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I recently commissioned a major feature for the Telegraph Magazine about a battle between residents of Wimbledon and the All England Club’s developers – a huge area of parkland is planned to be turned into 38 tennis courts, much to the chagrin of homeowners who love their views. It had everything – sport, history, money, countryside…

The writer spoke to everyone concerned and my art director worked with a graphic artist on a brilliant interactive illustration. However, a rival publication was also onto the story and ran theirs a week before. To use the editor’s vernacular: aaagggghhh.

We managed to get our version online immediately but it was very disappointing to be gazumped. My point is that if we had been working with a (good) PR it wouldn’t have happened. I suppose residents who’ve formed a protest group don’t generally get a media expert in – but a PR would have either negotiated an exclusive with one title or found a way to get different aspects of the story for different publications – the interest and goodwill was there. 

I’ve learnt to be more cautious next time and am more thankful than usual that when it comes to a lot of our content, a clear honest conversation with a PR is jolly useful.

What Lisa Thinks…

“I found the content of this release interesting but the statistic pegging it was so unsurprising it almost made me flick past (who are these 17 per cent?!)”


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