AFTER THE FALL FROM GRACE: RICHARD QUEST’S AMAZING BRAND RECOVERY BY ELASTIGIRL


A short while ago, before the recent US presidential elections took place, I was driving to work one morning when John Robbie announced, with a certain glee, that he was shortly to interview CNN legend Richard Quest. The topic was the then-forthcoming American elections  

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AFTER THE FALL FROM GRACE:  RICHARD QUEST’S AMAZING BRAND RECOVERY BY ELASTIGIRL

 

 

A short while ago, before the recent US presidential elections took place, I was driving to work one morning when John Robbie announced, with a certain glee, that he was shortly to interview CNN legend Richard Quest. The topic was the then-forthcoming American elections.

 

Instantly the usual dreadful Joburg traffic became suddenly less onerous. I’ve been a Richard Quest fan, in a casual sort of way, for some years now.

 

When I first encountered his unique brand of economics journalism, I was fascinated by the way that he made money matters so simple and understandable and, in the process, so interesting. I really enjoyed the combination of his likeable persona and his broadcasting genius. There, I thought, was a man whose world was his oyster.

 

So it was with a certain amount of shock that I later discovered Richard’s ‘troubled times’. To the best of my knowledge, he has never shared the tiny details – in the cringe-worthy Hollywood manner of oh, say, the Kardashian klones - of the drugs and the loitering-in-central-Park-in-the-manner-of-one-who-is-looking-for-a-seedy-experience charges. And so, for me, the mystery continued.

 

Why was someone like Richard Quest caught with crystal meth on him? Not to mention the infamous – shall we say – ‘exotic’ details going on under his clothes? I mean come on! (I howled to myself at the time.) This was Richard Quest! That mad genius of economics broadcasting!

 

Anyway, flash-forward a few years and there was Richard, as large as life and raspier than ever, talking to John Robbie live on our airwaves about the US presidential election campaign with knowledge and passion coming through in his every sentence.

 

And although the ‘troubled times’ had happened some years ago, I still found myself thinking, as I listened to him, “Wow - how to make a comeback larger than life - that’s if he ever really left?”

 

So it got me pondering on the rise and fall and rise again of a CNN legend. How does anyone – especially such a globally famous figure – bounce back from a fall as public and as nasty as that?

 

I don’t have answers, only a few theories.

 

Firstly, his whole troubled period reminded me that even people like Richard Quest are human. Temptation in all its guises comes to us all.

 

Secondly, he dealt with the fallout with dignity and decorum and faced the issues head on without shying away from them. Often it is not the scandals themselves that damage public figures, but the cover-ups and lies that usually follow – just think of Bill Clinton, the late Hansie Cronje and a raft of others who have taken a less than honest initial approach to dealing with their indiscretions. Quest also apologised to his public – unequivocally.

 

Thirdly, hats off to CNN for valuing excellence and for being prepared to give the man a second chance.   

 

And finally, kudos to the people who quietly supported him in his inner circle of family and friends. Apparently he himself said you don’t bounce back without real help from those who are truly on your side.

 

Lessons for life, I thought and not only on personal branding. 

 

-ends-

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