Taylor Swift, David Bowie Jimi Hendrix's flaming guitar

Among the invited experts in the scope of the international programme of IHECS, the producer Francis Whately (BBC), crossed the Channel to present one of his video productions devoted to the role of PR in the music industry.

Francis Whately was invited to come and talk  in the "Research and Case Studies  in Public Relations" class given by Pierre de Villers. He has directed and produced many documentaries specifically linked to the music and art sectors amongst others.

Awarded a BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) for "Five Years",  which covers  the five most important years in the musical career of David Bowie, he has just finished a documentary on the links between gender and politics entitled " Hilary Clinton:  The Power of Women". 

Condoleeza Rice, Madeleine Albright and the candidate for the presidential primaries

of the American Democratic party, three faces of women in power, the subject of F. Whately's latest  film

Another point of view on the history of rock

In " Mythmakers",  an episode taken  from the " Music Moguls" series, Whately unveils the sometimes dubious methods of certain press attachés in the rise of some legens of rock and pop music.

Broadcast before a lecture theatre full of Public relations students and about twenty international students of15 different nationalities (from the US, Korea, Mexico, India, Denmark and Finland), the documentary starts with a scene showing Jimi Hendrix setting light to his Fender on the stage of the Astoria in 1967.

This event, that will forever be part of the stage history of current music, is going to give an exponential boost to the media career of the American guitarist. This seemingly spontaneous gesture, which seems to emanate from the artistic genius or by part of a ritual sacrifice is, in reality, as we discover in the film, a clever stage production. A wonderful idea hinted at by a certain Keith Altham, who will then put his talent to use for groups such as the Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart, Sting, the Beach Boys and Phil Collins.

"Even bad publicity is worth taking"

The role of image in the success of certain protégés of the record industry is today absolutely clear and there are many  examples of this.

A good start for analysing certain types of practices used in terms of communication and public relations. And to discuss in a dynamic and open way the ethical issues linked to these professions.

Francis Whately was invited to share his expertice in the Master 1 PR class and in the TV-Video workshop of the international programme dedicated to exchange students. His involvement  was organised in the scope of the Erasmus+ invited experts programme.