Manufacturers, This Is What Your PR People Do

On the positive side, this person had the persistence to repeatedly call me.

When they got a hold of me, here was the gist of the conversation:

PR: Hey I am the PR person for X, X has news for ISC West, do you want to take an embargo for the news?

JH: No, I am not really interested enough in your company.

PR: Ok, I'll send the release to you when it is announced.

JH: Ok

End Conversation

Now, this conversation ranks in the top 20% of my interactions with PR people, in the fact that the person had enough guts / determination to reach me on the phone. Most just bcc people on a generic pitch and hope that someone will take pity on them.

But think about it. The PR person had me on the phone. No attempt to build good will? Ask open ended questions? Try to learn something about how or why we might cover them? Try to pitch me then and there?

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Paying a PR person is spending money to hurt your brand. If you are a serious exec, make your own direct connections with the handful of people who have media impact in the industry and stop letting your PR people embarrass you.


Was he offering an exclusive embargo?

No, but that would not have mattered. 'Exclusives' from manufacturers have very little benefit to us.

Building trust that a manufacturer is telling the truth and knows what they are talking about is far more important.

sounds about right, the more I get bugged by certain companies the more I ensure I don't deal with them.

Warned one company that one more call and I'd not just stop dealing with them, but actively remove any piece of their gear in our various sites.

that next call came, I ripped it all out and replaced it.

Shades of Boiler Room

PR: Hey I am the PR person for X, X has news for ISC West, do you want to take an embargo for the news?
JH: No, I am not really interested enough in your company.
PR: Ok, I'll send the release to you when it is announced.
JH: Wait a minute. Wait, that's it? You consider that a pitch?
PR: Well, um...
JH: You know, I get a call from you guys before every show and it's always the same half assed attempt. If you guys wanna close me, you should sell me.
PR: All right.
JH: All right. Start again.
PR: Okay. Hi, this is Mr. PR from X. How you doin' this morning?
JH: Crappy. What do you want?
PR: It's not what I want, sir. It's what you want.
JH: PR, now we're talkin'. All right. What are you pitching me?
PR: I'm offering you an embargo on a breaking story at a substantially reduced price. We're trying to reach out to people that have never participated before.
JH: Right, so, basically, everybody who already has written about X is getting screwed on this one?
PR: Yeah, I guess so.
JH: All right, well, I can handle that. So, tell me, why should I write about your products?
PR: Because I can offer you something no other company can: a bona fide blockbuster of a story. We have something big, and I can guarantee you that you won't want to be left out on this one, John. Now what do you think?
JH: You know what I think, PR? I think that was a sales call. Good job, buddy.
PR: So you gonna take the embago?
JH: No, I already get the Times.
PR: Huh?