As someone who worked in PR for over 16 years and wrote numerous reactive statements for clients, let me tell you why this statement by Chartwells, the free school meals bag/"hamper" supplier, is absolute trash.
Whether you're in the right or wrong, you do not open a statement which addresses an incredibly sensitive issue, involving vulnerable children, and which has the public's support and gained national attention, like this. You're basically saying, brace yourselves for our rebuttal.
This involves children. You open by acknowledging the desperate situation so many families are in right now and how anything that might hinder the wellbeing of these families further really isn't acceptable.
Oh, it only shows provision for 5 days? Oh, that's ok then. I don't know why people are complaining about it. You're right, I'm pretty sure the NHS guidelines doesn't recommend 5 pieces of fruit and veg a day, rather 1.6 portions a day plus beans.
And that "for clarity" reeks of, "you're all going to eat your words any minute now".
Don't use "actually". Never use "actually" when you're trying to communicate facts while also addressing a sensitive topic. Keep your "actually"s for when you've caught your boyfriend cheating or when someone refuses to wear a mask.
They've already expressed a desire to clarify things for us and yet, nothing here clarifies anything. Why did people think it should be £30? That figure must have come from somewhere. Acknowledge it and explain. Also, break the £10.50 down. How much of that was spent on food?
Personally, all this is achieving is making me want to ask more questions.
I'm sorry, has this been hard for you? Didn't a supplier of food for kids start making provisions last autumn for another lockdown? I mean, I did. Before Christmas, with figures increasing, mixing over Christmas, I thought maybe my kids wouldn't be going back in the new year.
Did they only realise this now? Because a member of the public posted a photo on socials and it gained traction and a footballer pushed it up the agenda for today? Where's the quality control? Did no-one think this was lacking at any point over the last 2 weeks?
I don't care about this line. It's just hanging there mid-air. I think they put it in to try and give an example of a bigger box with a longer list of food items, but that's not what people were angry about last night and all day today.
OK, but that's still not helping us understand why some of the packages that have already been distributed were lacking or how they were costed. As far as I know, this £3.50 could be put towards more...packaging?
Speak English, please. They're meant to be addressing families here, not potential clients, stakeholders and competitors. And even if we knew what this meant, they should explain why they welcome it.
There's pandering through gritted teeth going on here, but, what's conspicuous by its absence is any empathy with the kids and their families. It's no-where to be seen.
If my kids were going hungry, I wouldn't give a crap about the supply chain of a contractor who is (most likely) being paid millions to service this contract. Are they speaking to families/schools/local authorities to understand the real need within communities?
Anyway, if Chartwells reads this, please don't sue me or try and hire me to do your comms, just do better. Please.

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More from @EsylltMair

11 Jan
If £30 per head was allocated, someone is taking food straight from the mouths of children.
Children are hungry. ALL THE TIME. From the days of constant breastfeeding demands which can drive you literally mad and make you feel almost claustrophobic by it, to when they start eating solids and from then on your weekly food budget doubles.
My two can't go half an hour without asking for snacks or raiding the fridge. And usually it's not because they're looking for crisps or biscuits. They're more than happy to satisfy their hunger with a piece of fruit or toast or some yoghurt. But it is constant.
Read 8 tweets
4 Jun 20
What follows is an attempt at bringing key works, commentaries, resources together in one place with a focus on Wales and its troubling past in regards to racism. I also wanted to share links to community groups and organisations who'd benefit from our support. #BlackLivesMatter
Here's @efalois’ list of Welsh people, events which we should familiarise ourselves with in relation to black history & racism in Wales.

To follow are translations for non-Welsh speakers.


1. The Cardiff Three, podcast here…

2. The Pennant family, Penrhyn Castle and slavery, article here…

3. Newport race riots, article here…
Read 39 tweets

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