Tomorrow's Business Today
A rising flakiness factor
A complaint from flakland about how unreliable we are – and I think they have a point.
Since Covid, the flakiness factor has multiplied, say the flaks.
Hacks routinely say they will show up for events – and then don’t. No phone call, no show.
I suppose this always used to happen. The hack who fancies the idea of free champagne at a nice art gallery at 2pm, finds she is tired and just wants to go home come 7pm.
That’s understandable, but correspondents say it is getting worse.
On flakiness, a flak writes: “Some people are renowned for it. Even people we like. It can get very tiresome and clients quickly learn who will cancel for quite spurious reasons. They are loathe to give up their precious time with family or colleagues to fit around someone who is well known for cancelling.”
It’s bad enough that there is a hint of vengeance in the air.
The flak adds: “Long term, the journalist won’t get the access they clearly think they’re entitled to.”
If you find you’re getting invited to events way off your beat, one reason is that the flaks are desperately trying to prep for the supposed regulars not making it.
Another correspondent: “Our worst was a drinks party launch where eight hacks said they were coming, not one showed. People seem to think that the bigger the event the less they need to rsvp or commit.”
PRs reckon they expect a 50% drop off rate. So they need 40 hacks to say yes to get 20 in a room.
Which is why they keep checking whether we are coming or not.
“Don’t blame us for that,” says flak 3, “blame your flakey colleagues who don’t show and don’t cancel.”
Her worst story is persuading a client to splash out for a box at the Royal Albert Hall for a concert. Ten hacks said yes.
None of them showed up.
Press release of the day
A win for the taxpayer against HMRC on child benefit charges, reports this from Blick Rothenberg.
The taxman did not have the right to assess child benefit retrospectively, a court ruled.
Nimesh Shah, CEO at the firm said: “His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs have lost an important tax case at the Court of Appeal against a taxpayer who successfully argued that HMRC did not have the right to assess the child benefit charge for previous tax years.”