Well the thing that got my goat was that Dan got a few questions on this subject in Twitter and… well how can I put this? Dan got his Angry Bird undies in an unnecessarily angry twist.
Here’s the thing. The Telegraph is in cahoots with St. James’s Place Wealth Management, the UK asset manager. Here’s a screenshot from the Daily Telegraph webpage.
So what’s the problem, you ask?
The problem is this: The Daily Telegraph is writing about the negative effects of high fees, while promoting St. James’s Place, a company which has been accused of having high fees.
Therefore it is understandable that a few tweeps (financial services professionals) — including @PhilBillingham of Perceptive Planning — raised this issue with the journalist on Twitter.
Instead of referring those raising the questions to the Telegraph’s commercial department or whatever they call the department that is responsible for putting journalists like Dan in a difficult situation (irrespective of the walls between editorial and advertising), Dan, as you can see below, decided that attack is the best form of defense.
Dan’s frustration is partly understandable. He wrote a thoroughly good article on fees and instead of getting a bit of Twitter love, he’s confronted with a query on why the Telegraph are aligned with a wealth manager that apparently charges high fees. His reaction is aggressive to say the least.
But this is social media and here you have to behave a little different, that means you must be willing to deal with some tough questions.
Instead of looking like a capable journalist unafraid of tackling important issues, he ended up looking like a bit of a bully who likes to dish it out, but when someone stands up to him, he throws a tantrum that calls for a stint on the naughty spot and a stern talking to from Super Nanny.
If your employer is aligned with a company known for charging its clients hefty fees and you write about the evils of hefty fees, questions about the irony of it all (conflict of interest?) are absolutely legitimate and deserve to be addressed.
As a piece of friendly advice to the Daily Telegraph, this is one of those issues that isn’t going to go away. Just go read Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell and pay particular attention to his writings on mavens.