Friday, May 29, 2015

The Sepp Blatter School of PR, sponsored by Coca-Cola and The Brown Envelope Company

“Good morning class. My name is Mr Blatter, but you can call me Don Corleone. Today we shall be covering how you deal with corruption scandals engulfing your organisation and senior colleagues being arrested. Vladimir, how would you deal with this news?”

“I do not have to deal with it as I am the one who would have arrested my colleagues.”

“Okay, but David: how do you deal with it? Imagine if, for example, your Director of Communications were arrested.”

“I don’t have to imagine.”

“Well, how did you deal with it?”

“Frankly, I didn’t know what to do.”

“Oh,” said Sepp. “It is easy. You say this is a great day for your organisation, that it is a result of investigations you started, and then you give everyone Rolexes until they stop asking questions.”

“That’s ridiculous,” said David.

“That’s outrageous,” said François.

“That’s expensive,” said Vladimir. “All those Rolexes! Still, the thinking is good.”

“Now,” said Sepp. “What about the implications for you personally? François? Do you take responsibility for the conduct of your organisation?”

“Mais oui. You are in charge. You are the leader. You are responsible.”

“Wrong!” screamed Sepp. “No – you cannot be everywhere at one time. What if you are on holiday, or at a football match, or having croissants with your mistress in a Paris atelier? You can’t be expected to keep track of everything with such a busy schedule. Just say you are committed to setting things right, and give money to anyone who wants to buy an apartment for their cats.”

“That’s ridiculous,” said François.

“That’s outrageous,” said David.

“The man’s a genius,” said Vladimir.

“Finally,” Sepp continued, “how do you deal with elections when a scandal like this has broken?”

“Hold your wife close and prepare for oblivion,” said David.

“Hold your mistress close and prepare for oblivion,” said François.

“I have no idea what you guys are talking about,” said Vladimir.

“You are right Vladimir,” said Sepp. “These guys are pessimists. You just carry on regardless, safe in the knowledge that you have sprayed enough money around to secure half of the votes.”

“What?” spurted David.

“What?” scoffed François.

“What?” exclaimed Vladimir. “Only half? So brave.”

“That concludes today’s lesson class,” said Sepp. “Just one more thing. Angela – why do you never turn up in short shorts like I ask?”

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