by Mike Masnick

Stupid PR Tricks, Part 4

from the two-for-one! dept

Here's the latest in our, irregular, but ongoing discussion of PR people not understanding blogs. First, we had PR people hired by companies to pitch them, but pretending to be totally unconnected to the companies they were bugging us about. Second, we had PR people submitting press releases when we clearly told them not to -- and, even worse, submitting press releases about things we would obviously never write about (something you would know if you looked at the site for more than, say, five seconds). Next, we had the PR spammer who emailed out 11 press releases, all written in capital letters, and had no return address on the emails. Today, yet another PR person who can't be bothered to read the site emailed us a press release this morning (again on a story we would never come close to posting -- no, we don't care that the tiny company you represent got named to some industry list). This time, however, the PR person had taken a word document with an old press release and just dumped in the new stuff while thinking she had deleted the old. She then let Word "save as HTML" and sent out the press release as an email. Unfortunately for her, I don't let my email client display HTML email, so what I got was nearly unreadable -- but just readable enough to note that when Word saves in HTML, apparently it includes all the changes. So from what I could see, I have a "mash up" of two press releases, complete with random strike-throughs and insertions, showing all of the edits made on the existing press release. So, for example, I can see that whereas they originally described the company's solution as "unique," that was later crossed out. Not that I would be writing about this announcement anyway, but now I'm left wondering what happened that this company's product is no longer "unique."

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  1. identicon
    Neville Hobson, 27 Sep 2004 @ 11:00am

    Stupid PR Tricks, Part 4

    I had to laugh at this story. You've highlighted a classic of a PR committing the cardinal sin - recycling a Word document! I don't think it shows the PR hasn't a clue about blogs, though. Just she hasn't a clue.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Gary Potter, 27 Sep 2004 @ 11:45am

    PR and Press Release

    So how about sharing the latest with your readership?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Sep 2004 @ 12:51pm

    yeah, a PR Losers List or something

    Mike, it's apparent you need to make a Hall of Shame, and have some of these bad releases on there with some dissection.

    Your readership needs it, man!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. icon
    Mike (profile), 27 Sep 2004 @ 1:06pm

    Re: yeah, a PR Losers List or something

    The problem is I don't really want to give these guys any additional publicity for the crap they send. They'd probably chalk it up as a positive hit.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Jeremy, 27 Sep 2004 @ 2:37pm

    Out them

    You wrote that you didn't want to give the PR person any credit, as you were afraid they would chalk it up as a hit.

    Why not just out the PR person, or the agency?

    Yes, I am a PR person, and no, I'm not turning against my own. I am just looking at it as a way to help people learn a valuable lesson.

    Just a thought....

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Mike Manuel, 27 Sep 2004 @ 9:25pm

    Re: Out them

    Ironically, one of the best things to come out of the down economy the last few years is that it weeded out a lot of the PR shills that made stupid mistakes like what you're describing.
    Call it population control. Call it PR Darwinism -- point being, the better PR folk survived while the weaker ones vanished. And Id like to think that the media industry as a whole was better for it.
    Now that were seeing some economic recovery, its discouraging to think that standards are dropping again, sloppiness is making a comeback and that shortcuts are in.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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