Inserting whistleblower outreach meaningfully into your client’s communications plan.

Whistleblowers are people too.

Whisteblower outreach isn’t a massive trend at the moment but you can bet your sweet PR budgets and all of your future-proof-creativity-labs that, at some point in the not too distant future, you’ll have to sit down with your espionage agency client and map out a strategy for successfully inserting whitsleblowers into their communications plan.

Long gone are they days where you could attempt to court a whistleblower with the guarantee that all of their 200.000 highly declassified documents would be made available to billions of highly agitated bleeding hearts and artists. That’s just reach and reach simply doesn’t cut it anymore for the contemporary whistleblower so you’re going to have to up your damn game.

Obviously, you’ll need to involve international travel arrangements, asylum seeking and the occasional exclusive interview with a politician from the German green party in your outreach pitch.

You should avoid sponsored whistleblowing or asking a whistleblower to blow the whistle on a subject that has no relevance to their particular line of espionage. You should never mass email whistleblowers as they all know each other and will bitch about you behind your back (internal whistleblower outreach whistleblowing). You should also never, ever, promise the potential whistleblower that they’ll never be arrested, assassinated or appear in the Guardian’s data journalism section.

For corporate whistleblower outreach you should consider all of the above as well as the dialectic referral model (shitstorms) to ensure top-of-mind interest and an imaginary R.O.I.

What’s your whistleblower outreach experience? Let us all know in the comments. Actually, don’t.


Good afternoon.

A remarkable evening in Berlin

I was sitting in the office on Friday morning, missing my wife and wondering what I was going to do with myself that evening. Bernadette was in Austria and would be flying at 100 km/h down an Olympic Ice Canal in a wok so I was kind of at a loose end.

Then a very good friend sent me a Snapchat and invited me to Berlin to see Eddie Izzard’s last show at the Quatsch Comedy Club. More Snapchats were sent and it was finally agreed that I would indeed fly to Berlin. This could be the world’s first officially documented Snapchat meetup, or Snapchatup or Snapup, but my friend started it all and so it’s his case study.

So I flew to Berlin and had one of the most remarkable evenings of my life.

I’ve always been a huge fan of Eddie Izzard; I love his timing, his madness and his strange vision of this hugely disappointing planet of ours. I love the gravel in his voice and the sparkle in his eye and I adore the fact that Eddie Izzard is a very naughty boy so, as you can see, I’m a proper fan boy and was properly excited about seeing him live for the very first time.

What made this gig so special was that fact that this show was in German. Izzard has done this kind of thing before in France but I was really interested to see how it would work in the language which I now call my own and it was quite honestly the most remarkable thing I’ve ever seen. I’m not only talking about what Eddie did on stage but how it was received at the Quatsch Comedy Club and, specifically, from the German comedians that were in the audience. I’ve been banging on for nearly 20 years about the fact that Germans have a brilliant sense of humour but that the stand up circuit is kind of behind the eight ball and watching them watching Eddie Izzard do his thing on their stage was glorious.

Izzard was brilliant and used the German language element to add yet another layer of comic complexity to his already impressive arsenal of being naughty. It was a two hour master class in comedic possibilities and I hope that the German comedians in the audience will have walked away from that evening and had a long hard think about the relevance of their mother-in-law jokes.

It was an amazing evening that featured me sitting in one of Europe’s most desirable restaurants moaning about their pommes-frites and me lightly touching Eddie Izzard’s elbow. I’d like to thank my evening’s host for taking care of me, convincing me to fly to Berlin and taking me to see my favourite comedian (seriously thank you – it was an unforgettable evening). Many thanks too to his wife for making me that hangover destroying coffee (you lovely, heroic, lady).

Proof that my friend is shit at taking photographs
Proof that my friend is shit at taking photographs

Also many, many thanks to Thomas Hermanns (who will never read this but, you know, fuck it) for your comedy club, the European Song Contest thing you do and being a darling and a lovely man (my wife loved the photograph. The other one. Not the one above). Etc.


Good afternoon.

A shaving accident, the end of the jungle, a week in snapchat, Facebook, a goose and the Grimme Prize.


It’s been a hell of a week. That was the week that was. Etc.

The End Of The Jungle.
A television show, which I believe is called “I’m a celebrity get me outta here” in England, came to an end. The wrong person won.


Everybody became depressed until Heidi Klum turned up yesterday with Germany’s Next Top Model. Now everybody is happy again.

The Shaving Accident.
This week has been dominated by the shaving accident. I’ve been fending off twenty-somethings who have been trying to give me shaving tips.

Business Travel.
I’ve been travelling a lot lately. I was on a plane or two. I hate planes. I did manage to get to the correct city on every single occasion, which doesn’t always happen but that is a story we’ll save for another time. That is all I can say about business travel.

It has been an excellent week on Snapchat with some really strong work. Greg, who was shit last week, has been excellent this week. My wife has been knocking Snapchats out of the ballpark and Steffi has had a special week too. Sascha has performed well. Rouven needs to up his game. Up your damn game Rouven. Seriously.

Grimme Prize.
I’ve never won a prize, a fact that isn’t going to change anytime soon, I’m afraid. I realised this week that I’m not going to win a Grimme Prize, which is really rather depressing. I wanted to win the Grimme Prize for the best Non-German-Blogger-Blogging-in-Germany-But-Not-In-German award. It’s just not going to happen and I need to find closure on this.

The Goose.
I talked to a goose about content marketing. “Content first!”, I said. The goose wasn’t really that bothered about content marketing and asked me to be on my way.

Smoke free.
I have been smoke free for 17 days 21 hours and 45 minutes.

Living the dream.
I experienced another “living the dream” moment this week. Living the dream moments are moments that normally occur during the evening and normally during business travel. They describe the gaping void between your perception of my day and what my day is actually like. Yesterday I saw a German C-Level-Celebrity eating a BiFi. In an airport. She seemed to be enjoying it.

Facebook happened this week. You know that I’ve just said that everyone was sad about the jungle show finishing and everyone being happy that Germany’s Next Top Model was back. Well, that’s not strictly true. There are quite a lot of people who think these shows have no grace, no relevance and that they are void of any dignity what so ever. Thankfully, the same people that think this, have been appearing on Facebook necking a bottles of beer. Either that or they have been publishing little films about their wonder years on Facebook. Yes, Facebook happened this week.

Good afternoon.


Snapchat of the day

I receive approximately 2126 Snapchats a day. Some of them are bronze standard (Gregory), some of them are silver standard (Stefan) and some of them are gold standard (Sascha). But only 1 can be Snapchat of the day.

Kai delivered today’s Snapchat of the day.


Congratulations, Kai. You win nothing but our respect.

Good evening.


In Case You Missed It.

Is this in your agency presentation? Bet you’ve always wanted to smash your head on a spike every single time you see it.

Long-term observers of contemporary blog culture will be familiar with the “in case you missed it” mechanic. Some of you, however, may actually have lives so I’ll have to explain it to you.

In the crazy world of online performance marketing you’ll discover that we have things like “retargeting”. Retargeting is an advertising format that follows you around: you look at shoes in an online shop, an advert for shoes follows you around, etc. I was once in a Google presentation where a young man explained to a baffled audience that it was like being followed around by cucumbers. Anyway. Businesses pay for this kind of advertising.

Observers of contemporary blog culture will have noticed that most bloggers refuse to pay for a damn thing so they use supposedly free platforms such as Twitter or Facebook to tell you about what they have just written.

I do this to.

The “in case you missed it” mechanic is very similar to some kind of manual retargeting. The blogger in question wrote something earlier and they can see from their analytics that nobody has bothered to look read it so they’ll spend all day running around the Internet shouting “in case you missed it” at people until someone, anyone, reads their damn blog post.

I don’t do this.

I don’t do this because it’s a) pathetic b) I’ve never posted anything worth not missing.

Until yesterday.

Here’s my in case you missed it moment.


In case you missed it, I shaved yesterday and it didn’t go very well. As I mentioned in this post (observers of contemporary blog culture will appreciate the combination of “in case you missed it” combined with a link to another post that the reader will most certainly have missed), I don’t shave very often and when I do, I shave in the shower and never use a mirror. I’ve never had problems with this. Until yesterday. Yesterday I shaved half of my face off.

Have a good week.

Good morning.