TOP TEN REPUTATION MANAGERS
‘I have seen it all,’ the enigmatic Hawker tells Spear’s. Having dealt with everything from ‘intricate’ white-collar crime (including the largest fraud in continental Europe) to clients who ‘fall victim to a crime in a way that you cannot fathom’, the unfazed Hawker says he can ‘mitigate pretty much anything’.
The crisis communications heavyweight only works in highly contentious areas of the industry, which warrants the usage of what he has described as ‘very unusual approaches’.
The BHS pensions scandal has kept the one-man band busy, advising the management of the company that ‘suffered pretty badly’ at the hands of the owners: ‘My job was to ensure the media understood who the good guys in the story were, and who were the bad guys.’
A former journalist himself at ITN and the BBC, before running FTI Consultancy and latterly founding the niche Slate Campaigns in 2014, Hawker does not believe in ‘quashing’ good journalism. ‘That’s not what we do,’ he says, adding that part of his role is explaining to his clients that if an issue is ‘accurate, legitimate and of public interest’ it cannot be stopped, but can be mitigated, where the client is given the benefit of the doubt.