It’s only human instinct to whisper as-yet-to-be-reported news to a friend or, for PR types, a reporter. It makes one appear to be “in the loop” and may even help ingratiate the leaker with the journalist. This is the fuel that drives the PR-journalist dance in Hollywood, inside the Beltway, on Wall Street and in Silicon Valley.
Still, the top PR pros have learned the fine art of discretion, and in most cases, they (hopefully) resist temptation. The news last night of MSN and Yahoo’s plans to open their respective instant messaging services to each other’s users, was clearly an unintended leak. The AP reporter who broke the story reported that the wire service’s two sources “…spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to disclose details.”
I wonder whether Microsoft or Yahoo will investigate which in-the-know PR person, lawyer or banker succumbed to temptation this time?