Is there no end to the dirty tricks marketing wannabes will pull to try and bolster their companyâ€™s image via media relations?
What am I on about? Well, hereâ€™s the taleâ€¦
Recently, I was invited to lunch by a marketing â€˜friendâ€™ who had recently started a new job. We had met when the person was at a previous role (the IT industry is sooo small I say thereâ€™s half a degree of separation between people but thatâ€™s the topic of another blog) and both agreed it would be good to catch up to.
I really am good natured you know. Yes, I actually treat people as PEOPLE and not as something thatâ€™s just there to be used for my own benefit. NaÃ¯ve ainâ€™t I!
So I take time out of my busy (yes) day to go and have â€˜lunchâ€™ with this person and upon arrival I get notified of a press briefing. Thatâ€™s right, with absolutely NO PRIOR COMMUNICATION I get ushered into a boardroom and introduced to a company exec. Thatâ€™s not an issue at all, those who know me will tell you Iâ€™m happy to meet with anyone in the industry. Thatâ€™s not an issue. The issue was, in this particular case, that I wasnâ€™t told that I was going to be given the run-down on this vendorâ€™s offerings at all.
So there I was listening to this exec babble on for OVER ONE HOUR about how good the companyâ€™s wares are and blah, blah, blahâ€¦
Obviously these people had absolutely no idea what long-term media relations is about and just snatched an opportunity. What am I supposed to do in that situation? Jump up and down and say I wasnâ€™t told (warned) that I was going to be brainwashed for an hour before â€˜lunchâ€™ and storm out? Or just put up with that because Iâ€™m well mannered? Should I end up a burnt bitch?
Iâ€™m too polite for my own good.
The lesson in media relations is obvious. If you donâ€™t want a journalist to think that youâ€™re a bunch of morons who have absolutely nothing to offer the media but vendor guff, at least be honest with them. Of course, that was â€œonly a 10 minute briefingâ€ (bullshit) and the fact that it went on for so long was unexpected. Since I could see they had no idea then no, Iâ€™m not a burnt bitch and look forward to dealing with them in the future â€“ even though I probably should run a mile.
So much for me thinking that I will ever be treated like a â€˜realâ€™ personâ€¦ Ah wellâ€¦