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PR boss resigns after saying his firm doesn’t hire ‘Blacks, gays or Catholics’

Maggie Baska March 5, 2021
Gordon Beattie LinkedIn Beattie Communications

(LinkedIn/Gordon Beattie)

The boss of a Scottish public relations firm has resigned after a “tone deaf” social media post in which he said his firm doesn’t hire “Blacks, gays or Catholics”.

Gordon Beattie, the founder of Beattie Communications, posted on LinkedIn that his firm does not hire “Blacks, gays or Catholics“. He added that the firm only “signed talented people” and did not care about the colour of their skin, sexual orientation or religion.

“That’s the way it should be with every company – only hire people for their talent, experience, knowledge and wisdom,” Beattie said in the post. “We hire people we like, trust and admire and recruit people who have the potential to be better than us.”

The post has since been deleted.

Beattie founded the PR and corporate communications company in Motherwell, Scotland 40 years ago before expanding it across the UK. He was chairman of the firm.

The LinkedIn post, which was uploaded on Friday (26 February), provoked harsh criticism from anti-racism campaigners and others in the communications industry.

Beattie has since apologised on LinkedIn. He said the initial post was to highlight the fact that Beattie Communications “does not discriminate” “when we recruit”.

“It was posted with the best of intent but I have now removed it because the language I used has caused offence and for that I am deeply sorry,” Beattie wrote.

According to the Daily Record, Beattie said it is now the right time to go. He said he was “truly sorry” for the embarrassment he “caused the wonderful team across the business and our clients, and for the offence it has clearly caused”.

Beattie added: “It’s a wrench to step down as chair, but I feel I have no alternative. The time is right to go.”

Beattie Communications told the Daily Record that Beattie is resigning from his position as chairman as a consequence of a “tone deaf” social media post.

In the comments section of his apology on LinkedIn, one person wrote she did not think Beattie’s apology “goes far enough”. She said: “It doesn’t acknowledge the sentiment and rather just the vile use of language.”

Another person said the language in Beattie’s first post was “appalling”, and she thought it was “posted because you enjoy the attention – good and bad”. She added: “Your apology is likely the result of client complaints because let’s face it, as a society we are not standing for this type of behaviour or appalling use of language.”

 

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