There are those who believe in two-way communication. They find out why news outlets didn’t like a particular story and then improve what they are doing. And then there are those who just moan.

I was reminded of this today when I received an whiny email bulletin from an eminent public figure. He complained that a newspaper had not published a letter from him.

He admitted that the paper had printed two letters from the same perspective. But he was clearly irritated that his writing had not been chosen and seemed to imply that the newspaper was trying to censor his organisation’s viewpoint.

Thankfully, he enclosed a copy of his letter. I could immediately see the problems. It took three long paragraphs, and got unnecessarily bogged down in a mathematical calculation. The point could have been made in a couple of sentences. Even worse, the letter was padded out with an unnecessary personal attack on another letter writer.

What should he have done, instead of sending a complaining email to what I presume was thousands of people? Well, he could have asked the newspaper for feedback on how the letter might have been improved, or asked a PR practitioner for advice. And moaning about a lack of press coverage, when you’ve failed to deliver something good, just looks silly.