Gwynn Compton's open letter to Gareth Morgan, PR lessons to be learned from failing "quite comprehensively", and a nice response from Tom Cox
In the end, when the dust settled, leaving Gareth preening and Bob Kerridge licking his wounds ... there were these. Three thoughtful, balanced pieces, among the best reading (and writing) you'll find.
1. Gwynn Compton's open letter to Gareth Morgan, shredding his misrepresentation and hyperbole into tiny bleeding bits:
You’re only interested in pursuing your personal vision regardless of what the science actually says ... Mr Morgan, stop lying and misleading people ... It does [neither] you, nor your message, any favours. ...
2. Compton again, on PR lessons from "cats to go":
While the Cats To Go campaign claim they’ve been very successful in getting their message across, a quick analysis shows that they have failed quite comprehensively. ... Gareth, to a large extent you are responsible. ... As much as you’re now out there trying to claim this was all about responsible cat ownership, you’re the one who called your campaign “Cats To Go”, you’re the one whose own material cherry picked statistics and used inflammatory images and wording to depict cats as demonic killing machines and you’re the one whose material refers to a New Zealand without cats.
3. In a conversation mediated by the Guardian, writer Tom Cox, who "shares his home with four cats", on the cultural place of cats, the lives of indoor cats, and exhausted old cliches:
There's the cliche of the crazy cat lady, and people who don't like cats say cat-lovers are weirdos. That's not true – cat lovers are mostly people with a lot of compassion, but there is a minuscule percentage of people who are a little bit over-the-top about cats. I imagine that would be a challenge you might face, Gareth. Have you ever had a cat?
Gwynn Compton rounds off as follows:
I challenge you, Mr Morgan, now that I’ve demonstrated your “lies, damned lies and statistics”, to take down your misleading Cats To Go website, apologise to the New Zealanders you’ve offended, alienated and lied to, then go and put your money into funding genuine research into the impact of predation on our native species and encouraging responsible pet ownership in a way that’s not sensationalist or misleading.
Gareth, your move.