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Why hacks’ heads sometimes explode

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I completely lost it with a flak the other day. Shouted, stomped my feet, hung-up. Behaving like a six-year-old is never a good look even if you’re six.

(If my victim is reading, I’m sorry, you didn’t deserve it.)

I’ve seen colleagues do this sort of stuff over the years and it generally makes me cringe.

On this occasion it was them looking at me and asking, was I ok? Or did I need to go and sit in a dark room and have a quiet word with myself?

Let me try to explain. The exchange that tipped me over the edge was the 20th obstructive conversation I’d had that (rather tense) morning.

There was a mass of basic information to check on stories that were inevitably going to be negative.

Seeking fairness and accuracy I needed yes/no/you’re along the right lines answers to lots of questions. And quickly.

Senior flaks get it and are usually really good at keeping each side out of trouble; at reaching agreement on a fair interpretation of the facts.

Some others don’t feel able or empowered to do that and read from a script or answer the question they wish we’d asked rather than the one we did.

When you’re up against it, that’s when trouble brews.


The death of newspapers may have been exaggerated

Tomorrow's Business

David Brent writes to Tomorrow’s Business


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