At the moment, depending on who you ask, former London Mayor Boris Johnson is both the most and least popular man in Europe. For nationalists hoping their countries will follow Britain out of the EU, Johnson has moved from firebrand to folk hero.
To Russian business interests salivating at a weakened EU, Johnson is added to their Christmas card list. Yet for countries, politicians, and business interests dependent on the EU for optimal success, Johnson is the meddling buffoon who messed up their sweet deal.
Meanwhile, Johnson is riding high.
He came out passionate about the Brexit because he’s passionate about England. He wants his nation to thrive, so it’s tough to fault him for his position. He may not look like a cover model, but he plays the part of the statesman exceptionally well.
Disheveled, sure, a bit . . . but he’s every bit the dedicated political figure at the tip of the spear that cut through Britain’s ties to the continent.
Johnson’s so popular he can give a speech about the future of Britain and never once mention a desire to move into the prime minister’s residence on Downing Street . . . while everyone who heard the speech walked away assuming he’s the next prime minister.
That’s strong public relations right there. He’s writing his ticket with someone else’s pen in someone else’s handwriting, while everyone else is reading and nodding their assent.
It was current Prime Minister David Cameron who announced the timeline for Johnson’s ultimate coronation. Cameron said a new prime minister should be chosen before October, the date on which Cameron plans to step down.
All Johnson needs to do through the rest of the summer is shore up his support and continue to push for the reforms he’s already won for his party and his cause.
That alone should help him sail into the top spot on his part and his political machine.
Will there be challengers?
Quite likely, but Johnson just won his biggest — and the biggest — political fight happening between now and then. Voters, especially politicians, like a winner, and there just isn’t sufficient time for any other name to create such a tall hill to stand upon.
The position is Johnson’s to lose.
And he could lose it if he implodes or goes somehow off the deep end. There may not be much happening between now and October, but there’s plenty of time to bungle this and that. Not that Johnson will. Again, he doesn’t have to do much. He just needs to maintain the public relations wave he has rolling now and manage to stay atop the board.
Ronn Torossian is one of America’s foremost Public Relations executives as founder/CEO of 5WPR, a leading independent PR Agency. The firm was honored as PR Firm of the Year by The American Business Awards, and has been named to the Inc. 500 List. Torossian is author of the best-selling "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations." For more of Ronn Torossian's reports, Go Here Now.
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