Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have a problem, their public relations strategy is an epic disaster. Over the course of their almost four-year marriage, the couple have stepped from one PR landmine to another. They have now hired another PR representative, this time one with political connections to Barack Obama’s campaign, to help improve their flailing public image.
It won’t work.
Despite probably spending millions per year on a wide-ranging and over-the-top PR strategy, Harry and Meghan are still deeply polarizing public figures. From Harry’s comments overshadowing his own grandmother’s birthday and torpedoing his own court case on his family’s U.K. security to Meghan’s $65,000 Invictus Games wardrobe taking attention away from the wounded veterans—and those are only examples from this week—the Sussexes are struggling to regain the broad public support they had when they first got married.
To help address that, they’ve added Miranda Barbot to their team. She previously worked on Obama’s presidential campaign in 2012 at the tender age of 19 and has now become a “key figure” for the Sussexes team and has been described as a “shrewd operator.”
Too bad for Ms. Barbot, despite her likely considerable skills, she’s stuck with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle as employers.
By any measure, the couple should have a considerably good public image. They reportedly employ multiple PR firms, including the aggressive firm Sunshine Sacks, to promote them incessantly and are in the news on a near daily basis.
But their public image remains toxic, divisive and just plainly unlikeable.
Just this week, outrage over Harry’s comments about “protecting” the Queen dominated coverage of her 96th birthday. He also even damaged his own legal case against Her Majesty’s government regarding his security arrangements by stating that the U.S. is now his home, not the U.K. This is the anthesis of a previous statement he presented to the court.
Meghan is no better. Despite attempting to appear charitable at the Invictus Games, Meghan showed up in a wardrobe in excess of $65,000. This is probably more money than many of those wounded service members make in a year. She clearly saw the event as an opportunity to flaunt her new wealth, though it was neither the time nor the place.
The couple have done everything possible to alienate the public and have generally come across as arrogant, hypocritical and entitled, which turns off people in mass. The Invictus Games should have been a rousing success for Harry and Meghan’s image, but it’s just raised more questions as people wonder if the whole thing has just become a PR stunt as part of their Netflix deal.
Even the best PR team in the world can’t help a couple who constantly shoot themselves in the foot.
Ms. Barbot has her work cut out for her, as her biggest problem with trying to repair Harry and Meghan’s image is the couple themselves.