Top Ten Reputation Managers
It’s no secret that Jonathan Hawker is a crisis comms heavyweight who has worked with contentious cases of every nature, from ‘intricate’ white-collar crime (including what he considers to be the largest fraud in continental Europe) to those involving HNWs who ‘fall victim to a crime in a way that you cannot fathom’. Whatever the challenge, Hawker often has innovative solutions to problems, and has confi ded once to Spear’s that he could ‘mitigate pretty much anything’. It is for this, and repeat peer recommendations, that he has been named a top ten adviser in this Index since 2015. Despite the accolades, the enigmatic Hawker still remains the same one-man band since his departure from FTI Consulting in 2014. He says that large PR fi rms who expand on the basis of a ‘top-line growth’ forecast are no longer sustainable, citing the model as one of the factors that led to the demise of Bell Pottinger. The pressure to bring in more work to match the trajectory makes it ‘very easy to take on the wrong client’. Hawker identifi es a few strategies he’s applied to many of his cases. The fi rst is to accept blame ‘quickly’; the second is to ‘broaden it out’; the third is to criticise or blame someone else – ‘if it’s true, of course, you can’t do it’; and the fourth is to delay – ‘buy time while you get all the information’.