The below is from friend and former colleague Phil Gomes. Phil recently sent me an email saying he had been pitched by the new firm for a former client of ours. He is an ‘A-list’ blogger and therefore appears on a lot of lists. No matter that the subject matter was nothing he had touched before, he was on ‘THE list’ and therefore got sent a completely unpersonalized pitch.
So, I second his thoughts below. If you are asked to do something that you know is a bad idea. Voice your concerns. If not listened to, find a new place to work that will.
My favorite was when I politely asked to be taken off of a list used by a firm that continues to refuse this very simple request.
At one point, I had enough. I voiced my displeasure in ALL CAPS.
“Well,” the PR rep explained. “YOU really need to talk to Bacon’s ’cause YOU are on THEIR lists.”
I think the editor-in-chief of The Tuskaloosa Sewage Management Fortnightly And Muffler-Care Catalog is in that database as well. He probably cares more about buying babyclothes from a fly-by-night dot-com than I do.
I keep wondering if these spray-and-pray, smile-and-dial shops sell clients on their “proprietary strategically end-to-end seamless database of online influencers that can be leveraged and activated for brand-building awareness” when, at the end of the day, it’s a bought list and a bcc field.
I know that a few students and junior PR folks read this blog. To you I say: You didn’t go to college to be a glorified telemarketer. If your boss’ idea of PR follows the formula of “telemarketer + saying the word ‘strategic’ a lot”, then you need to either manage up or manage your career out of your current job.