Shhhhh - secret news just in
I feel compelled to write this blog following an early morning phonecall today. It was one of those moments I'll no doubt recall to mind in the future as one of the most pointless phonecalls of all time - and a precious five minutes of my life that I'll never get back.
I'd literally just made the one hour, 20 mins commute to work - in the rain. As I took off my wet coat, the office phone rang. "Strange," I thought given it was only 8.37am. "Must be a colleague phoning in sick."
Alas no - it was a very keen PR. They obviously assummed that us news hounds at B2B Marketing sleep at our desks waiting for those all-important press calls to come in on our Batman-esque telephones at all hours of the day and night.
Anyway, here's how the conversation went:
PR: Good morning, can I speak to Victoria?
PR: Oh hi, I was just calling because I have some VERY interesting and sensitive news that's under embargo until tomorrow. I was wondering if you'd be interested in receiving a press release before the embargo?
Me: Well, it depends. What's the news about?
PR: Oh, I can't tell you that. It's under embargo you see.
Me: Well how do I know if I'm interested in the news if you won't tell me what it is?
PR: I'm really ever so sorry, but I can't say.
(Have you stopped laughing yet?)
Me: Well, is it about marketing? Or B2B? Is it campaign news? I'm going to need a clue...
PR: Oh, it is about B2B... and marketing.
Me: (Losing patience) Send it across and if it's relevant we'll cover it after the embargo lifts.
A few minutes after I'd hung up, I logged on to my computer and scanned my inbox with bated breath looking for the very important, top secret press release.
I found it. It was about an acquisition. We don't cover acquisitions.
Quite why the PR couldn't have just said the news was acquisition-related in the first instance beggars belief. Since when was the word 'acquisition' so top secret?
Acquisition, acquisition, acquisition!
(Shhh.... Nope... No M15 helicopters have just swooped in with counter-media measures.)
To marketers, PRs and brands far and wide, effective communication is not just about targeting the right audience, content creation or leveraging multi-channels (all of which the diligent PR in this story implemented). No. Most often, it goes beyond all those things to the plain and simple fact of common sense. It isn't data, or content or any other marketing buzz-word - common sense is king.
It's really no secret.