February 25, 2008

PR Professionals

Gawker wrote the perfect article about PR people - love em or hate em. it really breaks down the fact that PR People - though rather annoying - are mostly decent people with a job to do.

the title of the article is brilliant. "The Secret To All Good PR: A Sandwich". Couldn't be more true. i mean, taking out editors for lunch or drinks is the most perfect way to show you're a real person and it's not always about being a pain in the ass.

the Gawker network is traditionally anti-PR. i know this first hand because of a little movie called The Hunting Party. you probably haven't seen this but it stars Richard Gere and Terrence Howard. this movie came out right on the coat tails of the Terrence Howard "baby wipes" ordeal. if you don't know about this, don't ask. anyhow, i set up Jezebel to interview Terrence and what did they do? ask him about the baby wipes until he got so pissed he left the room.

needless to say, i got reamed for the incident. that client is also no longer part of our roster. i'm not saying those two things are directly related but i'm not saying they're not.

SO the point of my story is, for a network of sites who are quick to screw a publicist, it's nice to know that at least one of their writers knows deep down that we're not awful people.

you should check out the article.

It's inescapable. Lunch works. To go out to lunch with somebody, laugh and talk, and then go back to work and write an article that plunges a knife in their back is an exceedingly hard thing to do. It can be done; sometimes, it must be done; but it takes a lot of the fun out of it. Most good PR people are, by nature, personable and friendly. And while some of them are transparent assholes who want nothing more than to shill and shill some more, others come off like regular people who have a job to do, but would rather talk shit and joke around like a normal human being. I guarantee that if you could construct a chart of positive vs. negative news coverage, the positives would jump immediately following lunch meetings with PR people representing the stories' subjects. And stay that way for a long time. The effect is lasting. It's scary.

and about Jezebel? no hard feelings. love them!


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