“I am not afraid of failure. Failure is only in the mind of the beholder. It is an attitude, not a physical state.”
In the months that followed the Telecity IPO, we were taking a large number of incoming media calls. We had been the only technology IPO in the UK in the period when the world economy had dived. We had taken a huge leap of faith, little knowing that we would be the last tech IPO on the UK main market for the next four years. We kept our nerve and the IPO proved to be successful. Starved of stories about successful businesses of any kind, the press were naturally keen to sniff out information.
I called the staff together and told them: “You can't talk to the press in the same way you did when we were a private company. It doesn't matter whether it's trade press or the tabloids, a local or national paper, or whether it's an old mucker of yours from Fleet Street who ‘just wants to go for a drink.’ What you say does matter, because we are a public company. You could directly affect the share price. So when these journalists call you for a quote – as they will – you are going to have to be extra careful. ‘Yeah, yeah, Mike,’ they nodded, ‘We are all adults, we've been fielding press calls like that for years’.”
I wasn't so confident. I had been through a number of sessions of media training and been surprised at how easy it was to be suckered. Even if you said “No comment,” that in itself could be interpreted as confirming ...