Tuesday, October 19, 2004


It is frustrating to have a news leak to the media when one has planned for a big debut. The auto industry for decades has battled spy photographers who make a living out of lensing new models the companies try to hide. They know the loss of surprise and advantage from a leak.

A colleague working on a big announcement recently in another industry suddenly found the story reported in a magazine the day before the press conference. The client was unhappy and my colleague disappointed, but he had been wary of leaks. The organization is porous. It seems as if somebody in the media knows what is happening inside the firm all of the time.

This organization is one of those entities that cannot keep secrets for long. It's like Congress. There are too many reporters prowling corridors, too many gossips, too many self-promoters and too many political enemies getting even. (This is why when I read stories about dark conspiracies in the halls of Washington, I laugh.)

In the end, the only way to keep leaks from happening is to keep the number of persons who know the news to a minimum. Unfortunately, with some news like deals, a lot of people need to know. And one of them is bound to have a big yap.

You can never get rid of leaks. You can only hope to get the news out at the same time the leaker does.


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