Try It

The overuse of “off the record”

Home Tomorrow's Business The overuse of “off the record”

Tomorrow's Business Today

The overuse of "off the record"

Ping. An email from an angry hack. That might be most of us. But he has a point.

He is in tortuous dialogue with a flak who is being evasive and elusive.

He writes:

“It was a query about job losses and how the company is behaving during consultation. Not that the specifics matter. I knew immediately how it would go… because it is a pattern and it needs stamping out – and that’s up to the hacks.

I’d asked a series of specific questions. The spokeswoman begins by saying “I thought it would be helpful to tell you where we are at off the record”.

I doubt it. I’m not interested unless the company will put its name to it.

“But I don’t want to be quoted,” she says.

“You’re a spokesperson aren’t you?”


It is like the start of the Monty Python lumberjack sketch… the barber with a phobia of cutting hair. PR is full of spokespeople scared of being a spokesperson.

“I’ll send you our statement,” she says.

“Will it answer the actual questions I asked?”

It appears that might take longer, says our hack.

Some flaks think them going off the record is doing us a favour. Too often, it is us doing them one. I think it is getting worse. Time for some proper push back.


Tomorrow's Business

Roxhill updates

Click below to choose which updates your receive.


The real US election questions

Tomorrow's Business

If you want to sue for libel, lie down for a bit


Similar Posts

News & Updates

Subscribe to our newsletters

Tomorrow's Business Roxstars

We use cookies to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. Accept cookie settings by clicking the button.
You can view our Cookie Policy or Privacy Policy.