Bad PR Vibes

I'm not flattered by this imitation

Phil Harvey, Editor-in-Chief

March 19, 2009

2 Min Read
Bad PR Vibes

12:25 PM -- Dear Whoever Writes the PR Vibes Newsletter from PR Firm, Calysto Communications:

Greetings, young person! I'm Phil Harvey, editor of the largest telecom publication in the world, though you'd never know that, judging by my absurdly low number of Twitter followers.

I assure you, kind sir or madam, I'm not known for my powers of observation. You will often see me trying to leave the coffee shop by pushing on a door marked pull. You will often see me setting my coffee cup on top of my car while I fumble for my keys, then driving away with said cup still atop said car. Yes, I'm a bit thick (and I do spend thousands of dollars a week on coffee).

The reason I'm writing is that I have noticed something that demands your attention. Boy, oh boy, did my monocle pop straight out when I saw Wednesday's issue of PR Vibes.

Indeed, that issue of the newsletter had the following quote from Ron Mathews, the new event director for Supercomm:

"As broadband infrastructure stands to be a critical recipient of the economic stimulus package that we hear about every day in the news, we anticipate accelerated growth in our industry," Mathews says. "We really want to take advantage of those opportunities that are offered to our industry, and that [date change] allows us to do it."

Amazingly, Mathews said the exact same thing to your PR firm's intrepid reporter as he did to me. My story carried the exact same quote -- right down the added editorial clarification for the words "date change."

I'm not what you'd call a sharp-eyed sort of person. But even at a passing glance, some details appear to me as though they were bathed in neon with dancing girls on either side. Would you not agree that even a half-blind bat such as myself could make a case that my story is remarkably akin to Wednesday's issue of PR Vibes?

Actually, don't answer that. I am a gentleman and as such I should never imply that you're some sniveling little copy-thieving weasel that ought to have your Gap khakis worn out by a hickory switch. Indeed, I have no proof of plagiarism whatsoever, other than the eerie similarity of the pacing, the word choice, the quote, the sentence structure, and a handful of other silly details.

So where shall we leave this, you mysterious Calysto wordsmith? Well, I have an idea: You should call Ron Mathews immediately and compliment him on his incredibly exact word choice. When Mr. Mathews calls PR firms to update them on industry events, as I'm sure he's prone to do, he is nothing if not a monument of precision and a man of rare talent.

And Lord knows, you do have an eye for talent.

Good day to you, fair scribe,
Phil Harvey
Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Phil Harvey

Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

Phil Harvey has been a Light Reading writer and editor for more than 18 years combined. He began his second tour as the site's chief editor in April 2020.

His interest in speed and scale means he often covers optical networking and the foundational technologies powering the modern Internet.

Harvey covered networking, Internet infrastructure and dot-com mania in the late 90s for Silicon Valley magazines like UPSIDE and Red Herring before joining Light Reading (for the first time) in late 2000.

After moving to the Republic of Texas, Harvey spent eight years as a contributing tech writer for D CEO magazine, producing columns about tech advances in everything from supercomputing to cellphone recycling.

Harvey is an avid photographer and camera collector – if you accept that compulsive shopping and "collecting" are the same.

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