Bursting for a leak

July 15th, 2019

If you want to make absolutely sure that everyone reads something, just mark it ‘confidential’ or ‘senior management only’ or better still ‘top secret’.

That’s sure to get attention.

And as night follows day, someone is bound  to feel a little mischievous and leak the document…ideally to the media. And this is sure to cause a crisis.

Look at the fall-out from the leaking of the UK’s ambassador’s top secret report on the Trump administration. Sir Kim Darroch called it ‘inept and dysfunctional’.  Well that was his opinion and his job was to tell it like it is. And a lot of people agree with his conclusions and many think it is even a kind conclusion..

Of course, these words are dynamite and immediately caused uproar in the delicate situation that is British politics and Brexit. Mr Trump was on Twitter like a flash, as he usually is, and poor old Sir Ken resigned.

So how do you stop a leak? The answer is simple: with great difficulty. A secret shared is no longer a secret. And with social media being all pervasive, it is almost impossible.

So, as in any crisis, be prepared. Presume that everything has ‘press release’ in the subject line and check your correspondence carefully before you press ‘send’.

Then ask yourself, do I really want to send this to ALL these people?

Probably not.

Have a good week.

Tom

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