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Don’t be sly

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Is there no end to the dirty tricks marketing wannabes will pull to try and bolster their company’s image via media relations?

What am I on about? Well, here’s the tale…

Recently, I was invited to lunch by a marketing ‘friend’ 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 there’s half a degree of separation between people but that’s the topic of another blog) and both agreed it would be good to catch up to.

Yeah right!

I really am good natured you know. Yes, I actually treat people as PEOPLE and not as something that’s just there to be used for my own benefit. Naïve ain’t I!

So I take time out of my busy (yes) day to go and have ‘lunch’ with this person and upon arrival I get notified of a press briefing. That’s right, with absolutely NO PRIOR COMMUNICATION I get ushered into a boardroom and introduced to a company exec. That’s not an issue at all, those who know me will tell you I’m happy to meet with anyone in the industry. That’s not an issue. The issue was, in this particular case, that I wasn’t told that I was going to be given the run-down on this vendor’s offerings at all.

So there I was listening to this exec babble on for OVER ONE HOUR about how good the company’s wares are and blah, blah, blah…

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 wasn’t told (warned) that I was going to be brainwashed for an hour before ‘lunch’ and storm out? Or just put up with that because I’m well mannered? Should I end up a burnt bitch?

I’m too polite for my own good.

The lesson in media relations is obvious. If you don’t want a journalist to think that you’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 “only a 10 minute briefing” (bullshit) and the fact that it went on for so long was unexpected. Since I could see they had no idea then no, I’m not a burnt bitch and look forward to dealing with them in the future – even though I probably should run a mile.

So much for me thinking that I will ever be treated like a ‘real’ person… Ah well…

Rodney

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