Simon English: Hard-pressed: cuttings girl trapped by web

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The Independent Online

Outlook Pity the poor press officer – the internet age has made her life so much harder.

In the old days when compiling the press cuttings that she would show each morning to the image-obsessed, megalomaniac, deeply paranoid chief executive, there was a simple way to deal with negative coverage: ignore it, bin it, strike it from the record. Pretend it never happened.

The glowing profile piece in the FT could be framed, and pointed to as a constant example of the brilliance of the executive and his media relations team.

I tell the press you are marvellous, they take my word for it, she could plausibly claim.

Why can't she still do that?

"Because he's got a bleeding Google alert on his own name, that's why. Every time you say he's an idiot, I know for sure he's read it before I have.

"I spend hours coming up with lists of what's wrong with you. Last week, I said it was because you had pleurisy."