Updated: Plus, If I Pulled This Stunt I Think I’d Get Fired

October 31st, 2007  |  Published in etc  |  1 Comment

I don’t think the answer to bad pitches from flacks has to involve public humiliation, even if I felt a moment of schadenfreude reading that post.

Which is to say, my own approach is much more passive. I usually just ignore the badly misdirected pitches, along with any pique I might feel about the disconnect between the cordial and warm boilerplate salutation and the obvious ignorance about what it is I’m up to. Why bother with pique? I mean … it’s a little weird to run a site with the words “networking” and “enterprise” in the title and get pitches about ultra-fuel-efficient heavy agricultural machinery, but it doesn’t warrant more than passing annoyance, and maybe a little bemusement over the crummy, wasteful mechanisms that caused that pitch to land in my inbox.

If I were the sort to characterize the relationship between editor and flack as one of never-ending war broken up only briefly by obligatory expressions of cordial solicitousness before a conference call prezo begins in earnest, I might even argue that the lameness of the ridiculously poorly targeted pitch-blast is a useful reminder of why it’s right to hate.

But I don’t see it that way. Most flacks — PR professionals, I suppose it’s nicer to call them — seem like decent people who’re entitled to a few mistakes. And I’m generally only mean when I think I have privacy.

I think the most irritating thing about that post and the ensuing comments is all the suck-ups falling all over themselves to show that they Get It. Anyone who doesn’t recognize the Hip Flack Who Gets It as its own kind of marketing campaign deserves to hear as much bilge about the flack’s clients and their “passion” as can be stuffed into an inbox or left in voicemail.

You know the bit about “If you have to ask, you’ll never know?”

If you have to tell, you’ll never be.

That includes any blathering about how much you Get It.

Or maybe that whole entry was a wily trap designed to trick all the Hip Flacks Who Get It into gathering in one place. The opportunity to crow about the failings of other flacks is like catnip to those people.

Update: Oops.


  1. pk says:

    November 1st, 2007 at 10:14 pm (#)

    “If you have to tell, you’ll never be.”

    Dude, if you made that up, you now belong to the ages.

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