Crisis Management Expert's Tip For Meghan And Harry To Capitalize On Media Frenzy - Exclusive

Depending on what side of the Atlantic you live on, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are either in the middle of a horrendous public relations downfall or basking in the best PR a member of the royal family has enjoyed since Princess Diana's wedding. With the long-awaited release of their Netflix docuseries, all eyes are once again on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. 

British royal experts have condemned Harry and Meghan for making the series, with one telling Metro U.K., "I think so far we have seen that this series is nothing but an opportunity for them to make a lot of money and to boost their brand, but there is also a strong element of revenge to this." Meanwhile, American royal expert Kinsey Schofield has said to Marie Claire that the couple actually wanted the Netflix series to be less confrontational than it wound up being. "The Sussexes feel like the docuseries leans too much into the drama and victimhood — more than they had anticipated."

Amidst all this confusion, Nicki Swift asked crisis management expert Eden Gillott of Gillott Communications for her read on the public relations landscape for the California-based royals. "As someone who's represented royalty, I know firsthand what it means to go up against a family with incredible control and power," Gillott tells Nicki Swift. "The stakes are incredibly high when you try to beat someone at their own game, and The Royal Family is the Queen of Image Control."

Harry and Meghan are advised to 'deliver the media fresh material'

According to Eden Gillott, the whole point of the docuseries was to allow Meghan Markle and Prince Harry a chance to tell their own story and change the narrative and from that perspective, everything seems to be going according to plan. "Backlash is expected during highly visible, high-stakes moves. To steer the media frenzy in their favor, Harry and Meghan's best move is to deliver the media fresh material to cover," Gillott notes. "There will be high viewership from both camps," the expert further noted. "While Royal supporters will probably never let slip they agree with any points raised by Harry and Meghan, it doesn't stop their side of the story from getting out there."

One common criticism levied at the Sussexes is that it's hypocritical to claim to value privacy and then turn around and release an intimate documentary about their personal lives. "What I would say is that for a couple that has always been incredibly protective over their privacy, the way they openly share intimate photographs, text messages and videos it is extraordinary," royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams told Metro. But Gillott looks at this differently. "The spotlight is never easy. Harry and Meghan are now choosing to be active participants instead of being paraded around against their will," she says.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle get an 'A' grade

In one oft-quoted line from the Netflix trailer, Meghan Markle says, "When the stakes are this high, doesn't it make more sense to hear our story from us?" Eden Gillott tells Nicki Swift that this is exactly right. "From the lens of my profession, Meghan flat-out tells us what every crisis PR expert stresses for their client," Gillott says of the quote. 

Clearly media savvy, Meghan and Prince Harry aren't relying on the documentary alone to take back control of their public image. "In addition to the Oprah Winfrey interview, this docuseries is another step in the much larger, long-term PR campaign to tell their side of the story and build something for themselves," Gillott says, adding, "In addition to getting more coverage and control, this docuseries is a PR precursor for Harry's memoir release."

Whatever the royal experts say, Gillott gives the couple an "A" grade for public relations. "They know if you let someone else tell your side of the story for you, you'll never like how it turns out."