Spin, Flannel And Embellishment ...
Why not just tell it as it is?
Posted on: 12/07/2012 By: Judith Halliday
At the 1988 Seoul Olympics, you may remember, the GB hockey team won the gold medal despite being little more than a bunch of salesmen, chartered surveyors and schoolteachers - amateurs in the true sense of the word, and champions in every sense ...
when you hear leaders speak do you think it's just spin, flannel and embellishment?
During the final, as Britain's third goal went in to seal the result - BBC commentator Barry Davies uttered the immortal phrase: "Where were the Germans? And, quite frankly, who cares?" It was the direct opposite of the fairness, integrity and neutrality on which the BBC would say it prides itself - and it was truly wonderful.
We live in a world of spin, flannel and embellishment - and that's partly what prompts people to say you shouldn't believe everything you read in the papers. Politicians won't directly answer questions they don't like, size zero celebrities tell us that they can eat anything they like and never put on weight and football managers never seem to be able to find a place to stand that allows them to see what's happening at the end of the pitch.
Do they think they're fooling us? I can't believe they do. They probably just think if they say it often enough and convincingly enough, we'll start to believe them. But it doesn't have to be fabricated - good news happens, too.
Straight talking, of course, can get us into trouble. Those old enough to remember Seoul 88 will also remember Gerald Ratner and what his off-hand dismissal of his own company's products did to his sales. But as a general rule - telling it like it is won't do any harm at all.
Tell the world what you've been up to. Pick out your best qualities and highlight them. Choose the deals, the contracts and the results that show you in the best light and make sure no-one is in any doubt that it was down to the fact that it was a result of hard work, good service and finely tuned planning.
It doesn't have to be earth-shattering. It just has to be a good honest celebration of anything that's good in your world. And the bad times? Well, quite frankly, who cares?
Until next time ...
My writing career began under the bright lights of Gateshead in 1986 - who wouldn't love a job that offered the chance to listen to Gateshead Borough Council's Public Waste Committee debate the introduction of wheelie bins for three hours? It was the start of a working life that taught me what makes a good story and how to tell it and, although I don't have a news editor lurking ready to throw things at me any more, or so much of an interest in wheelie bins, my love of writing and a fascination with talking to people and telling their stories is as strong as ever.
Today I work for Business Times in Northampton and the Northants Evening Telegraph as well as providing copywriting services and press releases for a number of local companies.
When I'm not doing that, I indulge in the things I love most, which include, in no particular order: my teenage children, Sunderland football club, my husband, chocolate, QI, Chinese noodles, my closest friends, Test Match Special, red wine, reading in bed, The Sound of Music and growing vegetables.