When I was a publicist, I often wondered why some editors were so grumpy on the phone. After all, their job is to gather news and publicists can be news sources. Now I’m getting pitched about next week’s Search Engine Strategies conference in New York, and I’m reminded how amazingly lame publicists can sound.
This morning, a young PR woman who sounded all of 12 called me and prattled on for at least a full minute before she said “I’m actually calling about the search engine show next week.” I can’t tell you who she was pitching because I wasn’t listening by time she spit it out.
My name is on the show’s press list because I have a press pass to cover the show for three major online publications. I am going to the show to cover the sessions and to do a tsotchke report. And MarketingVox requested that i get an historic picture of Kevin Lee not smiling.
I do not want to meet with the president of every company exhibiting on the show floor.
I do not cover technology.
I don’t have a single iota of technical knowledge, nor that I want any.
I am interested in knowing what is going on at the show. I will read press releases on the show Web site.
I will read emailed releases if the release is included in the body of the email.
If you want the press release to have a shot at being read, please write “SES-related press release” in the subject line. Otherwise, it is most likely to be deleted unread or as spam.
You can buy me lunch or give me a sample product to try.
Don’t forget that I am a blogger. A traditional journalist might simply decline to cover a company that makes a lame pitch or a lousy product. I consider those open game.
You have a job to do, and I know it’s not an easy one.
Don’t act like a jerk, don’t chirp on the phone, just get to the point and I’ll give you the courtesy of listening to your 30-second pitch.
Yes … There are plenty of good publicists. I’ve written about several.
And I’ll let you know if I hear from any.
An Open Letter to PR People From a Recovering Publicist