Please don't tell us what the story is. That's our job

Tomorrow's Business

An irritating quirk that started with the more high-minded flaks has lately spread to CEOs, I fear.

It is to say this: “That’s the story.”

This signal – it can sound like an order – follows an often straight-forward, information-seeking question.

We want to check what your dividend policy has been and whether the City is happy with the plan. But we are unlikely to agree that it going up 2% is our top line.

This stuff does more damage than flaks and CEOs realise. Even if we sound demure and polite on calls, we’re not really. We certainly didn’t become hacks because we like taking dictation.

I’ve only got qualitative rather than quantitative evidence here, but I reckon the “That’s the story” motif is spreading apace. It is intended to be the end of the conversation. Like it’s a new element of the course they teach at Flak School.

Anyway, to be clear: the whole point of the set up – which at least seeks to avoid a corporate oligopoly – is that hacks and their editors get to decide what the story is.

You get to read it later.


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