Here’s an almost exact replication of an email conversation I had with a PR recently that has still left a sting while I was trying in less then 16 hours (including a night) to put together a double page spread for a paper.
Me: Hi, I urgently need to get images and a release of your best selling X Product.
They: We don’t have a release. I’ll cut and paste something from the website.
Email arrives with a cut and pasted one line that says nothing relevant about the product at all, but I think started with, ‘Wow’.
Me: I need more than this – I have to write something about your product. Maybe you can tell me some ingredients; emollients perhaps?
They: I’ve had a word with our head of X, and they say it isn’t about the formulation, it’s about the colour.
And that my friends, is when it all gets just too hard. I think if the client knew they’d been dropped from a mainstream media feature because that’s the best their PR could do, they’d be absolutely horrified. I know I was.
All products are sent to me as samples from brands and agencies unless otherwise stated. Affiliate links may be used. Posts are not affiliate driven.
In other words, bugger off! lol!
Oh yes, CLEARLY formulation means diddly squat in makeup.
Who cares if it is horribly drying, disgustingly greasy, is made up of 98% water for a £30 price tag, or has rat poison in it?
It’s all about colour don’t you know.
How very helpful of them! Makes you wonder what they have to hide in the ingredients list? Would love to know which brand it was…
This is clearly not the most intelliegent PR response I have heard and is definitely not helpful for you when writing a feature.
However, if the client fails to provide the relevant information that you require via the PR, or feels that the information that you want is not important, it puts the PR in a difficult position.
He/she is probably mortified and you are probably still annoyed ( I fully understand that! ) but perhaps clients need to look at the information they are prepared to provide.
Similar situations arise when clients fail to appreciate the importance of a journalist deadline and can’t get back to you in time because they are ‘busy’ but then moan when PR opportunities are missed.
However, no excuse for the poor copying and pasting business! Come on PR people, sort it out and protect our reputation. Reputation management is part of your job after all!
That is just shockingly lazy, and if it’s true they don’t have a release prepared for a best-selling product, sack that bloody PR because they’re shit.
Stuff like that kind of pisses me off in a selfish. I study communications and I aspire to work with PR. It’s gonna be near impossible for me to get a job, and there’s people like that sitting on jobs that I could have and they can’t even make the effort to make a proper release. Damn, they can’t even be helpful when they get an request from a blogger.
Good lord – how inappropriate… “Its all about the colour”… how about giving people informaytion needed to make informed choices!
My blog is at the top of Google for a review of a particular product. It is a damning review. I got an e-mail from the company’s PR company with a lot of puff for the product. They cannot have read my review at all. I e-mailed back saying that I didn’t have anything to add to my negative impression. Their response? Nothing. Not a sausage. No attempt to address or even answer my criticisms. If I were their client I would be wasting my money.
It does make me wonder if the PR industry is anything other than a drag on its customers and we would all be much better off without it.
To be fair there are also many many many times with PRs are incredibly useful and it would be a real shame to tarnish all or question the role of all PRs based on the lousy few.
In the same way that there are some shoddy journalists who behave appalingly but we don’t tar all with the same brush.
(yes I am a PR myself in a different field)