Dr Mumbo

In praise of the visiting fireman

From: Despairing journo

Sent: More often than you’d think

To: Tech PR

Subject: Offer of category exclusive interview with visionary CEO during Australian fact-finding visit  

Dear (insert name of PR)

Thanks very much for your email (and the many follow-up voicemails too). I do realise you’ve been shafted by being asked to organise this at the last possible moment and that you’re only askign me because the AFR turned you down.

Regretfully I’m going to have to decline your kind invitation to interview your global CEO during his/ her two day visit to Australia.

While the offer to travel across the city at short notice against the traffic in the rush hour only to discover that they’re inevitably running late, jetlagged and chaperoned by a marketing minder with a brief to stop them saying anything is a charming one, I am unfortunately already stabbing myself in the eye with a biro at that time.

Particularly as despite your promise of a “category exclsuive” (whatever that is) you copied me in on the same email as my competitor.

However, if it helps, I’ve prepared a pro-forma news story, which I’d be happy to publish. Perhaps you could run your eye over it and fill in the blanks.

The CEO of (insert company name) this week demonstrated that not only could they have their secretary book them on a flight, but they were also capable of getting to the airport on time and turning left once on board the plane.

On arriving in Australia they hosted a series of press interviews to discuss their feat, and add the insight and perspective that can only come with never having previously visited the country.

Speaking to any industry trade title that their local PR agency could get to talk to them at short notice, he/ she said: “Australia is a market with a lot of potential for us.” He/she then revealed that they’d not yet had a chance to gain an understanding of the local market so would be unable to speak about specifics.

Asked about the company’s new launches in the US market which has been the only potential topical hook for the interview, they said that the same product range/ new service would be available in Australia “some time soon” but they couldn’t say exactly when/ next year/ when the country’s population is bigger.

They then added “The GFC has really helped sharpen our focus, so we’ve come out stronger than our competitors.”



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