06 October 2010

Bikies' PR a shambles

Events at the weekend, when three Perth bikies from the Finks were injured in a dust-up with the Coffin Cheaters, must all but signal the end of the United Motorcycle Council's PR campaign.

The Council (in WA and nationally) wants to have laws of association abandoned. The Council (aka, the bikie gangs) hired a Brisbane PR outfit, Cole Communications to help with its image and key messages. Frontman was the Finks' Ferret, who, while colourful, was not a great choice.

So the UMC's spokesman is a Fink, of the same club in Sunday's brawl, in which one Fink lost three fingers and another was shot.

How credible now is the bikies' assertion they are just a group of fun-loving bike riders?

Another aspect to this is the WA Police's lack of "intelligence" about the gathering. A quick glance at the Sunday Times' weekly motorcycle column would have told them about the event. Surely it's not difficult to "do the maths" and realise that drag-racing Harleys would attract bikies?

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The PR Lab is a consultancy, specialising on research, reputation management, social media, media relations and the development of measurable strategies that produce results. It is run by Dr Greg Smith, a former journalist and PR professional. Greg worked on daily newspapers in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth. He held senior PR positions in the Australian Defence Force, Sydney Olympics and national not-for-profits. He has also lectured in PR at Edith Cowan University and the University of Notre Dame Australia.