Make friends in the good times...

Tomorrow's Business

they’ll help you through the bad

My number of the day from yesterday was zero. That’s how many hacks I expected to show any sympathy with Carillion. The coverage today rather bears that out. It was brutal. And relentless. And there is much more to come.

What was striking, unless I missed it, was the total lack of any mitigating comment. Any sense of, well it wasn’t really the chairman’s fault. Or such-and-such a director is not such a bad old stick.

Normally in such circumstances, you’d expect at least sector specialists to weigh in with a slightly sympathetic take on the troubles the company faced.

The hacks I asked were of the view that Carillion has lately been a bit haughty. A bit superior (its PR was most recently done by Bell Pottinger, which may not have helped. Now it’s Teneo, who have a possibly thankless task).

The point is that big companies doing well sometimes think they don’t need friends in the press. Don’t need to explain themselves. Don’t need to make themselves available.

This approach bites back later, when that company suddenly needs any friend it can find.

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