Sunday, 3 Mar 2024

Meghan’s return to Instagram would be ‘a bad move in a long line of bad moves’

A return to Instagram for Meghan Markle will be “a bad move in a long line of bad moves” according to a PR and reputation management expert.

The Duchess of Sussex is believed to be planning an imminent return to the social media platform after shutting down her previous profile ahead of her engagement to Prince Harry in 2018.

Meghan revealed her plans during an interview with The Cut with the Duchess saying “I’m getting back…on Instagram” and the account handle @meghan was created a few weeks prior.

But a leading PR and reputation management expert has warned that it might not be the best idea for the Duchess.

Edward Coram-James, CEO at GoUp, spoke exclusively to Explaining that between the couple’s financial situation, her history with the media and trying to build their brand, Meghan needs to be careful how she approaches the account, and that it could not be the best move.

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He explained that ‘much of the criticism of the Sussexes is centered around the accusation that they are more interested in royalty working for the Sussexes’.

He said: “A British royal so flagrantly commercialising their position and behaving like an American reality TV star is bound to further imbed this national upset.”

He added: “Reputationally, reopening Instagram is yet another bad move in a long line of bad moves.

“Unless it is purely charitable work with no personal publicity or commercial incentive, anything she posts will open her up to more accusations of hypocrisy, attention seeking and abusing long and deeply held cultural traditions, as well as her position and titles.

“She will be aware of this.”

But he says that he can understand that needs must when it comes to looking after a family.

He said: “But, practically, she may feel that she has no choice. And, when you have a young family to feed and, most importantly, to protect, you often put pride aside and do what is practical, not necessarily what is right.”

Mr Coram-James says that the Government has its part to play in the situation, saying they should be footing Harry and Meghan’s security bill.

He said: “From a crisis communications and PR point of view, if the British government wishes for the Sussexes to keep a lower profile, then they need to meet them halfway.

“The Sussexes need to accept that their behaviour to date has largely backfired, and caused a lot of national hurt and embarrassment in the meantime. They need to keep a lower profile and stop fighting fire with fire.

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“On the other hand, the British government also needs to be much more grown up. They need to accept that there are significant security implications that come with being royal and they need to pay for that security.

“Otherwise, they cannot act surprised when the Sussexes feel that they need to seek other, less popular means of income. Including Instagram.”

While it might be damaging reputationally, Edward explained it is likely a financial decision: “If [Harry] did not have a world class security detail, his personal security (and that of his wife and children) would be in constant danger.

“World class security details are extremely expensive, and the British political class has made it clear that it is an expense that they are unwilling to meet. So, the Sussexes have been forced to meet it themselves.”

Social media expert Eric Schiffer argued the move would be a major win for Meghan financially, as she could quickly become one of the most-followed celebrities on the platform.

But he also warned she would need to carefully consider which products to promote should she make a complete shift to an influencer career.

Schiffer said she will need to ensure she does not appear as if she were “hawking every product under the sun”.

He said: “She will align with quality brands and companies that are on point with her political and social beliefs.”

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Schiffer continued: “You have celebrities like the Kardashians who can command $1 million (£795,000) and up for a single post promoting a product. There is no reason Meghan couldn’t be earning those sorts of fees.”

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