Monday, May 04, 2009

John Wilke - The Definition of a Gentleman

I haven't spoken with Wall Street Journal reporter John Wilke in years, yet the news of his death moved me to tears.

Journalists are not always kind to PR people. Mr. Wilke was always a perfect gentleman in every interaction I had with him on behalf of clients. I haven't worked with him since his move to Washington, but I'll always remember how he coached me through a story on a Boston-area public company more than a dozen years ago. He listened, peppered me with polite questions, and then said, "Here's what I'd need to make this a great story."

We delivered what he asked for, and he wrote a wonderful story. That experience was one of the most instructive and memorable of my career.

John Wilke was a fine journalist and a good man.

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