30 May 2007

Stupid is as stupid does...

A couple of pieces of piss-poor PR performance landed in our inbox this afternoon.

First up, some numpty at Grant Butler Coomber managed to send out a press release and include the wrong client name...only to several hours later try and gloss over it with this:

"I am extremely sorry, however there was a typo in the below e-mail. The company that should be mentioned as the survey sponsors is PacketExchange not Websense. Please do let me know if this presents any problems."

Problems? Not for us pal...maybe for you.

Then, an equally challenged individual from Bite decided to attach Toshiba's entire press list (that'll be just the 458 names then...) to an email to an undisclosed list of recipients...though it'd be a fair guess, we reckon, that it went to all the people in the attached spreadsheet.

Still, the hack community has hardly been covering itself in glory either. Check out this Response Source enquiry from yesterday:

PUBLICATION: Nuts
JOURNALIST: Andrew Dickens (staff)
DEADLINE: 30-June-2007 17:00
QUERY: Myself and the Deputy News Editor are going to Le Mans from 15-18 June. We are looking for loans off the following if anyone out there is feeling very kind: a car and camping equipment (from tin pots to tents), OR a motor-home. I have to make it clear that there is no guarantee of coverage.

Surely that's abusing the system?

The Flackenhack Awards are going to have categories for this kind of rubbish you know...

18 comments:

Prem said...

"We are looking for loans off"...

Editorial independence may be dead, but we can take heart that at least journalists have an exemplary command of the English language.... what?.. oh...

Anonymous said...

Well, DWPub reckons that they've never received any complaints from flacks about blagging, and the site clearly says it's allowed
(http://www.responsesource.com/acceptable_use.php)

So, on that note, I'd like to ask the PR pixies for a new car (BMW/Volvo preferred but would consider VW) a nice new laptop (Tosh/Sony only) and, er, a lovely shiny Sidekick - or did Chris G nick all of those?

Anonymous said...

"Myself and the Deputy News Editor..."

I hate to sound like an old fart, but isn't it depressing that a journalist doesn't know the difference between the nominative singular pronoun and the first person reflexive pronoun?

Not only a ligger, but an illiterate ligger.

rcoms said...

I guess there's a good chance that the nature of the title in question gives this sort of abuse the air of a laddish piss-take to some extent... keep an eye out for one of the next incarnation of the journalistic scrounge:
"Me and a couple of the lads are going to the opub tonight - we're looking for the loan off (sic):
1) a couple of hundred quid to put behind the bar
2) the price of a good curry to round off the evening..."

rcoms said...

...and there's obviously no substitute for someone else's piss poor PR to make us all feel better on a dull Thursday morning!

Anonymous said...

Let me know if the Nuts requests gets some kit, if it does I'm getting myself an NUJ card!

Pietro

Vanessa McGreevy said...

It's not exactly accurate that we've "never received any complaints from flacks about blagging". We do get a few people each year expressing concern about requests for competition prizes or products/services a journalist needs to write a feature, but that's out of some 14,000 enquiries sent out in that time.

When we've asked subscribers en masse about these types of enquiry, whilst some would rather we blocked them, the balance of opinion seems to be that PRs would rather receive a request and delete it, than risk missing out on any opportunities to hear from journalists.

In the end, we consider our subscribers are the best people to judge if a request is relevant to them. And of course journalists do send these requests because they often get the responses they want from PRs...

Having said that we're always open to suggestions and if you have any
comments we're ready to listen.

figgis said...

>So, on that note, I'd like to ask the PR pixies for a new car (BMW/Volvo preferred but would consider VW) a nice new laptop (Tosh/Sony only) and, er, a lovely shiny Sidekick - or did Chris G nick all of those?<

Just send those over to Anon, c/o TWL Towers then?

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

Don't stop 'em Vanessa...we love them!

Bite said...

Hands up to that one, Bite is duly handing its head in shame

Anonymous said...

>>"Hands up to that one, Bite is duly handing its head in shame"<<

'handing'....??? back to school for you, sonny....

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

handing its head in shame to who?

Chris Green said...

Don't hold your breath for a Sidekick - T-Mobile UK has discontinued them.

However, if any of our PR colleagues reading are looking to hand out some free toys, I'm on the lookout for a helicoptor.

Anonymous said...

...to the recruitment agencies, probably

Anonymous said...

>>"I'm on the lookout for a helicoptor."<<

Flippin' eck Green...there's only one 'o' in helicopter....

Chris Green said...

"Flippin' eck Green...there's only one 'o' in helicopter...."

I blame typing on the Sidekick!

Anonymous said...

"isn't it depressing that a journalist doesn't know the difference between the nominative singular pronoun and the first person reflexive pronoun"

Isn't it depressing that you have nothing better to do?

Andrew said...

"isn't it depressing that a journalist doesn't know the difference between the nominative singular pronoun and the first person reflexive pronoun"

What's depressing is that you have nothing better to do than pick grammatical holes in a hastily-written note from a journalist who has mild dyslexia.

Seriously, folks, take a good look at yourselves...

(Grammar okay there?)