I’m not really into Halloween, but it’s getting harder to avoid with all the pumpkins, skeletons and ghosts everywhere you turn this month.

Some ghosts should probably never see the light of day…but we can learn from others.

Here are a few communications ghosts from the past that still haunt me from time to time.

  • Accidentally leaving the ‘l’ out of ‘Public’ in ‘Public Relations’.
  • Proudly announcing at a senior management meeting that the communications team had managed to identify sufficient savings to create a second newsletter focusing on another area of the agency’s business…only for the CEO to say, ‘Oh good, we’ll have that money back for something else then’.
  • Having to continually justify the role of communications and the value added.
  • Being brought in at crunch time to ‘fix’ something you flagged weeks ago.
  • Being asked to just make it look pretty and publish.
  • Watching clouds roll over at an event without a wet weather alternative.
  • Realising the audio equipment isn’t working just before the Minister arrives for the launch.
  • Leaning against the back wall during the Minister’s speech (after the frantic scramble to get the audio working) and accidentally flipping the light switch off.
Have you got any ghosts or skeletons in your communications cupboard?


‘During the day, I don’t believe in ghosts.
At night, I’m a little more open-minded.’


Cinden Lester has more than 25 years’ experience as a professional writer, editor and communications specialist. She worked as a broadcast journalist, in private sector marketing and public relations, and in government communications before establishing her own Canberra-based communications consultancy in 2000.

Contact Cinden if you’d like help with your communications.

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