THE PROBLEM

Sometimes journalists working for TV and radio consumer rights programmes can get a bit carried away and be a little over-aggressive.

They are usually on the side of the angels but sometimes they can demonise the innocent.

As crisis management advisors, we were looking after the interests of one of our clients, a provider of homecare services to the elderly and infirm.

The company in question is one of the most respected providers of homecare services in the UK but an undercover reporter from the BBC was accusing them of short-changing their clients by not spending enough time with the elderly people they were looking after.

 

THE SOLUTION

We moved into action defending our client, rebutting the most serious allegations and putting forward a strong and fact-based defence.

The undercover reporter, as a result, failed to "draw blood".

After the programme was broadcast, we spoke with the journalist who was clearly angry and unhappy with the outcome. He behaved in an abusive and threatening manner warning us that he would "get" our client in a follow-up programme.

We took his comments as a personal threat and immediately complained to the head of news and the station controller.

Needless to say our complaints were taken seriously and as we expected there was no follow-up broadcast.