It’s not often I feel sympathy for PR people.. but then you read.. and laugh

I’d sort of forgotten about The World’s Leading, which is the Private Eye of PR blogs; it had just sat there in my feeds, because it doesn’t offer a full feed (big mistake, guys and gals; I do most of my reading offline, on the train).

But sometimes something catches your eye. Once I’d shaken off the annoying person ringing me up to tell me that WofflyWoff conference would be having an exciting forum next week (me: “send me an email, sure”; PR bod: “and when should I ring you to find out what you’re going to do?” me: “never, or possibly slightly after that”), I passed by and came across what looked like an interesting post.

And it is. A month in the day in the life of a PR person trying to set up some meetings with, dear God, won’t anyone come and meet the chief executive.. sod it, head of sales and marketing.. in the 8.30am slot on Monday in Slough?

OK, so The Economist didn’t return your email, and FT Digital Business is looking more likely than the FT proper, but all is well. CBR is up for it too – should be a nice tour.

Then [marketing boss] calls. The CEO isn’t coming after all. But not to worry, the global head of sales and marketing is coming over instead. “He’s the company’s fourth-most-important exec, so we’ll still get some really good interest.” You’re not so sure. You ask if you can tweak his job title. You can’t. His agenda isn’t fixed yet, but you’ve got his PA’s details and she can fill you in.

A really, really good post. Hell, shouldn’t it author be chasing up some press releases or something?

Oh, and a final note while we’re on topic. There’s been an uptick in the number of completely crap PR emails I’ve been getting lately. Things like “the healing crystal powers of naturally abrogated sea salt” and “51 biscuits that can really help your tan!”. The sort of thing that would only make sense to the fluffiest of magazines.

Who gave you this email, I growled at one?

“PR Planner,” she gasped, deleting my name forever from her lists.

Never heard of them. Google search. Flipping heck. “PR Planner from Cision (formerly Romeike)”.

You can change your name, folks, but you’re still rubbish.

6 Comments

  1. Oh boy – that caused some flashbacks. Soooo so so so so happy to not be doing that anymore.

  2. TWL’s post was great. But very unnerving, just makes you worry when you’re next going to go through that precise dialogue… it happens all too frequently.

  3. > “51 biscuits that can really help your tan!”

    For God’s sake man, what were they? Do not leave us hanging.

  4. Just for you Charlie boy, the full feed option is now switched to ‘on’…and I’ve learnt something new.

    Keep reading…

    TWL

  5. It’s the sheer petty smallness of it that made it all so poignant!

    I still remember a trip to New York, to visit Armonk and Poughkeepsie and Manhattan with (obviously) IBM, and my heart still bleeds for the guy in charge of that project. He gathered together about 60 European hax (about 15 from the UK) and organised flights and coaches and one-to-ones and backgrounders and dinners and breakfasts. It was, he was able to hint, one of the biggest ever announcements in IBM’s history.

    When we got there, we got a minor second-tier VP, reading a placeholder strategy white paper. No announcement. No scoop.

    What was it? We’ll never know. It was a real secret, it could have affected the Big Blue share price even to hint at it, and Big Blue was being watched, and so when it cancelled – totally! – it would have been instant dismissal even to leak what it might have been.

    Now, on that sort of scale, the PR cockup acquires semi-heroic status. This sad tale is just pure Enderby…

  6. You may like to know that Cision (formerly Romeike) is making 160 staff redundant. Falling sales amid dreams of capturing those million pound clients along with outrageously stupid management have all meant that 160 of us are going. You’re right, it is rubbish, and we could tell you stuff that would make you shake your head in wonder…

    We give Cision a year before it’s wiped off the PR map forever.

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