‘Hello, this is BBC Radio Stoke, we’d like a quote about your local PPC!’ – The Press Officer’s Guide Lesson 16 – Avoid ‘Local Difficulty’!

Harold Macmillan coined the phrase, 'a little local difficulty' which it is always best to avoid!

As you will no doubt be aware there has been an issue with a Liberal Democrat PPC in Stoke-on-Trent recently.

This was brought home to me over the weekend when I received a ‘private number’ phone call. 

“Hello, is that John Ault?” came the siren voice.

“Yes,” I said.  

“We have you as the contact for the Liberal Democrats in the North West, we were wondering if you could give us a quote on the issues surrounding the Liberal Democrats in Stoke.”

I replied, “Unfortunately I would only be able to comment in a personal capacity on this subject.  I haven’t worked for the Liberal Democrats in that region for 10 years now so I don’t think I should comment. 

“It might also help to know that Stoke-on-Trent is not in the North West region, by the way!”

There was a momentary silence from the other end of the phone, “I think we should probably update our records.” 

“That might make sense,” I replied.

It is very important to remember in relation to the press that one’s capacity to say nothing is often an extremely useful skill and is often underrated.

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