Responses to yesterday’s missive asking what the optimum number of flaks for a big company to employ were surprising.
My favoured number was “1”. Quite a few flaks agreed, especially with the notion that too many PR people just cause a mess.
One authoritative voice with one clear message is obviously preferable to a hundred shy types who are scared of the press, but sadly chief executives don’t always agree.
So they seek PR advice from 10 different places, get 10 different answers and end up sounding, inevitably, indecisive.
A correspondent writes: “The best outcomes arrive if you have a business that believes in their PR manager. The PR has to earn that, but plenty of us are perfectly capable. More typically most of the directors think they could do a better job themselves and then you end up in a slow-moving process-driven nightmare.”
One former Very Big Company flak said he would have done a much better job if he had just sacked half his staff, but he didn’t have the heart.
A top PR who lacks ruthlessness. We knew you were out there, somewhere.
** Thank you to the hack and the flak who wrote in to point out that I seem not to know the difference between the word “root” and the word “route”. It’s a shocker.