Unclear on the Concept
|One of my pet peeves is Public Relations Flacks. These are not to be confused with Public Relations Professionals -- PR people who do a good job getting the Word out about their clients. They hate the word "flack", but when they make their clients look bad -- well, they're inviting the derision. The following story ran in the 30 April 2000 issue: |
Do It YourselfOf course, anyone who speaks English fluently that spends enough time on this web site to find my telephone number can easily see what This is True is all about. If he's a thoughtful professional, anyway. So when I got this message on my voice mail shortly after the story went out in True's free 'net feed, I just had to laugh:
Yeah, this is Don, Home Depot's public relations manager. Randy, you did a piece about a guy who stole not one, not two, but three trailers from our Albuquerque, New Mexico, store before he got caught. All of that is true. The last line, however, in your story, however, "He's been signed to do a series of Home Depot commercials with the new slogan, 'Take it from us!'", uh, that's very humorous, Randy, but this is FALSE! You lost some credibility with me, big guy! < click >Don! It was a joke! And everyone who reads True knows that. (Well, OK, a few don't, but I make fun of them too -- just spend a bit more time cruising this site and you'll see several examples of that.)
Some good friends are PR pros. They know, however, that True never, ever uses press releases as a source. If you're a pro, you won't send me releases. If you do, you're a flack, because you're making your clients look bad. Sometimes I do talk about books I like, so I'm getting more books lately. Got one the very day I was writing this, in fact, from Workman Publishing. Right up my alley, even. But it's never going to get a mention because the morons at Workman sent it to my PO Box -- via UPS. Now, every publisher in the country knows that UPS cannot deliver packages to a PO Box, so I had to go to UPS to get it. Send me out of my way and expect free publicity? Hah! That's another example of making the client look bad, and failing the most basic part of their job. Sheesh.