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The Kevin Keegan Guide to Bad PR

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Kevin Keegan’s new autobiography is a good read. He’s engaging, honest, tells good yarns. He admits his failure as England’s football manager was his fault alone.

But he has a swipe at the press. Argues that they made an already difficult job near impossible.

He alleges that even as he started the job, hacks were plotting to “get this bastard out as soon as we can”.

How could football reporters – sensitive, reasonable men (coughs) – have taken against someone as likeable as Keegan?

By his own telling, because he refused to keep them in stories. Wouldn’t give them the odd tip here or there. Unlike Terry Venables, one of his more successful predecessors, he made no attempt to court the press.

Keegan just couldn’t understand, either, how hacks could possibly write so much vitriol about him and then expect an exclusive interview.

I completely understand this. And given the abuse sometimes dished out by financial hacks, I can see why some CEOs or some entire companies think it’s not worth speaking to so and so.

As Keegan found out, this stance can hurt you. Talking to us, as tedious or as loathsome as it may be, always leads to better results in the long-run than not talking. It’s harder to be mean to someone who keeps talking your calls, keeps rising above the noise.

We just want a story to tell…

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