1. Ensure you’re a publicly funded body.
2. Use a huge chunk of that capital to vastly overpay a mediocre performer – ensuring said ‘artist’ has a one-trick-pony style stock in trade – namely puerile, sexist, schoolboy humour.
3. Use one of your prime products (in this case, Strictly Come Dancing) to get tens of thousands of the public (who, remember, are both your funders and your customers) to needlessly spend money phoning-in votes that will not count a jot as the producers have already decided the outcome.
4. Make sure you’re including all your target audience in your plan of self-destruction: Use a lesser product (preferably in another area of interest, say cooking), such as Saturday Kitchen to create the perception of a live phone-in when in actual fact, the result is another done deal. Again this will get your customers to needlessly spend money, not to mention betray your core audience’s trust.
5. If by now, you don’t think you’re doing enough damage to your own brand, go for the one area that should be an absolute taboo: Children. Use another prime product, this time from the kids’ range - Blue Peter is a great choice for mass exposure. Hoodwink thousands of six to thirteen year olds into thinking they still have a chance of winning a competition, when in actual fact the producers have already chosen the ‘winners’ from little angels who happen to be on set.
6. Not done yet? Well how about getting the aforementioned overpaid one-trick pony to get together with an equally immature ass and pull an obscene stunt on one of the nation’s best-loved performers? A victim such as Andrew Sachs would garner plenty of public outcry from the masses.
7. Continue to bleat about the Government’s attempts to rejuvenate the commercial broadcasting sector in opening up more avenues of revenue with product placement and suchlike, claiming for the umpteenth time that yours is a brand that doesn’t advertise. This, despite the fact (and this is one of my personal favourites) that, with a massive array of channels, programmes and events to publicise, you are one of broadcasting’s biggest advertisers.
8. Allow one of your main channel’s controllers, the very talented Lesley Douglas (who just happens to be responsible for dragging Radio 2 and thousands of happy listeners into the 21st Century), to leave the organisation, whilst the aforementioned pony gets a measly and insulting 3 month unpaid ban.
9. All that a bit so-last year? Well why not bring things bang up to date by introducing another fly-in-the-face-of your-public debacle on your latest flagship product? Namely, against all sensibility and sensible opinion, replace Arlene Phillips with Alesha Dixon. One is a choreographer of many top West End shows, talent scout and former dancer; the other is a singer who happens to have won the show once.
10. Repeat any of the above steps as often as you like, whilst ensuring a real lack of two things: strong leadership at Board level and real empathy with your audience.
Please note, I’ve nothing against Alesha Dixon – in fact I’m currently wincing at the backlash she’ll endure over the forthcoming weeks – it’s not her fault, but the sages who chose eye candy over insight, fluff over experience.
On a more positive note however, I’d like to offer my simple 3-point plan to get the BBC’s once mighty brand back on track – and back in favour with the great British, and indeed, global public:
1. Jordan to replace furniture expert Jon Bly on The Antiques Roadshow. She’d be just the job at comparing mahogany chests.
2. Jack Tweed, husband of the late Jade Goody to replace any one of the real-life coppers on Crimewatch UK. An inside job if ever there was one.
3. Gordon Brown to replace Michael McIntyre on his brilliant series. So yes, it would now become Gordon Brown’s Comedy Roadshow.
If anyone from the Beeb would like to consult me further on the above advice, I’m available Tuesdays and Thursdays after nine-ish. Failing that, if they could do just one thing that all great brands should do, it would form the basis of a massive turnaround: You expect your customers to watch you, so start listening to your customers.