Companies in trouble often adopt the following approach to the press: do not answer the phone. Stick head in sand. Hope it all goes away.
Hacks understand why flaks might do this. The bosses and the lawyers are very clearly signalling not to say anything. On pain of death, or at least redundancy.
So a short statement is issued which doesn’t tell us very much, other than to indicate how defensive the company is feeling.
Follow-up inquiries are met with, “we have no further comment”.
We get that, say the hacks, but we want a conversation rather than a comment.
We might be about to be meaner than is fair. Maybe you are going to be just fine. Maybe market reaction is overdone. Maybe your chief executive is an absolutely stand-up guy.
Here’s where you can tell the difference between the flaks that never leave their office and don’t have any personal relationships with hacks.
And those that are confident enough to think – I had a beer with that hack just the other week. I trust her. She isn’t actually looking to leg me over. She just wants a chat….