’
“One of the most basic tenets of reputation management is to show humility in the face of adversity – you show humility and you show introspection.”
The Go Up CEO argued failure to humble oneself and recognise mistakes were made on both sides could threaten Meghan and Harry’s bid to win over the public’s sympathy.
He noted that audiences “are much more likely to lend a very kind ear” when celebrities seeking to address a reputational crisis consider all sides of the argument.
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Mr Coram James added: “If, on the other hand, you take the approach of, ‘I’m not responsible for any of this, this is all one giant smear campaign against me, none of this is my fault, everyone else is lying, I’m completely innocent. It’s us two who are right and the score of other people who are totally wrong,’ you rarely build sympathy that way.
“And without sympathy you don’t get an audience on board with your attempts at crisis management and it actually ends up making the other side much more believable than you.
“I would argue that their lack of introspection will come back to hurt them from a reputational point of view. From a PR point of view, that is so basic that the lack of it feels deliberate.”
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s documentary offered an insight into their personal journey away from the Royal Family, bringing together self-shot video diaries and directed interviews to address their decision to step down.
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Prince Harry reiterated his concern about the safety of his family, and in particular his fears about Meghan Markle being subjected to the same treatment as his mother Princess Diana by the paparazzi.
The Duke also claimed the Royal Family had “missed an opportunity” by failing to make the Duchess feel welcome and at home properly.
He said: “Anyone inside that system, whether it’s my family, whether it’s staff, whether it’s PR, whatever it is, have already missed an enormous opportunity with my wife, and how far that would go globally.”
The Duke also claimed royal aides had failed to provide the couple support in hitting back at negative press, going as far as accusing the Palace of leaking content about them.
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He said: “It is a dirty game. There’s leaking but there’s also planting of stories.
“So if the comms team want to be able to remove a negative story about their principal, they will trade and give you something about someone else’s principal. So the offices end up working against each other.
“William and I both saw what happened in our dad’s office and we made an agreement we would never let that happen to our office.”
The Royal Family has so far refused to comment on the latest batch of claims the Duke and Duchess of Sussex made.
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