Murphy's Law

Tom Murphy

NFB another TLA just like NDA….

If you’ve worked in media relations for a couple of years, you’ll be very aware that there really isn’t such a thing as “off-the-record”. While some journalists will adhere to it, just as many won’t and in truth you should only be sharing “off-the-record” comments should you wish to see it in print at a future date. At least that’s my experience and I know many PR pros who use off-the-record for just that purpose.

The next step up the command and control line is the Non disclosure agreement (NDA), where you get journalists to sign an onerous legal document that lays out when and what the journalist can write following a briefing.  It’s widely used when briefing the media on unannounced products or initiatives.

Well Andy Lark over at Sun has discovered a new media-centric TLA (three letter acronym), NFB or Not for Blogging. Seemingly a journalist invited to one of their briefings asked was the event NFB.

It’s going to be a real challenge for PR to define a NFB policy. OK, we can just say it. But doesn’t that undermine the value of blogs in the first place? Why hold an event and not allow blogging? In fact, as I discovered a year or so ago, you’d better have a WiFi network in place to enable it. Wouldn’t a ABP (Always Blog Please) be better for transparency?

I think this is a troublesome one.  If you’re briefing bloggers I’m not sure they’ll be willing to agree to that one. I think this all comes back to PR’s control issue. Rather than trying to restrict the messenger maybe we should be thinking about the best time and way to communicate.

Written by Tom Murphy

November 3, 2004 at 8:28 am

Posted in General

%d bloggers like this: