Give them what they want

journalismMonday 14th November saw members of the BlueSky team groping through the early morning gloom to the latest Maki conference – a get together of communications professionals from major universities such as Oxford, Princeton, UC Dublin and New York State and top international journalists. So what did we learn from the experience? That most of the things we tell our clients are right (which was obviously something of a relief….). Ok, smartass, share it with the class then. Rule1 – don’t say anything to a journalist you can’t defend. If your new product or service is ‘unique’ , ‘innovative’ or ‘ground breaking’, then it damn well better be. As the speaker from Germany’s ‘Die Zeit’ put it, “If you use words like that in a press release then I tend to assume you either don’t know what you are talking about or you think I’m an idiot. And I’m not.” Rule 2 – if you don’t have something worthwhile to say then don’t say it. Sending journalists and editors a stream of non-stories is like crying wolf in the old story. And, as the man from the Daily Telegraph said, by the time you do have something interesting to say, they’ve given up listening. Oh, yes – we do love being right.

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