TOP TEN REPUTATION MANAGERS
Another busy year has seen 10 per cent growth,
public affairs expansion and a number of awards for Hall’s Soho outfit. The former News of the World editor seems to have cemented his status as the go-to man for HNWs and high-profile individuals with a record to set straight following the splattering of tabloid ink. One notable example has been Cliff Richard’s recent saga of navigating through the media tempest to calmer shores.
‘That was a very difficult challenge because he was wrongly accused,’ says Hall. ‘People came to us with stories that he’d been charged, which he never was. All sorts of wild accusations, it was sad.’
While most of his business remains awareness-building, there is an increasing need for that sort of protection, especially among Hall’s corporate clients: ‘Some have been the subject of investigations by reporters, often completely erroneously, on something they’re unconnected with, but somebody is out there trying to poison the well, [often] a business rival.’
Spear’s asks the poacher-turned-gamekeeper if the tabloids are still feral. ‘They’ve got less resources than they used to, so less investigations, so no they’re not.’ He laments: ‘Leveson and some of the other inquiries have left parts of the media battered. I think that’s very sad — we have one of the fairest political systems because the media acts as a guardian.’
He does say the papers remain tenacious, though: ‘They’re like a dog with a bone when they’ve got the right subject’.