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Communicator of the Week: Paul Dacre

Who in a leadership position in the UK knows what we think, what matters to us, and what motivates us better than almost anyone else?

It isn’t politicians - although they would say it is. It isn’t heads of marketing, PR or communications - although they will be closer than all contemporary politicians. And it isn’t their bosses - the CEOs of FTSE 100 companies. It is, I would argue, newspaper editors. More specifically, tabloid newspaper editors.

In the past I have worked alongside, for and crossed swords (or should that be pens) with present and past tabloid editors. All have shared a capacity to know what the British people are thinking like no-one else I have ever met.

Paul Dacre, editor of the Daily Mail announced his retirement after 28 years and is determined to go with a bang after creating a media juggernaut that is the perfect product for those who buy and consume it.

Dacre is keen to make sure that people are aware of the good work the Daily Mail has done over the years listing the campaigns they have waged and won in an article in The Spectator: naming the murderers of Stephen Lawrence; justice for Omagh bomb victims; refuge for army interpreters; release of prisoners from Guantanamo; highlighting the negative impact of supermarket plastic bags amongst others.

The Daily Mail is vilified by many in this country but as Roger Alton, himself an ex-editor but of the left-leaning Observer, writes Dacre is “a newspaperman of genius who has done as much to improve the quality of life in Britain as anybody I can think of”.

In the wake of Dacre’s announcement much was made of his replacement's alternative viewpoint on Brexit with some suggesting the Daily Mail would stop its support of the UK’s EU withdrawal. Dacre took this on stating, “support for Brexit is in the DNA of both the Daily Mail and, more pertinently, its readers. Any move to reverse this would be editorial and commercial suicide.”

As I said, a man who knows his readers and what matters to them which is why Paul Dacre is my Communicator of the Week.

Communicator of the Week is written by Edward Staite.

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