Monday, February 11, 2008

Mind that One, he's got a temper... Wack-a-Flack

How creative!?! Someone else at Wired has decided to take a swing at PR people. Because, you know, why not?

Bruce Sterling of the Wired blog network writes, "I'm Suffering An Evil Tidal Wave of Blogsurfing Public Relations Spam." He singled out one woman's pitch, a PR person who happened to have pitched this guy at the wrong time, and posted the pitch, with snarky comments throughout and her phone number at the bottom. The whole thing harkens to Chris Anderson's blacklisting of PR people email addresses.

Okay, so you want to play whack-a-flack?
Be professional. Get used to the game or get out. There are PR people and there are journalists. PR people have clients to tell you about, information you might find useful. If you don't? Delete the email or reply and tell the person making the pitch why you don't have time for their unrelated nonsense. But grow up--for all the time you spent blocking PR people's emails or coming up with creative witticisms, you could have written something of substance.

Don't tread on me!
That said, good PR is about two-way communication and respect. I won't be sending blanket emails by way of mail merge--and doing so does not signify a high level of professional or personal respect. A good pitch will be timely and relative to the reporters areas of interest.

But that's not the point... We need mutual respect
You don't get to play whack-a-flack unless I can play whack-a-hack every time a journalist repeatedly blows off a client interview, never responds to relevant emails or calls or writes inaccurate hogwash, about a client or otherwise. And I'm not prepared to do that.

We're supposed to work together folks. And the notion that we can publicly humiliate those that we don't like, that we could teach the other group a lesson, demonstrates a serious lack of respect between both groups. If you want PR people to pitch you relevant material--hit the reply button and tell them why their email is going in the trash, maybe they'll learn. To the same end, hitting reply demonstrates that the journalists respect the PR people's place in the process. We have to be able to work together or nothing gets done!

1 comment:

JayVee said...

Great points. It can't be easy being a journalist, getting inundated by PR spam, but don't know if it gives them the right to out people -- unless it happens over and over by the same person. Seems like a vicious trend lately. Besides, it most definitely goes both ways and we need each other. Maybe a flack needs to start blogging about "sales" calls that result in contacting publications -- you know the "no advertise, no coverage" game.