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My Phone Is Public Knowledge,Yours Is Secret

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My phone is public knowledge, yours is secret

Every once in a while I use this space to moan about PR practices that are so daft they border on the comical.

Not untypically, a flak will say next time I see them, that they simply do not believe that behaviour occurs.

I must be exaggerating, they insist. Or it only applies to really tiny firms who just don’t know what they are doing.

This is one of them.

PR folk have no shyness about ringing hacks’ mobile phones, whether we want them to or not.

Not infrequently, they want a favour. Often another hacks’ phone number. (There’s a really good database business which can help with these sorts of problems. You should sign-up….)

Sometimes, they want more than that. From a near complete stranger.

They say: We are pitching for an account with company X. Would you mind telling us everything you know about that company to aid our pitch. No, there is nothing in it for you whatsoever.

They just can’t imagine why we wouldn’t be delighted to work for nothing in order to help them win an account worth many thousands a month.

Sometimes we say “get stuffed” – they think we are terribly rude – sometimes we just do it.

That’s not new, but its relevant.

The new one is PRs refusing to give out the mobile phone numbers belonging to themselves or colleagues.

Again, this is not tinpot PR land, this is at really big companies.

The other day someone told me that handing out a colleague’s mobile phone number would be a breach of her privacy.

She said this to me on my mobile phone. Which I don’t recall giving her permission to ring.

The experienced flak is reading this and thinking: this is a young person’s problem isn’t it? They don’t know what phones are for and they have an irony deficiency.

You are correct. It’s the youth.

They are very protective about their personal space. Which in some ways is good. It does suggest they may not be in quite the right profession though.

Press release of the day

More women are entering the construction trade than ever before, says this from Redrow.

The perception that it is a “boys only club” is dwindling. And potential high salaries are drawing in women who might otherwise have gone to university.

Stories that will keep rolling

1) CBI settles legal action by sacked boss. BBC

2) UK state pension age to rise to 71. Guardian

3) How to fix our broken offices. Business Insider

4) Lockdown impact on children to hit productivity for decades. Telegraph

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