very briefly, i have had a similarly tedious experience corresponding with ian macquillin of the PFRA.

he contacted me after i simply tweeted about how unpleasant the chuggers are in a place where i often work.

he kept offering for us to have a meeting, and a discussion, and a chat, and he could reassure me, etc.

i was very enthusiastic about recording a podcast, unedited, posting the mp3 free online, with us discussing the issues, so everyone could hear. he declined and kept offering this off the record meeting for a chat.

it’s a recurring theme in PR. they think everything can be cured with an off the record chat. maybe they think they will charm you. my view is it’s a tedious waste of time, and all too often, in my experience, it is an opportunity either to: (a) obfuscate on issues, refuse to go on the record, but then subsequently claim that they’ve told you something (this is a technique used extensively by Jeni Barnett and LBC during their MMR legal threats debacle) or (b) massively mislead, as at the end of this column:

in any case, when you decline to go for this pointless meeting, they claim you’ve been obstructive, as above. presumably there’s some PR textbook where this kind of dreariness is taught.