14 January 2006

Like elephants, an editor never forgets

Just been having a conversation with somebody about a popular holiday island, during which I mentioned that I actually don't cover it on Travel Lists... not at all. There's no list of British tour operators who go there, or local travel companies, or special places to stay. It is not mentioned in any news stories or bargain tip-offs.

"Why not?" they asked.

I had to think. Well, 'habit' I suppose. I haven't really given it much thought. This particular destination seriously messed me about once - blimey, over ten years ago! - and I remember thinking at the time "well, that's ok. There are 230 or so countries in the world, I really don't need to talk or write about this particular one, ever!"

And I never have.

Seems a bit churlish now. It's not really a boycott set in stone. I'm not sure I feel that strongly about it now, but it's never really been tested.

And there's another: one of the UK's best known travel companies. It's founder/MD dropped out of a live programme at the last minute in the early years of Classic FM. Word got back to me that he was too busy and didn't think it was important enough. That must be 13 or 14 years ago! His company has never featured in anything I've done since that day.

I wont name them here because they are just quiet boycotts, and I won't engage in any conversations about them, because that is the point... they are not going to cause me any more hassle!

I don't think there are any others. Oh wait. There's the Public Relations woman who irritated me the other day and whose subsequent press releases have been binned on arrival, but that's not a long term thing... I'm just not really interested in the one client subject she keeps pestering me about. If she gets another client or campaign I might start listening again.

Funny though. Those first two brought me up short. I hadn't realised just how long I'd held those grudges!

Some PR companies like to put a value on their work by comparing the coverage of an article or piece of publicity to what an advert with the same 'reach' might cost. I wonder, if I had treated them as any other destination or company, how many times I might have featured them in a programme or written about them during those years and what the sterling value might have been? Maybe not much, but it HAS cost them.