For some time now we have been focused on paying closer attention to our relationship with the UK press, especially media with a distinctly international focus. In London, we have scheduled a breakfast meeting with Tracy Corrigan, editor of the Wall Street Journal, and lunch with Lionel Barber, editor of the Financial Times. Both of them will come with their editorial teams. They are possibly the two most influential newspapers in shaping global economic and financial opinion. The two editors are among the most brilliant journalists in the UK. Tracy was originally trained at The Financial Times, while Lionel previously headed the US edition of The Financial Times and today is possibly the most influential newspaper editor in Europe. These are two important dates for us.
The UK press has considerable sway over investors, regulators and governments. As we say in Spanish, “No se casa con nadie” (It is beholden to no one). Spanish interests have often been treated poorly or misunderstood by some UK media. For Spanish companies with an international focus and presence, the relationship with such media is not easy. We also differ in our understanding of the role of the press and journalists, as well as in our approach to relationships with journalists and confidential briefings.
For the Spanish government and Spanish companies, positioning in English-speaking markets and the establishment of a stable communications and media relationship policy is a priority. Spain is the fourth- or fifth-largest economy in the European Union, and our companies are leaders in finance, infrastructure and communications. Accordingly, we need a constant media presence in London and New York.
As we develop a closer relationship with UK journalists, both Madrid correspondents and newsrooms in London, we discover not only that they are outstanding professionals but also that they have an intimate knowledge of Spain. And, interestingly, they are quite surprised at the impact of their articles and commentaries.