19 September 2006

'ello mate...

'ello Danny.

I'm not sure how, but I'd failed to notice that Danny Bradbury is blogging. And better than that, he's having a go at PR people...here he is chastising someone for having the temerity to contact him regarding a feature on deadline day (post headline: "Oh, for the love of Christ"):

"The feature had been displayed on my online features list for about a month, and colleagues in this PR person’s company received email about it via my automated system as soon as it was posted. The information, in short, has been in that organisation for a long time. So doing this makes a PR exec (and their company) look incompetent. Who’s training these people?"

Ouch. Still, he doesn't go as far as naming the person or, indeed, the company involved, though he does drop a hint:

"This is the same large PR company that recently decided to ‘break new ground’ and start up a virtual press office in Second Life. Very innovative, but while it’s out messing around with avatars, virtual reality and all that jazz, it’s missing real-world press opportunities for its clients, who are presumably paying it a lot of money for the privilege."

I can't work it out...can you, dear viewer?

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

“Oh, for the love of Danny”

Danny Bradbury should obviously be added alongside Gary Flood and the like to the "Freelance Journalist Exceedingly Rich List".

He must be mega- rich because, rather than spending time writing and selling stories, he prefers to fill his days writing for free about trivial aspects of his industry that irritate him...

Actually, why should he confine his grumbling/blogging to IT and PR? With exceptionally incisive commentary like that about Text 100 - or whichever agency he perceives as blundering today - I'm sure he could write some real laugh-a-minute items the next time his newspaper arrives late, or his toaster breaks down...

Love from, Truth Not Spin.

Anonymous said...

Danny's point is very well made. An excellent example of 'client promotion' versus 'self promotion'...

Anonymous said...

Hmm - some valid if from the Royal College of the Bleeding Obvious, stuff from Danny.

Sounds like he has been having a bit of a challenging time of it with PRs recently...

http://www.itjournalist.com/?p=60

Then again it would be nice if he got back to PRs who use his fiddly website pitching system and get him info early to let them know if he was/wasn't interested. It's a two-way street Danny...

...and its trickier to rant about journos as a PR than the other way round - witness the slow death of bad hack, through lack of stories...

Danny said...

That web site is a bit fiddly but I'm redeveloping it. You'll have to bear with me - I'm only one bloke and I got 40 pitches for an article on SOA recently. Wading through 40 pitches on SOA is about as much fun as you can have without taking your shoes off, trust me.

I am slowly responding, which is more than a lot of journalists would bother to do. The only other option is for me to kill the fiddly web site and ignore everyone as their emails fade into oblivion. I'd rather not do that, and I normally get back to everyone...eventually.

>He must be mega- rich

I just write fast, but I'm still poor. Anyway, if faced with a choice about writing a 2000 word article on real time operating systems or rambling on a blog, which one would you choose?

As for Badhack - why isn't anyone posting? You can't blame that on us! I used to love reading BH and hoped to be immortalised there one day, but it's all gone dead quiet. You PR bods have the benefit of anonymity there (as well as in the comments here), so get to it! :-)

figgis said...

"As for Badhack - why isn't anyone posting? You can't blame that on us!"

Well we can blame you - you lot could be far more rubbish and that would make things easier?

PR-Spod said...

Why aren't we posting? We're all working hard, making sure we get back to you in plenty of time, DB!!!

Anonymous said...

> I got 40 pitches for an article
> on SOA recently. Wading through
> 40 pitches on SOA is about as
> much fun as you can have without
> taking your shoes off, trust me.

You could make it a lot easier for yourself. You could work proactively and investigate a story yourself. As opposed to sending out requests and then feeling like you not only have to read every pitch that comes back but that you also have to reply to each one too.

I like to think that magazine editors don’t pay freelancers for journalism, not to run a big communal communications service/love-in. Don’t you ever worry that the 41st company – the only that maybe didn’t even bother pitching (so you didn’t investigating - had a story that might have really interested your readers?

Danny said...

Anon,

>You could work proactively and >investigate a story yourself.

Do me a favour. Go read this blog post:

http://www.itjournalist.com/?p=19

And then come back and chat. I spend a significant amount of time tracking down people who specifically don't want to speak to me, like identity theft victims and crooked Internet scammers. It means that my hourly rate as a freelance is much lower than someone who just pastes stuff from an email. But I do it because I care about my work.

I just spent two years making a documentary, from scratch, finding interviewees with rarely told stories, many of whom didn't want to speak to a film maker, and persuading them to participate. Then going and filming them, doing the camerawork, the sound, the background research, the organisation, and the editing, myself. On my own budget.

So comments from someone who doesn't really seem to know what I do or read any of the stuff I write, are pretty irritating. Especially when they're speaking with the luxury of anonymity and I don't know anything about their experience or background.

So, then, why did I develop the system? Firstly because I'm a tech writer and I like actually doing the stuff that I write about (again, it comes down to caring about the subject). It was an interesting exercise.

Second, and most importantly, without it, I'd have to manage huge numbers of incoming emails and calls asking what I'm writing, what my angle is, and so on. This is a good way of containing all that.

I certainly do try and read all the pitches, because PR people take the trouble to enter them and I think they at least deserve to have them read. And sure, sometimes useful pitches come through from PR people and I certainly use those. But it's far from my only avenue.

But you're suggesting I should ditch most of those pitches without reading them? If you like. Makes my job easier, although if you're a PR, now that I don't have to feel guilty about not reading pitches, you've just made your job an awful lot harder :-)

Anonymous said...

Let's berate Danny further - having followed his amazingly complex process of pitching for a feature, we set him up with three excellent and timely interviews with our spokespeople which basically amounted to us building him his article. Great that he then managed to mispell two of their names and the organisations of all three. Class.....

Danny said...

What?? If there was a problem, you could have come to me and talked about it. Made me aware of it so that it wouldn't have happened again, and at least stood behind your comments. I'm appalled that this happened, but was totally unaware of it until this point. And because you're not telling me who you are, I still have no idea who it was that I'm supposed to have misspelled, whether it happened at my end or after the subs got hold of it.

One thing that's worth pointing out is that I'm under my own name, defending myself against comments from people who aren't prepared to make themselves known. When I have a problem, I put my name behind it. You could at least turn this into something I can build on.

For every one of these problems I'd hope that there are many people that are happy with what I write.

....the world's leading.... said...

Quite right Danny.

Come on, anon...if Danny (or a sub) has got a couple of names wrong then there's little point in sitting there grumbling into your beer about what a poor quality journo he is - let him know! How are things supposed to improve without feedback?

Anonymous said...

> I'm under my own name,
> defending myself against
> comments from people who aren't
> prepared to make themselves
> known. When I have a problem, I
> put my name behind it

Just one minor point:

> I used to love reading BH and
> hoped to be immortalised there
> one day, but it's all gone dead
> quiet. You PR bods have the
> benefit of anonymity there (as
> well as in the comments here),
> so get to it! :-)

Danny said...

But..but..you can't just post anything! OK, you got me. I can't invite those types of responses and then expect to control them, and feelings can get hurt on both sides. Which I guess was what I should have realised first off.

I still think that people should come to me first with stuff like that, if only so that I can investigate and correct any mistakes, but then the same goes for my own posts. I can't expect to post vitriol without getting some barbed comments back. I've taken it on board and posted an apology.

I tried hard to keep people briefed on what I was doing, but it seems pretty clear to me that the system isn't working all that well for many, and I really didn't know that.

Thanks for the comments, all.

figgis said...

Now thats a big man speaking. Fair play Danny