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London 1, Everywhere Else 0

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Every once in a while London hacks have cause to remember that the London flak industry is actually pretty good.

This thought often comes when we are forced to deal with a foreign press office. Which exists to be obstructive, doesn’t remotely get the idea of a free press and seems to imagine that if it doesn’t tell us anything, well, we won’t be able to write anything.

Sometimes these gigantic, clunking foreign entities (say, Airbus, to pick a name not at random) have a UK agency on hand.

That agency will include people we know who do one of two things. 1) Give us a proper briefing. 2) Admit they are as much in the dark as we are, because their client is totally incompetent in all things communications related.

American companies are often the worst, seeming to take satisfaction from the fact that even though they just got a massive kicking, since they didn’t tell us anything they didn’t contribute to their own wounds.

There ought to be a huge opportunity for UK firms to give PR advice to large foreign businesses. On the other hand, my guess is that they would probably ignore all the advice you give.

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