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PR: A Funny Business

Phil Harvey

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

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