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Move Fast And Fix Things

Move fast and break things is one of those annoying slogans tech entrepreneurs love.

Attributed to Mark Zuckerberg, it could come from any of our internet overlords, as they give themselves permission to smash things up and worry about the consequences later.

(Or, more typically, not remotely worry about the damage in their wake).

I hate it.

For the PR trade I have a tweak:

Move fast and fix things.

The trend for newspapers to be “digital first” has moved apace from lip-service to reality.

All papers whack things up on the ‘net much sooner than we used to.

The implications for this are, especially now that we are increasingly likely to be writing about subjects outside our expertise because there are fewer of us, that we are going to get things wrong.

And the pressure to get a web version of a breaking story up quickly means that in terms of the company’s right-to-reply, the first version of the story might just say “Big Company X has been contacted for comment”.

At that point Big Company X, or its City PR firm, needs to move quick.

Thrice at the end of last year a Big Company X had reason to complain about the web version of what I had written.

In each case, they had a small, but reasonably important point to make (and three others that were just silly).

They’d have got the change they really wanted if they hadn’t laboured over their response for three or four hours. By which point the slightly faulty internet story was on the page and at the printers.

I think digital first is a great opportunity for the flak trade to shows its worth to its clients (and to hacks, to a lesser degree).

It just needs to move quickly if it is going to fix things.

Press release of the day

Which companies will join the stock market this year? The experts at IG have some ideas, which include PureGym, Monzo and BrewDog.

There’s some commentary next to each tip – it’s a good idea well done.     



Why your journalist is late for meetings

Tomorrow's Business

Move fast and fix things, part II


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