Busy day at Camden Council

THE frustrated journalists press officers at Camden Council have had a ticking off after suckering to the temptation to liven up a press release with a bit of punning wordplay.

You see: They saw that the first name of the Town Hall’s leisure chief was Tulip (Siddiq). They then saw she was judging the Camden In Bloom awards for gardeners. The pun eyes lit up and, one plus one, bash!, the headline of the press release sent around to newspapers read: TULIP’S WINNERS SHOWS CAMDEN IS BLOOMING.

Tulip. It’s a flower you see. And it’s her name.

A bit of silly fun? E-mails which have fallen into the WikiCamdenleaks dropbox this week show that the opposition Lib Dems thought otherwise and an issue serious enough for an alert to the head of Camden’s communications team. Leader Keith Moffitt took the time to point out that the headline was a potential breach of communicatons policy as here was a release which could lead to Cllr Siddiq scoring positive headlines personally, rather than the council as an institution.

Presumably somebody who works at the council went off to check the rulebooks and then one of the top people in the press department wrote back to advise Keith that the guidelines had not in fact been punctured. Well, that was their “artistic impression” of the rulebook at least.

The best bit of the response is the high-up officer taking time out of his day to explain the reason behind the punning plan: ‘The main driver was to use her first name as pun in a creative way to draw journalists’ attention‘. They get us every time.

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