January 26, 2011

What technology influencers really think about certain PR tactics

The following is a transcript of an actual IM exchange I had a few hours ago.

Bottom line: PR shouldn’t be a pompous ass, either on its own behalf or the client’s.

JournalistWhoPrefersToBeAnonymous 11:13 am
hey… RedactedCompanyName changed outside pr firms

tell them to stop wasting their money.
CurtMonash 11:14 am
How so?
JournalistWhoPrefersToBeAnonymous 11:14 am
all these firms do is email me. they don’t add any value.
CurtMonash 11:14 am
May I quote you?
JournalistWhoPrefersToBeAnonymous 11:14 am
just got a note from them telling me about a blog post by RedactedExecutiveName. OK, fine. why on earth can’t RedactedExecutiveName ping me directly.

am I supposed to think they are more important because they have a PR firm?

are only PR firms capable of obtaining my email address?

Do third-party PR firms have more credibilty with journalists????
CurtMonash 11:16 am
OK. I’ll quote you PUBLICLY, but not by name. Nor with RedactedCompanyName’s name.
JournalistWhoPrefersToBeAnonymous 11:16 am
Are these vendors really fooled by third-party PRs that try to win their business by talking about all the “stories they ‘placed’” and the “access” theyhave.

i mean come on.

JournalistWhoPrefersToBeAnonymous 11:16 am
if you want to quote me please no fingerprints

just call me a ‘journalist’
CurtMonash 11:17 am
["fingerprints" redacted]
JournalistWhoPrefersToBeAnonymous 11:18 am
my real point here is: If you are a small startup with innovative technology, put as little as possible between your own people who can talk with passion about the stuff, and whoever you’re trying to get coverage from.

dont spend $20,000 a month retaining some third-party PR firm!

CurtMonash 11:18 am
Oh, I agree.
And I hate it when PR firms contact me, after putting out press releases, offering to let me talk w/ an exec.
JournalistWhoPrefersToBeAnonymous 11:18 am
“Let” you.
CurtMonash 11:19 am
Umm, if I asked to talk with an exec, I’m pretty sure the firm would make same available …
JournalistWhoPrefersToBeAnonymous 11:19 am
i was once offered an “exclusive” with a small vendor’s chief marketing officer.

not kidding, this was really a pitch i got
CurtMonash 11:19 am
Well, “let” is my word. They tend to use “availability” or whatever.
JournalistWhoPrefersToBeAnonymous 11:19 am
yeah
CurtMonash 11:21 am
If I have trouble reaching an exec, it’s at a multi-billion company.
And then only the ones who avoid me because they want to control their message, not because they’re just short of time.
I presume the same is true for you?
JournalistWhoPrefersToBeAnonymous 11:22 am
i mean yeah, pretty much. some vendors are much more open than others. SAP is waaay more accommodating than Oracle.

[more "fingerprints" redacted]
CurtMonash 11:24 am
I’m not sure I’d get any Oracle access at all if I didn’t have a multi-decade, intense-consulting, double-date-with-Larry-Ellison kind of history with the company.
Best thing they do in influencer relations is not clamp down on the Kevin Clossons or Greg Rahns of the world.

Comments

4 Responses to “What technology influencers really think about certain PR tactics”

  1. Richard Tibbetts on January 26th, 2011 2:05 pm

    StreamBase fired our outside PR firm over 2 years go, and it was the best thing we ever did for PR. The result is that company management is much more aware of who the key journalists are in our space and what they care about.

    We brought on board a great person to manage the process, and I can’t imagine doing it any other way. We have direct meaningful conversations, and actually have journalists reaching out to contact us for comment on things because they know they will get to talk to someone real.

  2. Dan Weinreb on January 30th, 2011 8:41 am

    Also check out Should Startups Hire PR Firms? Journalists at WebInno Say “No.”, a panel session including two of my favorite tech journalists, Scott Kirsner (Boston Globe) and Wade Roush (Xconomy): http://marketingstartups.com/2009/09/30/should-startups-hire-pr-firms-journalists-at-webinno-say-no/

  3. Public and analyst relations: An example of epic fail | Strategic Messaging on March 22nd, 2011 11:48 am

    [...] post from time to time about stupid PR tricks, but last night I had an experience that was a whole different level of appalling, for reasons of [...]

  4. Marketing communication tips | Strategic Messaging on December 14th, 2012 11:06 pm

    [...] one tech journalist put it: If you are a small startup with innovative technology, put as little as possible between [...]

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