I’m not sure that one vexed journalist has twigged that his irked tweets are proving to be an inadvertent PR masterclass.

Over the last few weeks, Derby Telegraph’s business reporter, Oliver Astley, has been taking to Twitter to bemoan examples of bad PR practice.

It’s clear that some companies and their PR people have hacked him off to the point where he’s posted gems such as:


In respect of the first tweet, I’m guessing that Oliver’s got wind of a good story but the firm’s silence has frustrated the hell out of him. And rightly so. In a lot of these cases, it’s probably because the ****’s hit the fan and the firm in question is, at best, using stalling tactics or naively hoping the brouhaha will simply blow over.

That’s just plain wrong from a PR perspective because maintaining radio silence doesn’t do anyone any favours and only serves to entrench Oliver’s determination to get the story. It also makes him less likely to be sympathetic to the company’s predicament if they’re forced to ‘fess up.

The other tweet reminds all PRs to KISS (keep it simple stupid) by avoiding jargon or industry shorthand and explaining any acronyms.

I’m not for one minute going to assume that Oliver is an idiot, even though he’s clearly stated that it’s OK to do so, but I will take him up on his advice to tell him to “**** right off” so at least he knows I read his work – which is another lesson for all PR professionals.

Keep up the good work with your #prgripe tweets, Oliver.

Postscript – a response from Oliver

Oliver Astley 3