While working on a story last week, one of Tulkinghorn’s scribes found himself in need of some nuggets of information from City firm Maxwell Batley. Our unsuspecting hero picked up the phone with the intention of discussing said information with a partner or, at the very least, a marketing or PR drone.
Unfortunately, it seems the big cheeses at Maxwell Batley move in mysterious ways. They appear to have decreed that the most effective way of improving the profile of their esteemed firm is to create a marketing department that’s all but inaccessible. Secretive, even. It is, at the risk of labouring the point, a marketing department that absolutely will not take telephone calls. Ever.
Maxwell Batley’s reception desk bods have also, it seems, been given instructions not to give out names of the marketing team. Now this 19th century line, which conjures up visions of forelock-tugging downtroddens bleating “Sorry sir, but Mr John isn’t available today”, is annoying enough when applied to partners, but at least it’s vaguely reasonable in those circumstances. Partners are, Tulkinghorn supposes, the owners of the business and occasionally have better things to do than talk to journalists.
Actually, Tulkinghorn takes that back. It’s not reasonable, it’s a huge pain in one’s behind. But when it’s applied to members of a marketing team, whose sole purpose in life is to promote the genius that is Maxwell Batley, it would seem to be a misguided strategy at the very least.
Luckily, the kindly receptionists did agree to put the inquisitive scribe through to said marketer’s voicemail. At which point, the secret of the names was revealed. Love your work, Maxwell Batley.