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The Death Of The Phone Number Part II

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The Death Of The Phone Number

Yesterday I moaned about companies and charities that don’t answer the phone.

(I was trying to save a baby fox.)

Most were sympathetic to my concern, and to the fox. Although one correspondent seemed to think I should have left it to die. It takes all sorts.

A couple of flaks said — your lot are no better.

One writes: “Have you tried calling a journalist at the Telegraph recently?  Unless a PR has been advised by email of a reporter’s direct dial or mobile then it’s impossible to get connected via the switchboard to anyone in editorial for voice-to-voice contact. At the BBC the switchboard says unless the journalist is expecting the PR’s call they will not put them through. I could offer countless other examples.”

Fair enough. And quite possibly the shy hacks are missing something here.

In some cases, young reporters seem simply terrified of phone calls. That’s not what phones are for! Young flaks are the same.

But I think the reluctance of hacks to speak is understandable.

I’m not wild about flaks I don’t know cold calling me for two reasons.

One is that me and my colleagues are so thinly spread these days that the calls are just in the way of a deadline.

The Evening Standard goes to print at 11am. That’s not a piece of top-secret information.

So why am I so routinely called about things not related to that day at 10.50am?

Also, those calls are often poorly targeted. It is like they have done a Google search for the words Ford Fiesta, found I used them once, and think I mostly write about cars.

I’ve said this before: The real duff end of the PR industry is a drag on the rest of you.

We might have time to listen to your pitch if we weren’t fending off the time-wasters.

I’m not sure what the solution to this is.

The time wasters do at least make you look good.

Press release of the day

There’s widespread dissatisfaction at the Tory tax cuts, says this from Censuswide.

Only 13% are more likely to vote Conservative, with a third less likely to do so.

Lifting the cap on banker bonuses is particularly unpopular.

Stories that will keep rolling

1) Were calmer markets yesterday just a breather, or are people recovering some confidence in the pound?

2) What would turn the Boohoo share price around?

3) Who was on the other side of the bets that the pound will fall?

4) What has happened to German consumer confidence lately?


The Death Of The Phone Number

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