The impossible PR client

I’m not surprised to read about a rise in rat numbers in the UK, challenging that marvellous meme that you’re never more than 6 feet from a rat.  I know some people adore our rodent “friends” but I don’t think any public relations campaign could secure a good reputation.

There’s been a 39% increase in numbers of since 1998 (I couldn’t find any absolute figures in the survey, but the Highways Agency estimates 60 million – the same population as humans). 

I have personal experience of this since since my loft proves a popular stopping point.  Interesting to see factors such as poor composting and bird feeding among the factors cited for the “plague”.   I agree, and also feel the increase in domestic chicken ownership doesn’t help.

Apparently there was a 22% rise in the number of rat findings over the summer (when they are supposed to be less active) – that’s when dog biscuits and cat food began to disappear from my kitchen cupboards.  My spoilt pets showed no inclination to get involved (unlike my parents wilder French moggies who love a crunchy field-rat snack).  Our council is one of the minority offering a free service to get rid of rodents, but unfortunately for me, one of the darlings died under the floorboard outside my bedroom door in the hottest weak of the year – the “dirty rat”. 

Maybe I should move to Alberta in Canada which apparently has a rapid-response service to ensure the province retains its 50-year history as rat free.   Now there’s a positive reputation.

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Heather Yaxley PhD

Dr. Heather Yaxley is passionate about sustainable careers, reflective practice and professional development. I am a rhizomatic educator, practitioner, consultant, academic and scholar. As a qualified academic, I teach the CIPR professional qualifications with PR Academy and have experience teaching at various Universities. I run the Motor Industry Public Affairs Association (MIPAA) and my own strategic consultancy. I was awarded by PhD researching Career Strategies in Public Relations by Bournemouth University in 2017. I'm a published author, with books, chapters and academic papers to my name.