In a career in public relations, I wrote for many clients. And I occasionally advised against some things clients thought I should write for them. What was critical in every case was whether or not I really wanted that client and whether there was a better answer to suit the client’s need.
What brings this to mind was a full-page advertisement for Rogers Communications. It was structured as a letter from Tony Staffieri, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Rogers. Staffieri works for the late Ted Rogers’ son who is the sole decision maker at Rogers these days. It reads like something a client would ask their public relations firm to write for them.
Rogers was embarrassed recently when there was a serious outage of its Canadian network for Internet, cell phones and business services. I did not know that I was on part of that network for a minor service until I got a small rebate on my last bill.
The rebates, the apologies and the full-page mea culpa are all part of the desperate public relations campaign by Rogers to rescue its takeover of Calgary-based Shaw Communications for a reported $26 billion.
Despite already being given a pass from a friendly Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) and agreeing to sell Freedom Mobile to Videotron in Quebec, Rogers is not getting any warm fuzzies from Ottawa over this merger. Which is hardly surprising when you consider that Canadians are being ripped-off enough by the big three, Bell, Rogers and Telus. Why we would ever want to make any of those rapacious companies any bigger is beyond me.
But what was also in the paper the other day was the small article saying that Edward Rogers had told the bond holders for the Shaw takeover that he would like to have an extension for another year. It reads to me that Ottawa is in no hurry to make Edward Rogers the tzar of communications in Canada.
In that full-page ad, Tony Staffieri made five commitments to the readers. He talked about network reliability, quality of service, customer satisfaction, network access and support for our young Canadians. That is all very good but he forgot to mention the need for a break for Canadians in the highest telecom rates in the civilized world.
Copyright 2022 © Peter Lowry
Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to: