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How to deal with the press – in a poem by Wendy Cope

At jag, we like to offer our clients the benefit of our experience and expertise when it comes to media relations – 15 years working as a journalist come in very handy when advising on what makes a story and how to focus a campaign.  With that in mind, and with World Poetry Day fast approaching (21 March), we would like to pass on some advice we came across that is either cautiously sound or cynically insulting, depending on your point of view!  Wendy Cope takes all the credit/blame.

How to Deal with the Press

She’ll urge you to confide. Resist.

Be careful, courteous, and cool.

Never trust a journalist.


‘We’re off the record,’ she’ll insist.

If you believe her, you’re a fool.

She’ll urge you to confide. Resist.


Should you tell her who you’ve kissed,

You’ll see it all in print, and you’ll

Never trust a journalist


Again. The words are hers to twist,

And yours the risk of ridicule.

She’ll urge you to confide. Resist.


‘But X is nice,’ the publicist

Will tell you. ‘We were friends at school.’

Never trust a journalist,


Hostile, friendly, sober, pissed,

Male or female – that’s the rule.

When tempted to confide, resist.

Never trust a journalist.

Best advice?  Talk to your comms people before you say anything to the media – not because you can’t trust a journalist, but because it’s best to be clear on the message you want to get across and how you should say it.  Good PR sense really!

PS Read Color – is this Christina Rossetti’s take on Q&As?

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