Monday, December 22, 2008

PR can be a shady biz

So I'm a marketer, not a publicist. I can't relate to the popularity culture that PR agencies base their credibility on and don't truly understand the black arts by which they can create or eliminate buzz.

But anyway, TechCrunch, a Seattle-based entrepreneurial blog recently wrote about some PR maven who made their shit list. It's really illuminating to a world we rarely see but have some pretty strong perceptions about nonetheless.

Lois Whitman is apparently the poster child for everything that's wrong with PR, sez TechCrunch, and uses spam tactics like a crying child to convince people to give in to her demands until she gets what she wants.

Now, I'm fenced up on this one. On the one hand, I am a fervent advocate for relevance-based marketing that makes marketers work creatively to gain people's attention, but on the other hand reading her vicious words really made me smile:

"CES publishes a list of press. You are one of a few thousand. Everyone has access to that list for all kinds of reasons. It is publicly published. As a PR agency we use that list so we can solicit press for booth appts. I hope you can appreciate that. If you don’t, let me introduce you to the “delete” button. Or in the future do not sign up as a press person for CES. Furthermore, do not make any threats to my company. I don’t need you to tell me what is right or what is wrong. I have been in the CE business for 42 years. I have seen nasty people like you melt away faster than a snowball going up hill in the rain. I am waiting for an apology. Maybe we can meet at CES for a hug or a slug. P.S. I just visited your web site. I would hardly call your blog a publication, However, you do have very interesting content and we have lots of client you would like to know more about to help you in your endeavors. Call me."

Decide for yourself.

If she's such a PR maven, it'll be interesting how she manages to quell this blogosphere revulsion against her.

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