David Cameron And A Case Of A Shattered Reputation

16/09/2016 16:32
Hannah McKay/PA Wire

His rise to power was seamless. An Eton boy with a stockbroking family, David Cameron had the foundation to leverage any career he so desired- and that he did.

After studying at Oxford, Cameron climbed the political ladder, working for the Conservative Research Department, advising key political players and rubbing shoulders with some of the most powerful in the country.

Fifteen years in parliament and six in office established Cameron as one of the most prolific British leaders of our time, a well-rounded and authoritative speaker with ambition and experience. But his fall from grace was more immediate than anyone could have anticipated and has namely left his reputation in tatters.

Of course the press' role in any public figure's reputation is all consuming, and the consistent negative stories as of late have done nothing to future proof Cameron for his next career. Brexit woes aside, this week alone Cameron has been criticised for resigning as MP for his constituency, for his intervention in Libya by the foreign affairs committee and for supposedly 'cashing in' on his memoirs by signing a very lucrative book deal.

But from a reputational aspect - will Cameron ever bounce back?

Establishing a strategic and well thought out plan of action is the most important step when rebuilding a reputation. Whilst his every move may not be reported on in the next few years as it were when he were prime minister, Cameron needs to act like it is.

The key thing for repairing a reputation that's in tatters, is of course re-positioning the way people think of you. Prioritising actions for the greater good before making a living or being photographed enjoying life's pleasures is key in doing this. For this reason, frequent holiday pictures should be avoided and attaching oneself to worthy causes is advisable. With Sam Cameron by his side, who is already very charitable and invested in the arts, Cameron has a fair chance of becoming more of a likeable character.

It's crucial that the former prime minister finds a steady balance using his experience and authority to benefit others with an issue close to his heart and with something he truly believes in. At the same time, remaining genuine is key. With this in mind, he needs to pick and choose his moments for public commentary and only offer his insight when there is genuinely something to say.

Beneficial to Cameron, will be learning from previous politicians such as Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and Tony Blair. If Blair can rebuild a career for himself and become a widely renowned global speaker, despite skeletons such as the Chilcot report leering out of the closet, then Cameron most certainly can.

Whilst similar to Blair in a style over substance way, Cameron has a better knowledge of the media and will undoubtedly utilise that. That being said, if I were advising Cameron, I would have ensured the first story about his next step following his resignation from parliament be around how he is giving back to his country, not supposedly signing a book deal.

Of course it's a challenging job for a politician to completely rebuild their reputation as stories can materialise from their years in office at any point. But once Cameron establishes the right path for him, he will no doubt start to repair relationships and strengthen public opinion.