06 May 2011

RSL stance baffling

The Returned Services Leage in Western Australia continues its "no-comment" policy with regard to the issue of killed in action SAS members not being allowed to have their names inscribed on the War Memorial. This is a baffling stance.

By not saying anything, the RSL shows how out of touch it is on two fronts. Firstly, the non-reponse shows how ill-equipped it is to deal with the media, which is hardly surprising, given the age of the executive. And, of course, it has already demonstrated how intractable it is, and has again rejected a move to change the rules, despite a survey by The West Australian showing that the majority of RSL sub-branches support the widows.

From a PR perspective, the RSL is now on a hiding. The public's views are now firmly entrenched and behind the widows and the RSL has lost its chance to at least appear sympathetic and understanding.

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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.