Milestone's Inept PR Agency

By John Honovich, Published Jul 30, 2012, 08:00pm EDT

I've said it before and I'll say it again, PR people are worthless. Not all, of course, but an amazing number of them. In today's episode, we have the Public Relations Agency for VMS manufacturer Milestone Systems sending out an email blast with an 'opportunity' to get a press briefing with Milestone.

For reference, here's the original Milestone PR pitch.

A few things are baffling:

  • Why an impersonal email blast? How many industry publications are all that influential? A dozen? Two dozen tops? I thought it was PR / marketing 101 that a little personalization could go a long way in influencing.
  • Why not tailor to the individual recipient? We've written 19 original articles on Milestone in the last 12 months. Our needs and interests are different that someone who knows little about Milestone or magazines that republish press releases.
  • Why send it from someone none of the recipients likely know? Messages from warm contacts [link no longer available] are overwhelmingly more likely to receive a positive reply.
  • What's new? There is nothing in the email that is fundamentally different from past ASIS and ISC West setups. Why should people be motivated to set up a meeting?

One would think that before sending out such a blast even a few hours of discussion and optimization could make a huge difference. 

What is the value of this PR agency versus having an intern or virtual assistant doing this? What does PR add?

I feel bad for Milestone here. They are likely spending tens of thousands and this is what they get. Of course, we will continue to talk to Milestone directly, the same as we always do (for better or worse).

I do think it is possible for PR firms to add value and we certainly know a small number of PR people who do so. However, when PR agencies regularly make such lame efforts that undermine their own cause, it really is puzzling.

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