Tuesday, 3 February 2009

A little help with drafting a press release

Scene: the plush offices of Christophe de Margerie, Chief Executive of Total SA, telephone rings.

CM: 'Allo?
CM: Allo? 'O iz zere?
Stangely Familiar Voice: Ah, Christophe! Let's keep this brief. You know who I am ...
CM: Peter? Iz zat you?
SFV: ... and I know where you live.
CM: [drops phoney accent] Oh it is you. What can I do you for?
SFV: You realise you've put us in a bit of a tight spot here. 'Lindsey', 'Italian workers', 'wildcat strikes', ring any bells?
CM: Mmm, yeah.
SFV: You do realise that we have an independent and conscientious civil service in this country. There'd be nothing I could do to help if the corporation tax people were to take a closer look at your transfer pricing policies; or if the Health & Safety people take a closer look at your floating hotel; and there is still the question of the original exploration licence; all sorts of things could happen.
CM: And?
SFV: I can see your press release vividly. In fact, I happen to have a draft here in front of me. It mentions stuff like 'corporate social responsibility', 'after consultation with local labour representatives', 'constantly re-assessing our cost base', 'gesture of goodwill', 'utitlising the skills of the local workforce', you get my drift? It should be coming through to your secretary as we speak...
[pause while fax arrives]
CM: [shaken] OK, I see what you mean. I'll see what ...
[line goes dead]
CM: ... I can do. [reverts to phoney accent] Merde!


Anton Howes said...

You shouldn't have tagged it as Peter Mandelson - too much of a giveaway.
Great stuff though - I could see that on Dead Ringers or something similar.

Peter Mandelson said...

Anton ... I know where you live as well!