The Daily Mail is accused by its critics of not always having the sunniest or most optimistic disposition – so it is perhaps not surprising that it is well prepared for the prospect of a disaster befalling its own offices.
Axegrinder has been made privy to the detailed "disaster recovery" advice sent out to employees including journalists at the Mail titles and Metro.
Perhaps surprisingly for a media company, top of the list of advice for Daily Mail and General Trust employees working at Northcliffe House on what to do when disaster strikes is not to talk to the media.
The note to staff, headed ‘Disaster recovery update’, states:
Make sure you know what to do if Northcliffe House is under threat or unavailable. Some people will have an immediate role, while others will be asked to go home. It is your responsibility to find out right now what would be your role. Under no circumstances decide that you are the company spokesperson; please do not make statements to the media as all information must be factual and verified.
If a bomb went off at some other building, Axegrinder wonders what the response from the Daily Mail newsdesk would be if reporters came back from the scene with empty notepads saying: ‘Sorry chief, no quotes today – the dazed blast survivors were under strict instructions not to talk to journalists.'
DMGT employees are left in no doubt that protecting the company’s reputation should be uppermost in their minds in the sad event that there is a bomb, fire, lightning strike, flood or some other calamity at the building.
The note states:
IN THE EVENT OF A DISASTER AT NORTHCLIFFE HOUSE THE COMPANY’S PRIORITIES ARE:
- The safety and security of our employees, customers, contractors and visitors to our offices.
- Maintaining business as usual for our customers.
- Protecting the reputation and assets of the Company and its businesses.
So concerned is DMGT about a disaster at Northcliffe House that employees are encouraged to carry the company’s doomsday plan in their wallets next to photos of loved ones.
You should have recieved [sic] an updated disaster recovery pamphlet including cut out wallet cards to keep with you at all times.”
And for those with limited attention spans, it has produced this easy to follow video: