Byline: RICHARD KAY
BUCKINGHAM Palace has begun an unprecedented exercise in marketing the Royal Family to the public.
A secret five-page report reveals remarkable plans for conducting on-the-ground opinion polls into royal visits and the hiring of new, regional spin doctors.
Other moves include cultivating close relationships with 'opinion formers' in politics, business and the media.
Central to the strategy is a Mori poll commissioned to find out how public attitudes to the royals have changed over the past decade.
Some observers view the document as a 'blueprint for survival'.
Others criticise its highly commercial tone as being 'like selling corn-flakes in a supermarket'.
Either way, the report is bound to reopen the debate over whether such marketing techniques are aimed at creating a so-called people's monarchy.
It is clearly a high-risk strategy in which the Queen could find her instincts for doing what is right overruled by the dubious findings of pollsters and focus groups.
The Mori poll will study previous
published and unpublished surveys to track changing views about the Royal Family since 1989.
The Daily Mail has seen the document, which was put before the Way Ahead Group, chaired by the Queen, on March 30.
Entitled 'Communications Strategy for 1999' the document provides a fascinating insight into the thinking of the Royal Family.
The confidential five-page report at its heart would not look out of place in any City boardroom.
Filled with corporate jargon and peppered with words like 'communication', 'evaluation', 'objectives', 'initiatives' and 'effectiveness', it also resonates with a New Labour-style fervour on the crucial role of public relations.
That is hardly surprising because its author is Palace communications secretary Simon Lewis, a former Labour Party member His controversial appointment to
reshape the Royal Family's image came after public opinion plunged to an all-time low in the wake of Princess Diana's death. …