What is your role if you are a flak spinning for a company that is looking highly likely to go bust?
The hacks answer is this: tell me the exact truth and nothing but the truth. And if I catch you lying I’ll never trust you again.
Perhaps I’m getting soft, but I can see the case for at least some obfuscation. Not outright fibs, but since there are often thousands of jobs at risk, I don’t think that lying by omission is so terrible.
I didn’t deal with the Flybe story myself, so don’t know whether the spinning was as honest as the day is long or if it occasionally, erm, drifted into the odd blurring of the truth.
Hacks reading this will think I’m a traitor to the cause.
But I can think of one very definite example from a few years ago when some very aggressive spinning delayed me and lots of other hacks from writing that a certain retailer was going bust.
It did go bust in the end, but the PR bought the board some time to find a rescue. And staff got paid for several more weeks.
I’m finding it hard to get furious about being misled in such circumstances.