Michael Cole is the chairman of Michael Cole & Company Limited, the public relations and broadcasting company that he launched nine years ago. The company’s profitability has increased with every year. Its success has been founded on its ability to help first class firms - some quite small but others very large indeed - to achieve their objectives in a way that gratifies their shareholders, customers and suppliers.
Michael Cole’s varied and fascinating career has made him a sought after speaker by dining clubs and at business conferences in Britain and abroad. Having hosted The Michael Cole Show - “the British Jerry Springer” - on Living TV for three seasons and nearly 100 programmes, Michael believes that there is not much that can shock or surprise him now!
Michael Cole is fortunate enough to have had three separate and distinct careers. For 27 years, he was a reporter. He qualified as a journalist while working on daily newspapers and then joined an international news agency. In 1967, he went into television. He joined Anglia TV as a reporter, moving to the BBC 18 months later. From 1968 until 1988, he was a television correspondent, working for the BBC in 65 countries. His work was twice honoured by the Royal Television Society, with the Best Home News Story award of 1983 and ’84.
In 1988, he was invited to join Harrods and the House of Fraser group. For 10 years, he was the Director of Public Affairs. He had a seat on the main board of the holding company and was a director of a number of subsidiary companies. During his time, the House of Fraser department store group was successfully floated on the London Stock Exchange in one of the most successful IPOs of 1994.
During a decade of memorable developments at Harrods and great commercial accomplishments by the Harrods Chairman Mr. Mohamed Al Fayed, Michael was concerned with a wide variety of news stories but perhaps the most memorable were the ultimately triumphant battle against the late “Tiny” Rowland of Lonrho and the exposure of the corruption at the heart of the Tory government, known as “The Cash for Questions Affair”. Tragedy scarred a period of great success. The killing of Dodi Al Fayed and Diana, Princess of Wales, in Paris on 31 August, 1997, put Michael at the centre of world attention as the spokesman for Mohamed and the Al Fayed family.
“It was a terrible time”, Michael recalled. “I had known Dodi and Princess Diana for 11 and 12 years respectively. I did my job. That was the only thing I could do to help Mohamed at a time when grief had engulfed his family in a calamitous and horribly public way. His courage and fortitude in the face of the unthinkable inspired us all to keep going, as best we could”.
Michael retired from Harrods in March, 1998 to set up his own company, a long cherished ambition. He has a number of prestigious clients but would not dream of using their names for purposes of his own publicity.