Friday, 22 July 2011

Martin Waller

"Which journalist would you most like  a one-to-one with?"

- a question put to me years ago by a legal journalist chum Dominic Egan who had just landed a plum job with The Daily Telegraph interviewing top business celebs.  He was having a ball deciding whom to interview each week and enjoying conversations with some of the business world's most fascinating individuals.  "Martin Waller" I answered without hesitation, Deputy City Editor of The Times and then its City Diarist.  Famous for his acerbic wit, his City Diary was the one column that would make me laugh out loud each morning during my daily read of the papers.  "Why don't you invite him out to lunch?" said Dominic.  And I did just that.

It turned out that Martin had a deep interest in the law and we worked on a number of stories together over the years.  I learned a lot about him in the process, particularly how is almost-obsessive attention to detail and insistence on getting every little fact right was what gave him the confidence and the freedom to express such damning opinions in his City Diary column!

So my highlight this week was catching up with Martin over lunch.  Since July last year he is editor of The Times' daily business analysis column Tempus, so we can all enjoy his sharp wit in this format now - he's certainly brought a lot of spark to the column since taking it over.

Interesting talking to Martin about the delicate balance Times journalists have to perfect in covering the biggest (at some points it looked like the only) story of the week: Hackgate.  Times journalists might be owned by News International but you'd never tell that from the independence of their reporting.  There's hope for old-fashioned journalist integrity yet....


Not the News of the World
It makes such depressing reading,
I don't really want to add anything further,
other than to point to some of my
favourite satirical cartoons on the topic


On a more positive note, we were excited to talk to clients this week about levels of new business wins coming through twitter. We've had similar experience ourselves. In particular, it has been interesting to note that a killer combination appears to be active networking on twitter, coupled with a strong pre-existing market reputation. We have heard a number of stories recently where professionals have, thanks to this social media platform, refreshed old clients or contacts they had lost contact with for years - going on to win new work as a direct result, as these people were reminded of how excellent their work had always been.

A message here for senior partners: don't think that twitter should be the preserve of the firm's associates - it's often the most experienced professionals who have the most to gain....

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