I was interrupted by a phone call from a PR agency staffer last week. Here is what I remember him saying. (There was a lot of gobbledygook in his pitch that I didn't understand.):
PR Agency staffer: "Hello, I'm calling to tell you about [Company X] the leading provider of blah, blah, blah. The company is releasing a new cutting-edge, mission-critical, blah, blah, blah product that will blah, blah and improve enterprise business process. It would be a perfect story for you to write for KM World Magazine readers."
Me: "I don't write for KM World Magazine."
PR Agency staffer: "Oh, that doesn't matter. What magazine do you write for? This pitch is for anyone."
Well, OK then. I get it.
Hey, we all make mistakes. This well-meaning PR minion could have turned an embarrassing situation into an interesting pitch if he had just used his brain. For example, he could have said something like "Well don't I feel like a fool. This product really is cool, here's what their clients say about it…"
He proceeded to reveal the dirty, little, unwritten secret of PR agency staffers: For the underlings, it's all a game of bad email spam and poor dialing for dollars telemarketing interruption techniques. Most of them don't give a hoot about journalists. Ugh.
And you must read Amanda Chapel's classic post: Has Public Relations Become Synonymous with Spam? "PR has been the undisputed king of the unsolicited and unstoppable strategic commercial message," Amanda writes. This post is just terrific. Read it. Now.