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April 03, 2008

An Open Letter To PR Firms

Dear PR Firms,

I understand that getting the word out can be a tough job. And I'm flattered that you value my writing enough to contact me. And I love it when you alert me to new restaurants and products and make yourself available if I have questions. Even if it isn't something that interests me, I like to know what's new.

But when you send me a full page of text and ask me to post it, no matter how nicely you phrase the request, it's mostly just insulting. This blog isn't a conduit for your press release, and if you'd bothered to take 20 seconds to scan it, you'd know that.

Thanks,

Dom

Comments

Don't worry...you're in good company. Those same dumb PR people are also sending releases to the major newspapers and food magazines, then following up to find out if they intend to print the release. Let's see...the last time I saw a press release published in the New York Times was...NEVER! But, as a PR person myself, I do have to give credit where credit is due. There are PR people who realize that you need to understand your audience and the message you're trying to convey, and you need to know the ideal vehicles through which to convey that message. Then you craft a targeted, individualized campaign, and approach each media vehicle with a personalized suggestion that's appropriate for the audience. But, hey, for some PR people it's just easier to press "send" and blast a release out to thousands of potential publications.

Oh, absolutely. I've gotten some lovely messages from PR folks. As you say, it's just the ones who act as though I'm going to cut and paste their E-mail. Sometimes I wonder if they're ignorant of the fact that the first impression they're making for their client is a negative one, or if they just don't care.

Ah, so you got the starf***t e-mail, too. I thought about blogging a response, but you beat me to it.

Good one.

Well, my intention wasn't to single anybody out. I will neither confirm nor deny (always wanted to say that) what specific releases I may or may not have received.

Actually, it was a few in rapid succession that put me over the edge :-)

I'm going to recommend an essay by Paul Graham called "The Submarine." I don't think that the PR crowd can "get" blogging, any more than the traditional media "gets" it either. I *do* think that many lazy bloggers will be quite willing to be mouthpieces for any press release that comes their way.

http://www.paulgraham.com/submarine.html

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