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PR: A Funny Business

I'm sorry, but I do not apologize

Phil Harvey

June 15, 2006

1 Min Read
PR: A Funny Business

3:45 PM -- I've been accused by several high-ranking PR folks of being unfair in a recent post where I held up a TelStrat International PR pitch for ridicule.

The high-ranking PR folks made lots of interesting points, some of which I'll paraphrase here:

  • 1. I'm a jerk.
    2. The poor chap who sent the pitch was only trying to be creative. He shouldn't be criticized for that.
    3. Maybe his client told him to write the pitch that way. What else was he to do?
    4. It was a funny pitch. And there was nothing at all wrong with it.
    5. Boy, am I ever a jerk.
    6. What the hell do you want from a PR pitch anyway?

My responses, point by point, are as follows:

  • 1. I know.
    2. Was he being creative or was he just writing something he could carbon copy to a dozen different publications without having to give any thought to the needs of each pub's audience?
    3. Maybe they did. And maybe they're thrilled to see it in print. Let's hope so.
    4. You could be right. It was unique. And it did get my attention. Is that what they wanted?
    5. Yes, we've established that.
    6. Exclusivity. What information or access can you offer my readers that they can't get anywhere else on Earth but through my publication?

Bottom line: Humor is always appreciated. But one way PR folk can help me retain my sense of humor is to help me do my job.

— Phil Harvey, News Editor, 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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