Friday 23 August 2013

Weekly Wrap Up: PR Controversy in Vatican City

The Vatican has always been shrouded with mystery and riddled with scandal, not least scandals related to the finances of the Vatican Bank. It therefore perhaps didn’t come as a surprise when in July Pope Francis established the Vatican Inquiry Commission to investigate the Bank’s financial dealings and to reform its finances.

What did come as a surprise, however, was the appointment of the incredibly glamorous PR executive Francesca Immaculate Chaouqui to be the committee’s PR officer (and the only female member on the eight-member committee).

So what was the Pope trying to achieve by appointing Chaouqui?

Was it her back-ground in law and her position as Head of External Relations and Communications at Ernst & Young Italy that stood her apart as a choice candidate? Was it the fact that she is a woman and the Vatican is finally attempting to (very publicly) re-address its public image on gender inequality? Or was it the fact that her ravishing good looks and publicly released nude photos make her an incredibly unlikely and therefore interesting choice for such a religious institution?

The 30-year old Chaouqui has since created something of a PR scandal by tweeting controversial statements about her fellow Vatican colleagues. She even went so far as to claim that the Vatican’s Secretary of State was “corrupt” and that the former Italian finance minister Giulio Tremonti was gay.

As previously mused about the Archbishop of Canterbury’s very public statement regarding the pay-day lender Wonga: was this simply a strategic PR stunt by the Vatican? Were they trying to appear to be more exciting, up-to-date and female friendly by appointing such a wild-card as Chaouqui and hoping that she would do something that would hit the headlines?

There is common saying that “all PR is good PR”. Could this theory be applied here? Whatever the (intended) outcome, the Vatican and the Pope have got their names firmly in the press. What does the future of feminism in the Vatican matter when such PR coverage has been achieved?

Now the premier league season in underway, Abchaps treated another two guests to an evening at Chelsea FC on Wednesday, where our side was victorious over Villa.

Stock Market Listed accounting firm RSM Tenon has been bought out by Baker Tilly. As Baker Tilly absorbs its operations over the forthcoming weeks, it will represent an excellent one stop boost of talent, client and contracts. Sticking with accounting practices, PwC has appointed Patrick Figgis as global health industries leader. He will bring his experience of advising on strategic and operational issues to the healthcare, pharmaceutical and life sciences practices.

''Social media policy" - a corporate set of rules and guidelines for employees to understand the appropriate use of social media within an organisation.

This weekend music fans can enjoy an array of festivals including South West Four which is celebrating its 10th anniversary on Clapham Common with headline acts Armin Van Buuren, Example, Carl Coz and Groove Armada. Europe’s biggest Caribbean Festival Notting Hill Carnival takes to the streets of West London with 20 miles of vibrant, colourful costumes, over 40 static sound systems and the presence of steel bands, reggae artists and hundreds of Caribbean food stalls. Most of the roads are closed for pedestrians, so check TfL before you leave! For the more civilised, pack up a picnic and head to the Live by the Lake concert at Kenwood House which will provide festival entertainment for the lesser music ravers. The English Heritage will help host a tremendous line up from Indie gods Suede, English rock band Keane and also a live outdoor screening of the American musical ‘Singin’ in the Rain’, accompanied by The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Alternatively, on Sunday you can head down to the free Bookstock Leonard Street Party for a good old fashioned East End knees up. Shoreditch favourite The Book Club spill onto the roads, offering live music, cocktails, bunting, balloons, film screening and games galore to create this ultimate cockney style party.

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