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  #1  
Old 05-27-2008, 01:57 PM
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How does Prince Filip Prepare himself for the Throne? -VRT Broadcast 'Koppen'

Flemish TV VRT will broadcast a programme about Prince Philippe. How does he prepare as future King? They followed him during 6 months.'Koppen' 5th June

"The prince was followed during his professional activities in front and behind the scenes in Belgium but also abroad, ...

The camera team also maded images of the private life of the crown prince: princess Elisabeth jumping rope, princess Philippe playing soccer with the childern in the garden, ...."
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Old 05-27-2008, 06:13 PM
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The makers emphasize that this is not a 'charm offensive' from the prince, but that they approached the palace with this request.

The main worry of the prince is the relationship between the Flemish and the Walloons. he does however think that Belgium will still exist 20 years from now.

HLN (in Dutch)
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Old 05-27-2008, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Marengo View Post
The makers emphasize that this is not a 'charm offensive' from the prince, but that they approached the palace with this request.
Yes, it seems the makers really attached some importance on this fact – alas they are contradicted by a Dutch PR advisor and the Flemish newspaper HLN (Headline: “Dutchman has to safe Philippe´s image” “The prince follows my advice”)). According to HLN this tv special is the idea of the Dutch communication expert Cees Wijburg. Wijburg recognized the public image of the BRF is in desire need of improvement (on this I agree with him), so he contacted the court and introduced his ideas with success. HLN quotes Wijburg “As strange as it may seem, yes the crown prince follows the advice of a Dutchman.” He was the one who contacted the VRT with the idea to produce a TV special, and according to him the VRT did only agree in it, provided that Philippe is willing to talk openly. Wijburg does not reveal if he did some media training with Philippe. His reply is “Let´s say they trust me.” Uhm, yes, they probably did, but I´m not so sure if they still do after reading this article. Wijburg also thinks the BRF needs a more active press policy and has to stop with regarding the press as enemies. According to him the Dutch royals are more popular as they know how to deal with the media in an advantageous manner.

Ahem this is actually not my idea of successful coaching, even if HLN probably used another opportunity to blow a story out of proportion. Actually being discrete is one of the most important skills of PR advisors IMO. But this rather outspoken guy is creating a mess whilst the tv special isn´t finished by the makers and not even ready to be aired.
I also dislike the pretty much black and white view of Wijburg. The Belgian and Dutch royals are operating in quite different circumstances. There are surely lots of things which are working better in The Netherlands, but when it comes to the protection of their privacy Philippe and Mathilde sure have a way more efficient and relaxed approach than their Dutch colleagues and their sometimes hyperactive RVD - and their children are benefiting a lot from this, so why change this positive attitude?
Anyway, if Wijburg or someone else could implement a new professional press department and introduce staff with a journalistic background at the court it would be a big step forward, but what about doing so in a discrete manner? Sigh.

Here are two preview pics by VRT/hln
http://img504.imageshack.us/img504/8...7233847ou2.jpg
http://img135.imageshack.us/img135/5...7233812fa7.jpg
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Old 05-27-2008, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by johann View Post
Yes, it seems the makers really attached some importance on this fact – alas they are contradicted by a Dutch PR advisor and the Flemish newspaper HLN (Headline: “Dutchman has to safe Philippe´s image” “The prince follows my advice”)). According to HLN this tv special is the idea of the Dutch communication expert Cees Wijburg. Wijburg recognized the public image of the BRF is in desire need of improvement (on this I agree with him), so he contacted the court and introduced his ideas with success. HLN quotes Wijburg “As strange as it may seem, yes the crown prince follows the advice of a Dutchman.” He was the one who contacted the VRT with the idea to produce a TV special, and according to him the VRT did only agree in it, provided that Philippe is willing to talk openly. Wijburg does not reveal if he did some media training with Philippe. His reply is “Let´s say they trust me.” Uhm, yes, they probably did, but I´m not so sure if they still do after reading this article. Wijburg also thinks the BRF needs a more active press policy and has to stop with regarding the press as enemies. According to him the Dutch royals are more popular as they know how to deal with the media in an advantageous manner.

Ahem this is actually not my idea of successful coaching, even if HLN probably used another opportunity to blow a story out of proportion. Actually being discrete is one of the most important skills of PR advisors IMO. But this rather outspoken guy is creating a mess whilst the tv special isn´t finished by the makers and not even ready to be aired.
I also dislike the pretty much black and white view of Wijburg. The Belgian and Dutch royals are operating in quite different circumstances. There are surely lots of things which are working better in The Netherlands, but when it comes to the protection of their privacy Philippe and Mathilde sure have a way more efficient and relaxed approach than their Dutch colleagues and their sometimes hyperactive RVD - and their children are benefiting a lot from this, so why change this positive attitude?
Anyway, if Wijburg or someone else could implement a new professional press department and introduce staff with a journalistic background at the court it would be a big step forward, but what about doing so in a discrete manner? Sigh.

Here are two preview pics by VRT/hln
http://img504.imageshack.us/img504/8...7233847ou2.jpg
http://img135.imageshack.us/img135/5...7233812fa7.jpg
But even so, it doesn't seem to be an idea that originated from the Palace's side.
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Old 05-27-2008, 10:21 PM
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But even so, it doesn't seem to be an idea that originated from the Palace's side.
Well, not literally. But according to many newspaper articles the VRT journalists emphasized it was their idea to produce this TV special and they contacted Prince Philippe in the first place, and this is not in agreement with Wijburg´s story. Though the latter seems to be a freelancer who occasionally works for the VRT as well. Well, in the end he is on the payroll of VRT and the palace and everybody is happy with it, which I seriously doubt.
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Old 05-28-2008, 03:46 AM
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Well, with friends like that, who needs enemies? The article you mean is this short one? Or do you actually have the printed version of the article (shame on you if you do! ) . From what I read here it isn't Wijburg who said that Filip should do the interview. HLN deducts it from the information they see: A new advisor and Filip goes to the VRT, so that must mean...

The quote 'the CP follows the advice of a dutchman' can be taken out of proportion. And in the end, the whole idea behind hiring a communication expert is that you follow his advice, so that is not so shocking, though HLN uses the sentense to portrait that the CP is a weak man incapable of his own decisions.

I do not think that the 'open' Dutch court is a good role model in this for the Belgians, since the Dutch court is not open at all and are fighting the press as if they were parasites. Still, the Belgian royals could use some good advice to professionalize their dealings with the media and hopefully to do the same with the court too.

Another thing is indeed why this guy gives an interview to the newspaper, esp. to this newspaper. I can't believe that Mr. Wijburg is stupid enough to do that without informing the palace first.
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Old 05-28-2008, 06:26 AM
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Well, with friends like that, who needs enemies? The article you mean is this short one? Or do you actually have the printed version of the article (shame on you if you do! ) .
Ahem yes, I bow my head in utter shame, I read this nasty newspaper sometimes. In their defence, they also covered the economic mission to Egypt in a very positive manner. But one has to be careful with HLN articles indeed as they tend to blow everything out of proportion. Well I re-read the article with a less sleepy head and now I also have gotten the subtext of this badly written HLN piece. It seems Wijnburg was the one who came up with the idea of this tv special. He then contacted a VRT editor and the palace and they convinced the palace to join in. Now that this job is finished Wijnburg can focus on something more important: Promoting his own work as media coach (his clients are mainly footballers and populist politicians it seems). I`m under the strong impression he is exaggerating his influence at the court completely. And seriously a media coach who isn´t able to be discrete and can´t wait to babble with HLN prior to the broadcasting of this tv documentation urgently needs some advice himself.

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Another thing is indeed why this guy gives an interview to the newspaper, esp. to this newspaper. I can't believe that Mr. Wijburg is stupid enough to do that without informing the palace first.
Well, he sure wouldn´t have gotten the consent for this brazen move.
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Old 05-29-2008, 03:34 AM
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Newspaper Telegraaf has a longer article about it in the internet edition, probably based on the HLN aticle, click here.

It seems they approached mr. Wijburg too, he says that the story is blown out of proportions/context and that he is emberrassed about it. He further says 'I am not an advisor of the prince, I just brought the parties together (the VRT and the Palace that is). He makes a point about how Filip doesn' t know how to ' use' the press while Willem-Alexander does. He also states that the palace only has diplomats and former military staff working for them (all very aimiable people he notes) and no people with a press-background. To deal with current topics the palace however needs a professional press office.
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Old 05-29-2008, 04:20 AM
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It seems they approached mr. Wijburg too, he says that the story is blown out of proportions/context and that he is emberrassed about it.
Well, he is embarrassed with good reasons.
Wijburg is indeed pretty busy to deny the HLN story. Yesterday I heard him whining in the radio too. I guess neither the court nor the VRT are amused by his unprofessional approach. Even if HLN has blown the story out of proportion (that´s a well-known trademark of HLN btw), it was Wijburg who talked to them and his quotes are really given to misunderstanding. Unfortunately Wijburg´s damage control is clumsy and pretty much unprofessional too. And seriously a media coach who gets fooled by a newspaper – he did not really recommend himself for further consulting jobs.
What´s so annoying: there really is a remarkable improvement in Philippe´s media attitude lately and this tv special sounds promising too (and the quality newspapers like De Morgen and GVA had positive articles about it) and now there is this completely unnecessary controversy attached to it. Big sigh.
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Old 05-29-2008, 04:28 AM
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Well, I suppose all this discussion before the actual broadcast will increase the attention and probably the amount of viewers, so that is a good thing I suppose.

The damage ' inflicted' by mr. Wijburg is mostly on himself I think, not so much on the CP . The nasty replies in newspapers like HLN would be there anyway, with or without mr. Wijburg and the zillionth ' confirmation' of Filips supposed clumsiness doesn' t make much of a difference anymore.

Still, some of the points of mr Wijburg seem sensible, getting a few people in the palace with a background in the press instead of the elderly diplomats and militairy people they have now. Thouh I doubt that we can expect much of the IMO much-needed change during the present reign.
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Old 05-29-2008, 05:07 AM
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The damage ' inflicted' by mr. Wijburg is mostly on himself I think, not so much on the CP . The nasty replies in newspapers like HLN would be there anyway, with or without mr. Wijburg
I disagee. Many Belgian/Flemish commentators in the HLN forum and elsewhere focus on the point that a Dutchman is working on Philippe´s image (yep, the good old Flemish/Dutch antagonism). I don´t think there would have been much - if any - discussion beforehand if Wijburg just had done what every good media coach does, working behind closed doors and keep silent about it. The Levenslijn tv special with Philippe and Mathilde which was aired two month ago didn´t generate much discussions beforehand. This s how it´s supposed to be.

Wijburg undeniably has a point when he asks for modernisation of the court´s media department, but his ideas are rather shallow and in the end the BRF has to find a solution which fits for Belgium – and I´m convinced the RVD number Wijburg tries to promote wouldn´t work in Belgium.
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Old 05-29-2008, 05:24 AM
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The RVD number doesn't work too well in the Netherlands either IMO. If that is mr. Wijburgs idea of a good press office I wonder where he has been when the Mabel and Margarita affairs were going on. Not to mention the latest idiocy about Maxima's glasses. IMO the most professional one is the one in Britain, and I wish the Dutch royals (and the Belgians) would take a clue from them.

I agree that he should never have talked to the media in the first place, common nowledge for everybody who is involved with royalty, except for Fabi D. and Eddy V. of course . Still, I don' t think that Filips reputation is more damaged by this (though I do not live in Belgium so it is more difficult for me to judge).
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Old 05-29-2008, 06:07 AM
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The RVD number doesn't work too well in the Netherlands either IMO. If that is mr. Wijburgs idea of a good press office I wonder where he has been when the Mabel and Margarita affairs were going on. Not to mention the latest idiocy about Maxima's glasses. IMO the most professional one is the one in Britain, and I wish the Dutch royals (and the Belgians) would take a clue from them.
Well, Wijburg obviously doesn´t have a clue of anything. In this precious HLN piece he praised the RVD to the skies (amongst the other stupidities he mentioned there).
Alas, with dinosaurs like Jacques van Ypersele de Strihou (73) running the Belgian court there´s not much hope for a change – if the grey eminence Yps doesn´t retire anytime soon that is. It seems the House of Brabant is way more open for changes, but I guess Philippe´s budget is pretty much limited and implementing a new media strategy asks for serious investments. If only Albert at least could bring himself to order a makeover of the BRF homepage and recruit at least one person with a journalistic background - then again, being proactive doesn´t seem to be one of his strongest points IMVHO.
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Old 05-29-2008, 04:11 PM
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Still, I don' t think that Filips reputation is more damaged by this (though I do not live in Belgium so it is more difficult for me to judge).
I think and hope that peole now will get to seet the "real" prince. In the media they always focus on the negative things he does and when he does something good they never give him much attention. Nog people will be able to see his commitment for the counrty.
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Old 06-02-2008, 02:29 PM
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Some article in dutch about the television broadcast

We wanted the prince, he said yes
http://www.nieuwsblad.be/Article/Det...cleID=NO1SL1II

Time to get Philippe ready for the real job
http://www.nieuwsblad.be/Article/Det...cleID=NO1SKV3R
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Old 06-02-2008, 03:35 PM
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Some little pictures as preview
ImageShack - Hosting :: ekoppa053fietsby2.gif
ImageShack - Hosting :: ekoppa053interviewox9.gif
ImageShack - Hosting :: ekoppa053mathildelo5.gif
ImageShack - Hosting :: ekoppa053werkoverlegxb3.gif
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Old 06-02-2008, 06:28 PM
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Thanks Stephanie! The first and third pictures are adorable. The interview is recorded quite recently considering it is little Eleonore that CP Mathilde is carrying.

Do you know at what time the documentary will start btw?
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Old 06-03-2008, 05:53 AM
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It will start at 20u40 on één, the Belgian natioanl television (normally everybody in europe has this television station)

één - koppen - deze week

They also have an archive to see everything afterwords online
één - koppen - archief
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Old 06-03-2008, 01:53 PM
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Jez, I don't want to depress anybody, but did you read the reactions on the newsite of Het Nieuwsblad?
They're so negative. It's just like the little boy in the classroom who is bullied by all his classmates. Everyone is just shouting at him...
I think it is just so unfair and wrong. 'Cause we, as close royaltywachters WE KNOW he is an gentle, smart and charming man.
Someone needs to open the eyes of the bullies ... (if you've seen the film BenX you'll certainly know what I mean)
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Old 06-03-2008, 02:03 PM
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Stefanievl you've forgot to mention the video. één - koppen - deze week
I think (and hope) it will be a nice broadcast!
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