Five things we learnt from Bloomberg News at LFMP

April 4, 2017 • 3 minute read

Last week at the LFMP, we had the pleasure of hearing from Tony Aarons, Legal Team Leader at Bloomberg News, who talked us through the good, the bad and the ugly of legal news. Here are our top 5 take-aways from everything he had to say after 20 years’ experience with lawyers and legal PRs.

1. More haste, more speed

If you’re sending over comments or quotes to an outlet that specialises in breaking news, get them over within the hour of the story breaking, not two days after when everyone has moved on. Quotes coming in this late after a news break are only useful if there is a further angle or development to the story.

2. Honesty wins over charm

Lawyers can be intelligent, lawyers can be personable but journalists will take honest over both of those any day. The days of spin and sell are over. Reporters want to speak to lawyers who can talk openly and truthfully about the markets they operate in and give real insight and truth to the stories they’re writing.

3. Off the record, not off the table

If a journalist asks to have a conversation ‘off the record’ it’s perfectly acceptable to ask them to clarify exactly what they mean by that. There are nuances as to how it’s approached, and it doesn’t have to be clandestine. Often a journalist will just mean that they’re after some guidance on a story to check it’s right  rather than seeking salacious comment to sting you with.

4. Not all reporters hate the phone

When an email just isn’t going to cut through the volume of spam some reporters receive, pick up the phone and engage in conversation. You may get a ‘no’, but you’ll at least get an answer and it means your hard work doesn’t just end up in the junk folder.

5. No comment? No way!

Engaging with an question, even if it’s to explain why you can’t talk about it, trumps a plain ‘no comment’ response every time. You might not be able to discuss a matter at length or even at all if conflicts prevent you, but simply saying ‘no comment’ and putting the phone down is a sure fire way to having your call ignored next time you’re the one after a response from the journalist.