Public relations department should put its house in order

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 12 January, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 12 January, 2005, 12:00am

Fancy something like the interport betting leaking out before the Jockey Club's public affairs arm was ready to announce it and what a shambles they turned on for last weekend's signing of the agreement with the Macau Jockey Club for the coming cross-delta betting operation.

Since it was well-known to be happening, most journalists in Hong Kong simply wrote about the story as though it was official but that didn't stop Jockey Club figures continuing to be coy about it being fact. Which is fine - there's no rule that says they have to tell the press anything at all.

But it became Keystone Cops material on Saturday morning when they began to ring around the press corps with the surprise news that the signing was going ahead at Sports Road at that very moment and they really should now cover this event which they had already reported without Jockey Club sanction. Apparently even the decision to ring anyone was taken some time on Saturday morning.

It doesn't seem to matter how much some departments practise, they still can't get it quite right, and we wouldn't have thought that press conferences were that difficult.