Don’t hate the player, hate the game

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.

Blaming The Victim

I get a lot of pitches. Maybe not as many as Steve or Tom, but a lot. I’ve always promised myself that, when I get a good one, that I’d reward it with a post.

Still waiting.

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.

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