PR done badly

It's amazing how many product pitches I've received in the past few days. Even in phone calls. Do they not read my blog? Do they have no clue what's happened in my life in the past five days?

Apparently not.

I'm sad I'm not going to Syndicate. I'd like to ask Richard Edelman about why PR folks are sometimes so clueless.

Now, keep in mind, not all are.

Frank Shaw, Vice President of Waggener Edstrom, demonstrated his clued-in behavior by sending me a very nice note. Not that he needed to demonstrate that again. He's proven that he is clued in many, many times before. I guess that's how you get to be vice president at a major PR firm instead of just a lackey paid to smile-and-dial.

But, in today's world of search engines like Google, Yahoo, MSN, Technorati, Feedster, and others, it just isn't good to be clued out.

I don't know what to do about it. Other than to turn down free stuff. And not write about such jerks' products or companies. It's amazing how much free stuff I've been offered since I told the world I'm not going to accept it anymore.

The good PR folks can call me anytime. After all, I wrote a book with one. Oh, wait, he doesn't like being called a PR guy. Says he's retired from that business. Oh, yeah, Shel, you're the best, and you just don't wanna be associated with the bad ones. Me neither.

Boy, has PR changed since we have the ability to share our lives in real time with the world? You bet it has.

You also now understand how Microsoft got such bad PR. We forgot that PR is done one relationship at a time. I wonder now how many press releases we sent to journalists who were sitting with mothers who were dying?

How is blogging changing PR? One mother at a time. Heh!

Comments

  1. Speaking of ‘one person at a time’ – yow. You’re probably not speaking directly of the email I sent you last night, but let me address it anyway.

    I have been reading – in near realtime thanks to RSS – about what’s been going on in your life this past week.

    I started to address it in the email – then discarded that paragraph. Why ditch the human touch? It felt phony.

    I am sorry for your troubles, I really am. Been there with my father. I don’t know you, and commiserating on such a deep personal topic felt tacky. Insincere.

    So that’s why. At least in my case. Which you probably haven’t read.

  2. Speaking of ‘one person at a time’ – yow. You’re probably not speaking directly of the email I sent you last night, but let me address it anyway.

    I have been reading – in near realtime thanks to RSS – about what’s been going on in your life this past week.

    I started to address it in the email – then discarded that paragraph. Why ditch the human touch? It felt phony.

    I am sorry for your troubles, I really am. Been there with my father. I don’t know you, and commiserating on such a deep personal topic felt tacky. Insincere.

    So that’s why. At least in my case. Which you probably haven’t read.

  3. [...] Robert Scoble who is currently going through some personal hardship with his mother who recently had a stroke and has received overwhelming support in the comments area of his blog also sounded off about how clueless some marketing people are. These insensitive fools couldn’t take enough of their time to look at his blog and see what was going on, but had plenty of time to email stuff to him to be reviewed. [...]

  4. Robert, while what you’re going through just sucks, the hard truth is, only your world ground to a halt.

    Billions of other people muddled through their lives, dealing with birth, death and the range inbetween, and in the large scheme of things, your personal crises didn’t affect that at all.

    The truth is, whether you like it or not, you’re part of the media, you get called and emailed, and no, they aren’t going to read your blog to see how your life is going and then try and decide if whatever is happening means “Don’t contact Robert, he’s too shaken/busy/etc with this situation” or “Contact Robert, he could use a little normalcy in his life right now”.

    At one point you even say:

    Thanks also to my boss for calling and reminding me, once again, to get off of the computer. The thing is, the computer is a calming influence and keeps you up to date with everyone else. Just now an email message came in from her sister, who lives in Germany. I’m very glad I have my cell phones and my Verizon card. They are my lifelines at this point.

    Anyway, I can’t wait until I get back to talking about normal stuff like how Windows Vista is going, or what Office Live’s feature set will be. Calling relatives and/or friends of my mom and telling them that bad news isn’t fun.

    is that “Dear God, please, someone contact me about the mundane crap, i could use a break from this” or “Just leave me a lone for a while?” If someone doesn’t know you, it can be taken either way. At one point, after your second entry on this, you even wrote about someone from UserLand joining Microsoft.

    If you send out mixed messages, what are people supposed to do? Read your mind? As unfair as what you’re going through is, it is also unfair to, in a lack of a clear request from you, expect people to magically divine what the heck your status is regarding this kind of stuff, especially if you’ve set this “I’m always available precedent”.

    Come on man, if you want people to not contact you with work related stuff, and you want them to read your blog to realize this, then help a brotha out, and clearly state your needs. If they still don’t get it, then fine, they’re tools. But if you’re sending mixed messages, it’s kind of harsh to expect them to read your mind.

  5. Robert, while what you’re going through just sucks, the hard truth is, only your world ground to a halt.

    Billions of other people muddled through their lives, dealing with birth, death and the range inbetween, and in the large scheme of things, your personal crises didn’t affect that at all.

    The truth is, whether you like it or not, you’re part of the media, you get called and emailed, and no, they aren’t going to read your blog to see how your life is going and then try and decide if whatever is happening means “Don’t contact Robert, he’s too shaken/busy/etc with this situation” or “Contact Robert, he could use a little normalcy in his life right now”.

    At one point you even say:

    Thanks also to my boss for calling and reminding me, once again, to get off of the computer. The thing is, the computer is a calming influence and keeps you up to date with everyone else. Just now an email message came in from her sister, who lives in Germany. I’m very glad I have my cell phones and my Verizon card. They are my lifelines at this point.

    Anyway, I can’t wait until I get back to talking about normal stuff like how Windows Vista is going, or what Office Live’s feature set will be. Calling relatives and/or friends of my mom and telling them that bad news isn’t fun.

    is that “Dear God, please, someone contact me about the mundane crap, i could use a break from this” or “Just leave me a lone for a while?” If someone doesn’t know you, it can be taken either way. At one point, after your second entry on this, you even wrote about someone from UserLand joining Microsoft.

    If you send out mixed messages, what are people supposed to do? Read your mind? As unfair as what you’re going through is, it is also unfair to, in a lack of a clear request from you, expect people to magically divine what the heck your status is regarding this kind of stuff, especially if you’ve set this “I’m always available precedent”.

    Come on man, if you want people to not contact you with work related stuff, and you want them to read your blog to realize this, then help a brotha out, and clearly state your needs. If they still don’t get it, then fine, they’re tools. But if you’re sending mixed messages, it’s kind of harsh to expect them to read your mind.

  6. John; Actually, if you are making a good pitch you WILL indeed know what the person is currently writing.

    In other words, you don’t have to read minds, but if you want to be successful at something (sales, PR, anything really), know who your audience is and their current interests before your open your mouth.

    Good advice that far predated blogs.

    Not too hard really, just takes a little common sense. Oh, and an approach that isn’t cookie cutter one-size-fits-all.

    As a PR professional, I can say that we in PR have often taken too many shortcuts that will be paid for well into the future. Like any business proposition really, take short-term gain and pay in long-term dividends.

    “PR is done one relationship at a time.”

    These are words to live by as far as I am concerned.

  7. John; Actually, if you are making a good pitch you WILL indeed know what the person is currently writing.

    In other words, you don’t have to read minds, but if you want to be successful at something (sales, PR, anything really), know who your audience is and their current interests before your open your mouth.

    Good advice that far predated blogs.

    Not too hard really, just takes a little common sense. Oh, and an approach that isn’t cookie cutter one-size-fits-all.

    As a PR professional, I can say that we in PR have often taken too many shortcuts that will be paid for well into the future. Like any business proposition really, take short-term gain and pay in long-term dividends.

    “PR is done one relationship at a time.”

    These are words to live by as far as I am concerned.

  8. i’d have to agree… making a good pitch means knowing your audience, and in this case that would mean reading Robert’s blog and realizing he’s going through some major stuff.

    doesn’t mean the world has stopped and you’re not pitching him, but it does mean you need to do your homework and get a better picture of how he’ll receive the pitch given the circumstances.

    part of “doing good PR to bloggers” right is about building an ongoing relationship with them, and learning more about their lives / reading about their interests… not really any different than any other medium / personalities, but it’s a lot easier with bloggers to just read what’s happening with them.

    - dave mcclure

    (ps – robert: best wishes for your mom, also you & the rest of your family. take care)

  9. i’d have to agree… making a good pitch means knowing your audience, and in this case that would mean reading Robert’s blog and realizing he’s going through some major stuff.

    doesn’t mean the world has stopped and you’re not pitching him, but it does mean you need to do your homework and get a better picture of how he’ll receive the pitch given the circumstances.

    part of “doing good PR to bloggers” right is about building an ongoing relationship with them, and learning more about their lives / reading about their interests… not really any different than any other medium / personalities, but it’s a lot easier with bloggers to just read what’s happening with them.

    - dave mcclure

    (ps – robert: best wishes for your mom, also you & the rest of your family. take care)

  10. Again, how do you know that if the blog itself is not giving clear indication? You don’t, so you guess. What happens when you guess? You quite often get it wrong. Forcing people to guess, and then complaining when they get it wrong is really uncool.

  11. Again, how do you know that if the blog itself is not giving clear indication? You don’t, so you guess. What happens when you guess? You quite often get it wrong. Forcing people to guess, and then complaining when they get it wrong is really uncool.

  12. When in doubt, sit it out.

    The blog author has no responsibility to you if you are the one trying to get them to do you a favor.

    Simple really.

  13. So let’s see…”I’ve a product launching in two days, and an influential media person is having a crises, but may or may not want me to ping them.

    If I ignore them, then I’m not really doing my job, if I don’t, I’m doing my job, but may look like an insensitive clod…”

    Kind of a “screwed either way” kind of deal, isn’t it. Of course, a simple blurb on the blog would help:

    “Dear PR & Marketing folks: Please, please, just assume i’ve fallen off the face of the planet. I’m not able to deal with anything outside of my family right now, so I ask that you not contact me with business – related items or issues. When things are back to normal, I’ll post that fact here. Thank you”

    3-4 sentences, solves the problem neatly.

    The PR person does not have the responsibility to become telepathic in the face of mixed signals.

  14. So let’s see…”I’ve a product launching in two days, and an influential media person is having a crises, but may or may not want me to ping them.

    If I ignore them, then I’m not really doing my job, if I don’t, I’m doing my job, but may look like an insensitive clod…”

    Kind of a “screwed either way” kind of deal, isn’t it. Of course, a simple blurb on the blog would help:

    “Dear PR & Marketing folks: Please, please, just assume i’ve fallen off the face of the planet. I’m not able to deal with anything outside of my family right now, so I ask that you not contact me with business – related items or issues. When things are back to normal, I’ll post that fact here. Thank you”

    3-4 sentences, solves the problem neatly.

    The PR person does not have the responsibility to become telepathic in the face of mixed signals.

  15. John: I don’t mind getting pitched this week. But if the call doesn’t start with “how you doing, I was reading your blog and my heart goes out to you” I can tell that the PR person doesn’t care about me. So why should I care about them and their pitch?

  16. John: I don’t mind getting pitched this week. But if the call doesn’t start with “how you doing, I was reading your blog and my heart goes out to you” I can tell that the PR person doesn’t care about me. So why should I care about them and their pitch?

  17. So, your pressure is the influential bloggers problem? Stunningly egocentric.

    Robert is absolutely spot on, “I can tell that the PR person doesn’t care about me. So why should I care about them and their pitch?”

    Remember, public relations is about communicating with your public. I don’t think anyone has to be telepathic to see that Robert is having a rough week. If you must send it a pitch because of timing, then say (after you extend SINCERE sympathy), “I know this is a rotten time, and I will understand if you don’t cover it, but I wanted you to know/be aware that XYZ is happening this week. I will follow up with you once you return.”

    In other words, be a little human.

    Oh, and if you have some sort of relationship with that blogger, it won’t be taken personally.

  18. So, your pressure is the influential bloggers problem? Stunningly egocentric.

    Robert is absolutely spot on, “I can tell that the PR person doesn’t care about me. So why should I care about them and their pitch?”

    Remember, public relations is about communicating with your public. I don’t think anyone has to be telepathic to see that Robert is having a rough week. If you must send it a pitch because of timing, then say (after you extend SINCERE sympathy), “I know this is a rotten time, and I will understand if you don’t cover it, but I wanted you to know/be aware that XYZ is happening this week. I will follow up with you once you return.”

    In other words, be a little human.

    Oh, and if you have some sort of relationship with that blogger, it won’t be taken personally.

  19. Um…maybe they don’t know you Robert? Maybe they aren’t the person who normally does this, and got told “Call Scoble, here’s the number, here’s the pitch” and someone left out “read the blog” or “something’s up with his mom”? Maybe, like *many* people, the entire idea of a parent dying freaks them out so bad that they don’t have the tools to deal with it, and so they just act like everything’s okay, because that’s the only way they know how to cope. That doesn’t make them mean, or callous, that just makes them human.

    Maybe there’s a whole host of reasons why they don’t know what’s going on, but now it’s a sign of “they don’t care”? Are you seriously expecting everyone who might have to contact you for the next n days to be up on your personal life and preface every single contact with “oh, i know you had a (issue that everyone on the planet goes through at some point in their lives), are you able to deal with a (normal business that still has to happen) issue? Because if not, i’ll happily grind my work to a halt for you” Is that what you are honestly expecting? If it is, I got some bad news for ya buddy.

    Maybe if I hadn’t put both parents in the ground years ago, I’d not be saying this, but in an event like that, it’s your job to be understanding too. If you know anyone who’s had to bury a parent, you know how weird it is to talk to them, especially if it’s a casual thing, or (shockers), you didn’t know before you talked to them?

    Considering the, literally, hundreds of calls i got after my mom died from various people not related to her, trying to sell her stuff, etc., yeah, it’s not fun. But it’s what happens. I could have been a total dick about it, but all that would have done was mess with someone who was just trying to do their job. That’s like messing with the Wal-Mart Cashier about prices.

    Instead, I’d just tell them that she’d passed on, and be pleasant about it. Most of the time, i’d end up consoling *them*. This was, of course, a bit amusing.

    You want understanding, but you’re kinda not being real understanding about it. If you want, you have to give too. That’s just thermodynamics.

  20. Um…maybe they don’t know you Robert? Maybe they aren’t the person who normally does this, and got told “Call Scoble, here’s the number, here’s the pitch” and someone left out “read the blog” or “something’s up with his mom”? Maybe, like *many* people, the entire idea of a parent dying freaks them out so bad that they don’t have the tools to deal with it, and so they just act like everything’s okay, because that’s the only way they know how to cope. That doesn’t make them mean, or callous, that just makes them human.

    Maybe there’s a whole host of reasons why they don’t know what’s going on, but now it’s a sign of “they don’t care”? Are you seriously expecting everyone who might have to contact you for the next n days to be up on your personal life and preface every single contact with “oh, i know you had a (issue that everyone on the planet goes through at some point in their lives), are you able to deal with a (normal business that still has to happen) issue? Because if not, i’ll happily grind my work to a halt for you” Is that what you are honestly expecting? If it is, I got some bad news for ya buddy.

    Maybe if I hadn’t put both parents in the ground years ago, I’d not be saying this, but in an event like that, it’s your job to be understanding too. If you know anyone who’s had to bury a parent, you know how weird it is to talk to them, especially if it’s a casual thing, or (shockers), you didn’t know before you talked to them?

    Considering the, literally, hundreds of calls i got after my mom died from various people not related to her, trying to sell her stuff, etc., yeah, it’s not fun. But it’s what happens. I could have been a total dick about it, but all that would have done was mess with someone who was just trying to do their job. That’s like messing with the Wal-Mart Cashier about prices.

    Instead, I’d just tell them that she’d passed on, and be pleasant about it. Most of the time, i’d end up consoling *them*. This was, of course, a bit amusing.

    You want understanding, but you’re kinda not being real understanding about it. If you want, you have to give too. That’s just thermodynamics.

  21. John Welch–you astound me. What a taseteless, insensitive banal creature you are. Please, do everyone a favor and go slither off into the swamp from whence you came.

  22. John Welch–you astound me. What a taseteless, insensitive banal creature you are. Please, do everyone a favor and go slither off into the swamp from whence you came.

  23. These are the things professional journalists deal with every day unfortunately. I lost my mother-in-law very recently, an amazing woman, and I can still hardly believe it. I wrote a post abut it one night and got a lot of great feedback, and people have been understanding. And I still have to get on with my life and my work and I get bad pitches and good pitches and the way I deal with all this stuff is by dealing with it, I try not to invest too much emotional energy in the bad/clueless behaviour, and save it for the good stuff. It all comes with the territory of being a very public and influential person, which is your cross to bear…

  24. These are the things professional journalists deal with every day unfortunately. I lost my mother-in-law very recently, an amazing woman, and I can still hardly believe it. I wrote a post abut it one night and got a lot of great feedback, and people have been understanding. And I still have to get on with my life and my work and I get bad pitches and good pitches and the way I deal with all this stuff is by dealing with it, I try not to invest too much emotional energy in the bad/clueless behaviour, and save it for the good stuff. It all comes with the territory of being a very public and influential person, which is your cross to bear…

  25. Shel,

    John Welch is not entirely wrong when he says that people sometimes are not clued in to what’s happening day-to-day in other people’s lives. Still, it would have been better if he had added some expression of sympathy, especially since he personally dealt with a similar work/life issue.

    As for PR people, there’s no excuse for not doing some due diligence on a journalist before dashing off some inane story pitch. Some things never change.

    Bob, my thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.

  26. Shel,

    John Welch is not entirely wrong when he says that people sometimes are not clued in to what’s happening day-to-day in other people’s lives. Still, it would have been better if he had added some expression of sympathy, especially since he personally dealt with a similar work/life issue.

    As for PR people, there’s no excuse for not doing some due diligence on a journalist before dashing off some inane story pitch. Some things never change.

    Bob, my thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.

  27. Aw Shel, thank you so much. I think you’re awfully cute too, what assuming you know anything about me. I bet you’re a marvy first date.

    Peter, you missed my other comments doing just that, including my one in my first comment here. I wasn’t aware that the Rules Of Sympathy required you to restate the same thing over and over again. See, when you don’t link to the Rule Changes, then the Rules get broken.

    However, when I’ve had these things happen to me (both parents, all four grandparents, a couple friends including a suicide, and my first Martial Arts teacher), I didn’t expect that the entire world would magically know or particularly care. Nor did I require people to do some “Sympathy Dance”. It was *my* problem, and the people who needed/wanted to know, did know, and they were quite handy about it, realizing that no, I didn’t need continual expressions of sympathy, but rather just come hang out and be normal.

    See, i’ve been blindsided by a situation like this. Had a good friend of mine get killed by her boyfriend. He went nuts, stabbed her like 26 times, then cut her head off and threw it at a cop. Cop kinda freaked and threw it back. “Miami Volleyball” it got called in the news. (FYI Shel…THAT would be “Insensitive, Tasteless, and Banal”) I didn’t know this, i’d been busy with school and work, and just blown off the newspapers and TV. So i go back to the place where we’d worked together, and asked her roomie, “Hey, you seen Drew lately?” (The death is detailed in Edna Buchanan’s book “The Corpse had a familiar face”)

    (insert small mushroom cloud)

    It took me twenty minutes to figure out just WHAT the hell was going on. Once I realized, it was like “DOH!”, but at the same time, while I was explaining and apologizing, I was a tad pissed. *I didn’t know*. should I have known? Sure, but the fact was I didn’t, and getting my head torn off because I said something that wasn’t meant to be a bad joke, and said in utter ignorance of the situation was B.S. Yes, I understood why, and later on, her roomie did apologize. She felt bad that she’d reamed me when I didn’t know.

    No matter how well known you are, or are not, you can’t expect that the details of your life are going to be a factor in ANYONE’S life. It’s just ego to do so.

    In cases like this, I find the following works quite well:

    “If someone says something, and there are two ways to take it, and one of them makes you angry or upset, they meant it the other way.”

    It beats judging someone for something that isn’t really their fault.

  28. Aw Shel, thank you so much. I think you’re awfully cute too, what assuming you know anything about me. I bet you’re a marvy first date.

    Peter, you missed my other comments doing just that, including my one in my first comment here. I wasn’t aware that the Rules Of Sympathy required you to restate the same thing over and over again. See, when you don’t link to the Rule Changes, then the Rules get broken.

    However, when I’ve had these things happen to me (both parents, all four grandparents, a couple friends including a suicide, and my first Martial Arts teacher), I didn’t expect that the entire world would magically know or particularly care. Nor did I require people to do some “Sympathy Dance”. It was *my* problem, and the people who needed/wanted to know, did know, and they were quite handy about it, realizing that no, I didn’t need continual expressions of sympathy, but rather just come hang out and be normal.

    See, i’ve been blindsided by a situation like this. Had a good friend of mine get killed by her boyfriend. He went nuts, stabbed her like 26 times, then cut her head off and threw it at a cop. Cop kinda freaked and threw it back. “Miami Volleyball” it got called in the news. (FYI Shel…THAT would be “Insensitive, Tasteless, and Banal”) I didn’t know this, i’d been busy with school and work, and just blown off the newspapers and TV. So i go back to the place where we’d worked together, and asked her roomie, “Hey, you seen Drew lately?” (The death is detailed in Edna Buchanan’s book “The Corpse had a familiar face”)

    (insert small mushroom cloud)

    It took me twenty minutes to figure out just WHAT the hell was going on. Once I realized, it was like “DOH!”, but at the same time, while I was explaining and apologizing, I was a tad pissed. *I didn’t know*. should I have known? Sure, but the fact was I didn’t, and getting my head torn off because I said something that wasn’t meant to be a bad joke, and said in utter ignorance of the situation was B.S. Yes, I understood why, and later on, her roomie did apologize. She felt bad that she’d reamed me when I didn’t know.

    No matter how well known you are, or are not, you can’t expect that the details of your life are going to be a factor in ANYONE’S life. It’s just ego to do so.

    In cases like this, I find the following works quite well:

    “If someone says something, and there are two ways to take it, and one of them makes you angry or upset, they meant it the other way.”

    It beats judging someone for something that isn’t really their fault.

  29. John: one difference. The people pitching me are pitching me BECAUSE of my blog. So, there’s really no excuse here.

    Also, you weren’t trying to sell anything to anyone. When I’m getting pitched they are trying to convince me to send my tens of thousands of readers over to their site. That seems to me to require doing a tiny bit of research to figure out how to get me to respond positively.

    And, yes, I do have an ego. Deal with it. :-)

  30. John: one difference. The people pitching me are pitching me BECAUSE of my blog. So, there’s really no excuse here.

    Also, you weren’t trying to sell anything to anyone. When I’m getting pitched they are trying to convince me to send my tens of thousands of readers over to their site. That seems to me to require doing a tiny bit of research to figure out how to get me to respond positively.

    And, yes, I do have an ego. Deal with it. :-)

  31. There is No Excuse for Cookie-Cutter Pitches

    Back when I was with eTelecare, my outbound sales teams defied the Draconian IT department by looking up potential customers on Friendster, generating better relationships and more sales. For the transparent generation, there is no excuse for cookie-cu…

  32. Dude, half of them were calling me TO sell me something. Buying a house and death notices man, those are like chum in the water to salespeople. Funeral homes, funeral PLANS, (What, they’re dead already, exactly what am I planning for…zombies?), retirement homes, (again, dead!), etc.

    You, ego? Never noticed, you’re so humble and self – effacing. You really should try to come out of your shell there Robert, stop being such a caterpillar.

  33. Dude, half of them were calling me TO sell me something. Buying a house and death notices man, those are like chum in the water to salespeople. Funeral homes, funeral PLANS, (What, they’re dead already, exactly what am I planning for…zombies?), retirement homes, (again, dead!), etc.

    You, ego? Never noticed, you’re so humble and self – effacing. You really should try to come out of your shell there Robert, stop being such a caterpillar.

  34. Shel, you got it part right… speaking as somebody whose known John for seven or so years,he IS a taseteless, insensitive banal creature, but he is also right. Isn’t that irritating?

    –chuck

  35. Shel, you got it part right… speaking as somebody whose known John for seven or so years,he IS a taseteless, insensitive banal creature, but he is also right. Isn’t that irritating?

    –chuck

  36. Something to think about:

    In a traditional job, you go to work and accounting or marketing or whatever group sends you an email requesting that you “do” something for them. You reply and do your job even though your mind may be preoccupied by family matters. You see, your mother is ill.

    You talk to your boss who has been out for a few days to ask for vacation time this summer. He acts strangely; like his mind is elsewhere. His mother is ill.

    You post messages on your blog. You get pitches from PR. Your mother is ill.

    Blogs mix personal and professional lives. In this new(er) genre, how do we separate personal/professional lives? Or can we?

    P.S. My mother is ill.

  37. Something to think about:

    In a traditional job, you go to work and accounting or marketing or whatever group sends you an email requesting that you “do” something for them. You reply and do your job even though your mind may be preoccupied by family matters. You see, your mother is ill.

    You talk to your boss who has been out for a few days to ask for vacation time this summer. He acts strangely; like his mind is elsewhere. His mother is ill.

    You post messages on your blog. You get pitches from PR. Your mother is ill.

    Blogs mix personal and professional lives. In this new(er) genre, how do we separate personal/professional lives? Or can we?

    P.S. My mother is ill.

  38. Amazing, simply amazing where this whole blog, touchy feely, sensitive insensitive thing has now gone. If I understand correctly before contacting a reporter, and I assume Robert is some sort of reporter, I am obliged to check his blog to make sure he’s in a good mood? If he does not have a blog to feed his ego, who do I call? His therapist, his significant other?

    As a PR person I need to contact a large number of people, and yes, I always send an email first, then follow up with a phone call. Emails have automatic responses, use them. A simple “I am attending to some personal issues right now and I will get back to you in two weeks, if this is urgent contact Bill Gates”.

    My job is symbiotic with a reporter’s job, in a sense we live off each other and even more so in high technology. But it would never occur to me to impose my personal problems on a media person, it would be unprofessional in the extreme.

    Final note, This trend where media people use their blogs to cover all those issues that their professional outlets will not allow is very strange to me. My clients expect to be covered by a media outlet, not dismissed by an opinionated individual in an often remote blog. Media outlets have clear distribution numbers, even websites have traffic monitoring systems so we know very roughly who and how many of you are actually seeing our message.

    Having said that, if anyone needs to contact me, please check with my parole officer first as I may be homicidal for the next few weeks.

  39. Amazing, simply amazing where this whole blog, touchy feely, sensitive insensitive thing has now gone. If I understand correctly before contacting a reporter, and I assume Robert is some sort of reporter, I am obliged to check his blog to make sure he’s in a good mood? If he does not have a blog to feed his ego, who do I call? His therapist, his significant other?

    As a PR person I need to contact a large number of people, and yes, I always send an email first, then follow up with a phone call. Emails have automatic responses, use them. A simple “I am attending to some personal issues right now and I will get back to you in two weeks, if this is urgent contact Bill Gates”.

    My job is symbiotic with a reporter’s job, in a sense we live off each other and even more so in high technology. But it would never occur to me to impose my personal problems on a media person, it would be unprofessional in the extreme.

    Final note, This trend where media people use their blogs to cover all those issues that their professional outlets will not allow is very strange to me. My clients expect to be covered by a media outlet, not dismissed by an opinionated individual in an often remote blog. Media outlets have clear distribution numbers, even websites have traffic monitoring systems so we know very roughly who and how many of you are actually seeing our message.

    Having said that, if anyone needs to contact me, please check with my parole officer first as I may be homicidal for the next few weeks.

  40. My notes from Steve Rubels’s keynote “Conversation” Tuesday at the Toronto mesh conference (Steve joined Edelman a few months ago):
    - now the PR professional needs to know how to interact with people as individuals
    - create a win-win: how do I hope that both parties have a success?
    - clients get it when they are ready to get into a “conversation”
    - new model: further the conversation

    My conclusion: blogging is about dialogues and, dare I say, ‘naked’ conversations across your community (virtual or real). “I talk, you listen” is not an option. And yet, it’s a reflection of the same “old” sales training: know your customer (participant).

  41. My notes from Steve Rubels’s keynote “Conversation” Tuesday at the Toronto mesh conference (Steve joined Edelman a few months ago):
    - now the PR professional needs to know how to interact with people as individuals
    - create a win-win: how do I hope that both parties have a success?
    - clients get it when they are ready to get into a “conversation”
    - new model: further the conversation

    My conclusion: blogging is about dialogues and, dare I say, ‘naked’ conversations across your community (virtual or real). “I talk, you listen” is not an option. And yet, it’s a reflection of the same “old” sales training: know your customer (participant).

  42. Unlike many of the commenters here, I think the PR industry needs a real wake up. I used to be a full-time freelance journalist and still dabble. I used to get some incredibly thoughtless, intrusive, rude, aggressive pitches from PR companies and worse. It would be very easy and tempting to deal with this by being comprehensively rude back. Ignoring people, hanging up the phone and so on. The problem is, as Robert says, you want to build relationships and you don’t want to give up your own basic good manners regardless of what (some) other people do. This is the central dilemma in my experience and one of the reasons why I do so much less magazine journalism these days. Here is one of many posts on my blogs about the PR industry: Top ten lies of PR companies: http://www.badlanguage.net/?p=17

  43. Unlike many of the commenters here, I think the PR industry needs a real wake up. I used to be a full-time freelance journalist and still dabble. I used to get some incredibly thoughtless, intrusive, rude, aggressive pitches from PR companies and worse. It would be very easy and tempting to deal with this by being comprehensively rude back. Ignoring people, hanging up the phone and so on. The problem is, as Robert says, you want to build relationships and you don’t want to give up your own basic good manners regardless of what (some) other people do. This is the central dilemma in my experience and one of the reasons why I do so much less magazine journalism these days. Here is one of many posts on my blogs about the PR industry: Top ten lies of PR companies: http://www.badlanguage.net/?p=17

  44. Swingers sex

    Then He slapped my ass and ordered me under the desk. It was then that I knew that this time it was going to push even my whorish limits on performing as His sex slave.