Sending an irrelevant press release? How about a month’s ban?

The life of a PR can be a tough one.

Not helped, one suspects, by having to deal with hard-to-please journos (which isn’t necessarily an insult) like Renai LeMay.

Dr Mumbo winced slightly on behalf of Edelman after LeMay used Twitter to launch a series of Excocets, before announcing a month long ban on publishing Edelman press releases, and urging clients to sack the agency.

The publisher of Delimiter told his followers in a series of tweets:

You people will not believe the press release I have just been sent

OK, sorry everyone, but this one HAS to be named and shamed

PR firm Edelman has sent me a release about Facebook game mirroring real-life experience of being marketing executive

If you think I am shitting you, click on the link and check out the picture they sent me

Now, from memory, I have had this sort of problem with Edelman before … in fact, they are a repeat offender

Edelman’s release states: “Players are transported into a virtual office environment and work through challenging yet fun tasks”

“which gradually allows them to climb the corporate ladder to become Global President!”

Apparently, if I wish to trial the experience of being a marketing executive, I have only to head to the “powerbrands” game site

Now I deal with marketing executives all the time (they’re lovely people), and I can’t see how even they would be interested in this

Let alone a journalist who covers Australia’s technology sector

Attention Edelman: You are the first PR firm in Australia to reach the @delimiterau blacklist. Your corporate domain is now on my list

For the next month, any media release which Edelman sends me will be auto-forwarded to the trash

If your company uses Edelman as its agency, I recommend you to dump them immediately

My response to Edelman reads as follows:

“frankly, I’ve been dealing with Edelman for years, and I’m disappointed you would waste my time with this drivel.”

“Your corporate domain has been added to my blacklist.”

Edelman’s Matthew Gain picked up the phone and delivered LeMay with some soothing words. LeMay soon tweeted:

accepted! RT @matthewgain: Just off the phone from @renailemay where I offered an unreserved apology on behalf of Edelman for poor practice.

Sadly though, the ban still stands. LeMay tells Dr Mumbo: “The month’s ban stays — I need to set an example.”

He added: “As a business owner, I would be mortified if my staff simply spammed my company’s key industry contacts with irrevelant information on a daily basis. PR agencies need to start valuing their relationships with journalists and realising that there are real human beings on the end of every email they send. We are key stakeholders in their company’s future, especially in niche publishing areas such as the technology press, and they need to start to treat us as such. I have great relationships with many PR firms who respect that.”

For those who are curious, this was the press release:

powerbrandsDear Renai

I’m contacting you regarding the launch of the innovative facebook game powerbrands, which I thought may be of interest to you.

Launched by global company Reckitt Benckiser, powerbrands has been designed to mirror the real-life experience of being a Marketing Executive in an online ‘virtual world’, and is the first game on facebook to be launched by an FMCG company.

Players are transported into a virtual office environment and work through challenging yet fun tasks which gradually allows them to climb the corporate ladder to become Global President!

Please let me know if you would be interested in any further info or if you would like to trial the game please visit http://apps.facebook.com/powerbrands

Thanks

While the month-long ban seems a tad harsh to Dr Mumbo, it does raise the possibility of a sliding scale of punishments for errant PRs. What does a “I’m calling about the press release” phone call deserve?

Comments


  1. Gary Kemble
    28 Oct 10
    12:59 pm

  2. I think what PR companies need to think about is how many other journalists have ‘blacklisted’ them without telling them (ie, auto-forwarding their emails to trash – forever).

  3. Glebe2037
    28 Oct 10
    1:04 pm

  4. Gold

  5. Jo Knox
    28 Oct 10
    1:13 pm

  6. “I’m just calling to check that you received my press release”… Gah! Did you, Mr or Ms PR, check when you made your distribution list that my email address was correct? Yes? Then chances are, I received it. Thanks.
    Are you really asking whether I was planning to use it? Because if I was, I’m pretty capable of giving you a call myself to arrange an interview. If I wasn’t, nothing you say right now is going to change that.
    I love this ban idea and will implement it immediately.
    For the record, I received the Edelman release, too… twice.

  7. NickE
    28 Oct 10
    1:14 pm

  8. Yeah, what Gary said. Renai is a rarity in that he will actually tell people about it. Plenty will just trash/spam-list PR companies without bringing it up for discussion. At least Renai’s rant might bring some improvement to the PR-journo relationship?

  9. mal damkar
    28 Oct 10
    1:19 pm

  10. Wow. I suprised this isn’t on the front page of every paper, someone received an email that wasn’t really relevant to them. I’m really unclear on why this is such a big deal. Seems like someone needs to get a bit of a reality check- surely one is capable of deciding quite quickly – I’m not interested and move on. Rather than waste what is OBVIOUSLY their incredibly precious time over.

  11. Karalee
    28 Oct 10
    1:21 pm

  12. FFS. This really is ridiculous. So, the pitch was off target or did it offend Renai for being below him and his publication?

    I tweeted this:

    You know, there’s a time and a place for rants. But shaming one of Aus’ best agencies just because you don’t like the pitch, is childish.

    and stand by it.

    What about we have a month’s ban on journalists who continue to publish bollocks each and every day, or on editors who think we want to read about stories such “Chuck Norris not responsible for the Time Traveller”?

    Perhaps we can just bag out the SMEGs instead? *disclaimer: PR working in Social.

    P.S Tim, I note you had a go at the app Edelman were promoting.. How did you find it? I thought it was fun.. http://www.twitpic.com/31gkw3

  13. Renai LeMay
    28 Oct 10
    1:27 pm

  14. hey Karalee,

    I would wholeheartedly support a ban on journalists who continue to publish bollocks each and every day, or editors who are presenting Chuck Norris YouTube stories as news :)

    As for naming and shaming PR agencies … I get asked several times a month privately by internal PRs about who I think are the best agencies. The only difference here is, I’m saying it in public.

    PR agencies survive by monetising their relationships with journalists. It’s about time they realised that. In fact, many of the good ones do — and they have a gold-clad route into my inbox daily or a coffee in my office whenever they want.

    Cheers,

    Renai
    Publisher, Delimiter

  15. David Olsen
    28 Oct 10
    1:28 pm

  16. “What does a “I’m calling about the press release” phone call deserve?”

    While I know as a PR you need to report back to your client that “Yes, I called so and so from XYZ publication” when they ask you. But if you can just lie to your client and say you called me, rather than waste both of our time that would be ace.

    If your client contacts me directly. I’ll be sure to say you called.

  17. Angus Kidman
    28 Oct 10
    1:33 pm

  18. I agree PRs sell relevance as a skill so they shouldn’t make these kinds of errors, but the amount of effort involved in writing all those tweets as opposed to just hitting the delete key still strikes me as an odd use of time.

  19. Anonymous
    28 Oct 10
    1:38 pm

  20. Forgive me, but is the idea that the launch of a new game for Facebook (our most engaged social network in Aus) might be of interest to a technology journalist so crazy?

  21. mumbrella
    28 Oct 10
    1:42 pm

  22. To answer your question on my impressions of the app, Karalee. It took an age to load, so I got on with something else. I’ll give it another try at some point though.

    Cheers,

    Tim – Mumbrella

  23. CJ
    28 Oct 10
    1:46 pm

  24. OK i get why journos hate the follow up call, but any good PR knows that unless you do it your press release will get nothin. When i do calls to radio or paper newsrooms to ask if they received my release 99% of the time they say thank you and more often than not ask for the client’s number or for the client to call in. It’s not rocket science. And yes, it works!

  25. The Internetz
    28 Oct 10
    1:53 pm

  26. @Karalee, your comment is the most sensible response to this story!

    PR bashing is nothing new from Renai. I do wish he’d give agency folk a break though. Sure, the targeting around this story could have been better, but like @Angus said, just press delete and get on with your life if it doesn’t interest you. It’s not rocket science.

  27. Karalee
    28 Oct 10
    1:53 pm

  28. Hey Renai

    I’m aware you get asked by PRs who is on your favourites list, as this is perhaps the third or fourth public shaming you’ve done after receiving a pitch you didn’t feel was targeted well. In fact, we’ve had this debate before!

    I have to agree with Anonymous in this case: fancy thinking a Facebook App pitch to a technology publication was suitable? */sarcasm*

    The discipline of ‘media relations’ is indeed reliant on forming relationships with journalists and is an entirely symbiotic one. Journalists need stories (latest figures average out at 70% of news content originating from PR), and PR need journalists.

    However, I also content that it’s about time journalists realised that they survive by monetising the content provided to them by PR. Even with the advent of social media which allows journalists to get stories straight from the source, there is still a need for a gate keeper and an authenticator.

    The relationship between journalists and PR has always been rocky, and I content that public rants such as the one you have done today, has probably made quite a few Tech PRs re-consider the appropriateness of pitching to you and Delimiter. A result you obviously want.

    But, I suspect it will also prevent you from being provided with genuine on-target stories in the future. Which is a shame for all parties.

    Cheers
    Karalee

  29. Karalee
    28 Oct 10
    1:56 pm

  30. Apologies for the spelling error. That should read ‘However, I also contend..’

  31. Esther McLaren
    28 Oct 10
    2:29 pm

  32. Since we’re naming names, I receive numerous spammy, irrelevant press releases from “N O W! Communications” (the PR agency that has a “pay for coverage” model).

    I cover the employment sector and I have politely explained this, and asked to be taken off the mailing list – more than once. But I continue to get PR for hard-hitting news issues like: Mediterranean Diet Pill, Slogan T-Shirts for Cyclists, Bad Breath Ruining Marriages and other gems.

    They all go straight to my trash folder now, of course. As has been pointed out already, once the journalist gets fed up and marks the sender as spam, any potentially relevant stuff in future won’t end up being seen. (Not that I can imagine that happening here.)

  33. Wolf
    28 Oct 10
    2:38 pm

  34. Who is Rene lemai?

  35. barry
    28 Oct 10
    2:40 pm

  36. a quick search of Renai’s site – http://delimiter.com.au/?s=facebook – shows that, no, a facebook app is unlikely to be of interest to Renai. It’s simply not the kind of stuff he covers – and seriously, if you work in PR and you aren’t keeping track of the people who you’re sending your press releases to, and reading their publications, you’re not doing your job.

    And, whether ‘it will also prevent you from being provided with genuine on-target stories in the future’ is highly doubtful. People who are in the industry that Renai covers _know_ what kind of things would be of interest, and will value his coverage _more_ because he doesn’t just publish every press release that crosses his desk. He is making Delimiter a more valuable publication by being picky.

  37. Allison Lee
    28 Oct 10
    2:45 pm

  38. Yes, there are some bad PRs. But there are also good ones. So Renee & Esther, who do you like?

  39. benno
    28 Oct 10
    2:47 pm

  40. Unfortunately the vast majorities of journos couldn’t find there way to a crapper without the directions written clearly on a media release… perhaps PR industry shuld blacball LeMay see if she how she goes when the free content for her site dries up…

  41. Renai LeMay
    28 Oct 10
    2:47 pm

  42. There are a few that are good, but right now one of my favourites is Click PR. You might have noticed, they ran this little Kogan campaign? Got the attention of Gerry Harvey?

    Yeah.

    http://www.clickpr.com.au/

    Cheers,

    Renai LeMay
    Publisher, Delimiter

  43. The Flatstick
    28 Oct 10
    2:49 pm

  44. “If your company uses Edelman as its agency, I recommend you to dump them immediately” – what a stupid, unecessary thing to tweet. It amazes me how this story is actually news

  45. Rachel de Graaf
    28 Oct 10
    2:53 pm

  46. As a PR practitioner, I’m sure that Renee LeMay would suffer considerably should we all remove him from our media lists for a month.

    It’s a two way relationship.

  47. Seller
    28 Oct 10
    2:53 pm

  48. Isn’t Renai a girl’s name?

  49. Anon 2
    28 Oct 10
    2:55 pm

  50. I agree with Karlee and Anonymous – what is so bad about pitching a facebook app release to a technology editor? If not the technology editor, then who, or is Renai simply saying it’s not newsworthy, if so that’s his call for his publication, but surely not a banning offence?

  51. Simon
    28 Oct 10
    2:57 pm

  52. Well I just love the irony here

    In spitting the dummy over the poorly targeted release rather than simply deleting he has earned Edelman even more coverage for their client. Wonder if they will claim this when they report back???

  53. Zac
    28 Oct 10
    2:59 pm

  54. I think it’s inexcusable how often we’re contacted by PR people who go silent when my first question is: “what do you know about our site”?

    And it’s insane the number of times I’ve said: “So, you’re representing [insert big name brand] and you want to reach our audience, but you don’t want to pay anything for it?” to which they respond: “I thought you’d might like the content?”

    No. Publishers know how to get good content; it’s what we do.

    Renai wouldn’t have needed to have this rant if PR firms brought something to the table, and at least had a well prepared rational for contacting a publisher in the first place.

  55. joe
    28 Oct 10
    3:06 pm

  56. CJ, I don’t believe you.

  57. Alex
    28 Oct 10
    3:11 pm

  58. Whilst LeMay is on the subject of recommendations, I recommend Edelman look into a defamtion case.

  59. Sam
    28 Oct 10
    3:11 pm

  60. While the follow up call must obviously be of annoyance if irrelevant or not of interest to the journo, I can think of numerous occasions where the follow up call has led to a story being run.

    Whilst I favour calling a journalist first, I am often told over coffee catch ups by journos that they prefer to receive email pitches and that they don’t mind being followed up with a phone call as they don’t get a chance to read over all the emails they receive in detail and this can draw their attention to an email they may have otherwise missed.

    Of course you do want to ensure that your pitch is relevant to the journalist and outlet in the first place, but if that is the case then the issue here isn’t the follow up call but the irrelevant pitch.

  61. lexi
    28 Oct 10
    3:12 pm

  62. NJ
    28 Oct 10
    3:15 pm

  63. The link to delimiter’s site doesn’t work in the jump….just in case anyone cares!

  64. lexi
    28 Oct 10
    3:17 pm

  65. Stew
    28 Oct 10
    3:20 pm

  66. A couple of months ago I had a journalist threaten to blacklist all my clients because I DIDN’T email a press release to him (instead it went to his news desk). In PR you simply can’t win. The only answer is to take all tantrums from prima donna journalists with a grain of salt, not take them personally, and keep trying to enjoy your work. The good news is that most journos are decent people, and the jerks who carry on and threaten to attack your clients are thankfully a minority.

  67. Anonymous
    28 Oct 10
    3:22 pm

  68. You were contacted by an inexperienced PR. Most likely someone quite young.

    You know Edelmen well obviously. You should have contacted the head of the tech team and let them know your problem. They would’ve have dealt with it straight away – i guarantee it!

    I can see this ended happening in reverse (PR boss contacted you). This was the correct route to a resolution.

    You have NO right to defame an entire agency that has done great work and has some talented staff.

    PS – I have no ties to Edelman. Only their competitors!

  69. oldboy07
    28 Oct 10
    3:31 pm

  70. this whole stream just prove what a ridiculous industry the PR world is. an untrained chimp could do it.

    good on you Renai, you made me chuckle.

  71. Jen Bishop
    28 Oct 10
    3:31 pm

  72. Three words: Just hit delete.

  73. franksting
    28 Oct 10
    3:33 pm

  74. Journo annoyed by PR, PR annoyed by Journo. Kind of ironic considering how hard it is for us consumers to identify the line in the vast blur which appears to exist between the roles at the best of time.

    So on that note, while I agree with Renai’s reasons for ranting, I find the way he went about it pretty odd, though not unexpected really.

    I’m pretty guilty of a bit of a rant from time to time (hello Foxtel, CBA and Crikey among others), but even I feel slightly shocked by this one.

    Kudos to Matthew Gain for a straightforward response. I’m sure if Renai had just DM’d or called him first up, it would have as Angus saliently points out saved himself a whole lot time and everyone some embarrassment.

    Oh and Tim, the link to Renai’s site is broken. If I was Renai I would’ve picked up on that already ;)

  75. james
    28 Oct 10
    3:44 pm

  76. #ffs i hate these articles.

  77. Renai LeMay
    28 Oct 10
    3:48 pm

  78. To address a few issues:

    1. The delete issue:

    When you receive several hundred emails a day, it is much more efficient to cut the useless ones off at the source permanently, rather than hitting delete repetitively on thousands of emails over a period of weeks. As those I deal with know, I personally respond to every email sent to my company, unless it’s just complete spam.

    2. On briefings with senior PRs and why I put this out there in public:

    I have briefings with senior PRs all the time — in fact I’ve been in the technology media scene as a full-time reporter and editor now for what ,,, seven years? I know most of the senior guys and touch base quite a bit. But sometimes you have to use the stick — if there are no consequences for wasting the time of a publisher like myself, then it will continue to happen.

    I have great respect for some of the senior guys at Edelman — Matthew Gain being one example. You’ll note I didn’t name the particular PR who sent me this release — because I want to address this at an organisational level, not at a personal level.

    And lastly: Yes, the relationship between journos and PRs is a symbiotic one, which involves daily negotiation and back and forth dialogue. I know this well! It is only when — as Great Teacher Onizuka tells us — one side does not hold its end up, that it falls down.

    Ultimately, what I’m saying here is I’m willing to work with PRs on solutions together, and do every day — but they need to be willing to come to the table and respect us too :)

    One more thing: Any PR who is concerned about whether they might send me something and get ‘blacklisted’ need just ask to come into our office for a coffee to find out what our priorities are — and many have already done this over the past year. We don’t bite — much ;)

    Cheers,

    Renai
    Publisher, Delimiter

  79. AgentClarke
    28 Oct 10
    3:49 pm

  80. @ joe, I completely agree with CJ and Sam. Following up a (relevant) media release with a phone call has a huge impact on the amount of interest and coverage you get for a story. I’d challenge any PR to say that follow-up is not an essential part of any PR campaign. BUT it definitely has to be relevant, otherwise the follow-up call is equally excruciating for both journo and PR.

  81. Jenr
    28 Oct 10
    3:49 pm

  82. As both a magazine editor and a PR I am appalled by the amount of emails I get from other PR’s who have not even bothered to find out one crucial thing about my publication – the audience.

    For the record – managers in the property sector (that’s my magazine audience) could not give a toss about your arts and crafts fair and really neither do I. Delete!

    I also don’t care about your “largest ever gathering of blah blah blahs” unless it’s of people in the property sector (and then it will actually be me writing the release instead).

    Quite frankly if my releases get blacklisted because I’ve not done my homework properly then it’s my own fault.

    Thanks Renai (who I’ve always found to be approachable if you ask him a sensible question) for acting on what a lot of us would also like to do.

  83. sending an irrelevant tweet
    28 Oct 10
    3:52 pm

  84. Sending out that long winded bitter and irrelevant twitter rant? Blocked for life.

  85. Benster
    28 Oct 10
    4:09 pm

  86. Oh come on, anyone who’s worked in tech PR knows that Renai suffers from OES (overblown ego syndrome) – he thinks he is much more important and relevant than he actually is. Why we’re giving him more oxygen is anyone’s guess.

  87. Lisa
    28 Oct 10
    4:11 pm

  88. I’m a journo by training, jumped the fence into PR, now handle both PR and edit / publish a consumer magazine. I’ve been in the industry for 25 years. I too get mighty pissed off by inept PR people (the behaviours and attitudes of ‘some’ PR people put the industry to shame).

    That said, I also get pissed off by journalists. Note to ALL journalists: We are not gods. Yes, for some journalists, you’re doing an important, sometimes great, job. But I’ve found too many people call themselves a journalist. One word for that: bullshit. Just because you were good at writing at school or uni does not make you a journalist. When I was first trying to get into journalism, the HR guy at Fairfax told me “a communications degree is a piece of toilet paper. Go get a real job first and then a cadetship.”

    And just because you are now a journalist does not mean you need an ‘attitude’, and treat all PR people like morons. When I began my career as a mainstream journalist, I treated PR people nicely – and if they were doing something that was annoying, I would politely let them know. It’s all about relationships.

    Given my business, I both contact PR people and am contacted by PR people. I understand that journalists are busy – so are PR people. I also understand that by sending out a media release or targeted pitch does not guarantee a journalist will receive it, or read it without a little prompting. It’s a prick of a job calling a journalist to check if a media release is of interest, however oftentimes a journalist hasn’t seen the release and will often run something when they’re alerted to the fact a release has been sent.

    I get really annoyed by badly written releases (and articles for that matter), and I also get annoyed when a PR person sends me a release something that’s definitely not relevant.

    So there needs to be education on both sides. And perhaps a bit of leniency.

    Journalists: give the PR people the benefit of the doubt – and perhaps be more pleasant, courteous and less arrogant; where possible reply to a PR consultant if it’s a good story or even if it’s not of interest. PR people: perhaps go and learn what a newsroom is all about; speak to journalists about what they’re after and how they like to receive information; understand what rounds a journalist covers; learn to write properly; don’t contact a journalist if it’s a piss-weak media release / weak angle.

    Forget the attitude people, we’re all doing a job.

  89. Emotive guy
    28 Oct 10
    4:17 pm

  90. this thread makes me sad.

  91. AnneMaree Fitzgerald
    28 Oct 10
    4:26 pm

  92. Hasn’t the world of PR changed! Unfortunately, the digital era has made journo’s less accessible (they love it). Once upon a time, they had to answer their own phones and then the skill of a good PR was always rewarded with at least a polite ‘no thanks, and why’ and at best a ripper of a story. These days, an email sent to a monstered inbox is most likely to get zip response.

    This is why social media/digi world has become the PR’s ideal route to getting a story. It’s more likely you’ll get that story published because the journo will have ‘discovered’ it for themselves via a blog or tweet somewhere………a much faster route to getting the PR job down. Shame that the conversations have been lost – but that’s the new paradigm folks!

  93. Phil Collins
    28 Oct 10
    4:29 pm

  94. I thought Renai was anti-censorship!!!

  95. Ali Gungor
    28 Oct 10
    4:38 pm

  96. Dear Renai LeMay (Publisher, Delimiter) and Mumbrella:

    Thank you for the most incredibly ridiculous story. Some people really need a real day job :) Maybe join Victoria Police, cause that’s more like what your whistling like.

    THIS article is more of like spam news to me. Like the majority has indicated, NEXT interesting story please, cause this is not interesting and quite embarrassing that we are news bashing unwanted attention, unless they REALLY did something bad.

    Mumbrella, please don’t put stuff up like this unless its quite relevant and professional as per usual.

    Have a great day guys!

  97. NotMyDog
    28 Oct 10
    4:40 pm

  98. Hmm if to many PR agencies get black listed we might have to deal with the dribble from all the self important writers again. – Instead of editing the odd word – they will revert back to inventing the truth. Sending them stuff without permission they obviously think is like entering a room without knocking… shame they forget they are meant to be at work. HusshhhhJournoNapping.com could be the zoo where all those guys are kept.

  99. Corrina
    28 Oct 10
    4:44 pm

  100. Couldn’t agree more with Stew and James. Life of a PR consultant can be tough enough without the whole profession coming under attack each time someone puts a foot wrong (a shout out to @oldboy07 who seemed to relish the opp to jump on the PR-bashing band wagon). It’s a shame PRs can’t really fight back with our own twitter diatribes, but of course we can’t without fear of having our clients black-listed and our careers threatened.

  101. Scott Pettet
    28 Oct 10
    4:45 pm

  102. A few post here indicate that a PR’s relationships with journos are important. This is true. However, this does not mean that the PR lips need to be permanently applied to the journos ass. I see so much of this is make me sick. And it’s little wonder a lot of journos get over-inflated egos when there are so many sycophants fawning over them.

    PR / journo relations should be built on foundations of professional respect, where each views the other as an equal. These are the relationships I value the most and are highly productive and rewarding for both parties.

  103. Allison Lee
    28 Oct 10
    4:46 pm

  104. Lots of debate whether this news strand is actually newsworthy. It is newsworthy as it opens up a debate about what good PR looks like and what good media relations includes. While media relations constitutes a small part of the overall function, it is worth viewing as a skill that can be developed. Sadly most agencies delegate media relations to the most junior staff member rather than seeing it as an activity for qualified and capable senior practitioners.

  105. Lisa
    28 Oct 10
    4:47 pm

  106. Don’t cry emotive guy.

  107. Carole Ann Goldsmith
    28 Oct 10
    4:48 pm

  108. As an international / national journalist, media releases are useful for finding people to interview or following up on a research report. I would never use the media release as content for thhe article i am writing. If it contains drivel like this one sounds it does, I would press the spam or delete button and it would go into the black hole of spam or deletions.

  109. Emotive guy
    28 Oct 10
    4:53 pm

  110. Would never thought a journo would be so self important. My my what is the world coming to?

    Renai’s doing a Riley! Aggressive and self important blogger behaviour..

  111. Ben
    28 Oct 10
    5:03 pm

  112. I love it, in the past week, Mumbrella has managed to ignite tensions between agencies and reps and PR’s and journos. Who can we try for next?

  113. Dan
    28 Oct 10
    5:12 pm

  114. @Scott Pettet, you’ve hit the nail on the head – Where’s the professional respect and common decency towards a fellow individual?

    Treat others as you would hope to be treated yourself i.e. think before you speak.

  115. Me
    28 Oct 10
    5:12 pm

  116. As a PR I was recently told my story was of no relevance to a particular journo.
    Ok fair enough. Fast forward two weeks – why was my compeitors exact same story a feature on your site.
    These confused messages are making PR jobs almost impossible. Perhaps it is these inconsistencies that contribute to what you may say is poor PR.

  117. MicheyD
    28 Oct 10
    5:46 pm

  118. “Human being makes mistake” How’s that for a headline?
    Gawd! No one died… Get over it… It’s after 5.30pm – go home…

  119. Mat
    28 Oct 10
    5:47 pm

  120. A journalist who has the time to flood Twitter with a whinge-fest about a PR person pitching something that might not be completely relevant is one thing. A journo who then spends all day commenting on the Mumbrella story about said whinge is another.

    Jaded and angry at the world media types love to heap shit on publicists, but you need them. And they need you. Someone above summed it up perfectly when they said it’s a two way partnership.

    I’ve been on both sides of the fence – some PR people suck, some journos are ass holes at the drop of a hat. Big deal. Blowing a gasket over an email indicates a total lack of perspective. If this angers you, I suggest a hobby or mood stabilisers.

  121. ego and journalism are a bad mix
    28 Oct 10
    8:02 pm

  122. can you ‘ban’ someone as a potential source of newsworthy information and still have journalistic integrity?

    ‘without fear or favor, regardless of party, sect, or interests involved’

    Ego doesn’t have much place in good journalism. A good story is a good story regardless of source. A bad story is a bad story regardless of source.

    It’s not who we ‘like’ or dislike that should dictate whether their news leads are considered.

  123. Nic Halley
    28 Oct 10
    8:56 pm

  124. “presenting Chuck Norris YouTube stories as news”

    Love your work Renai LeMay

  125. rich
    29 Oct 10
    1:44 am

  126. As a tech journalist, it’s my experience that follow-up calls are always, without fail, because the initial release was complete rubbish. If a story is worth publishing, we’ll spot the release. It’s not hard to organise an inbox – if a journalist can’t spot a release with a good story in it, they’re not doing their job properly

  127. gordon
    29 Oct 10
    3:59 am

  128. Congratulations to Edelman … they have inadvertently spread the word about their clients app. I think the PR deserves alot of credit for using reverse pyschology to get the world talking about thier, percieved, poor PR practice, whilst getting their app. out there.

  129. Bill Posters
    29 Oct 10
    7:30 am

  130. Symbiotic relationship? PR people need to get a grip. Yes, many hacks rely on PR. Some because it’s easy, some because they are the gatekeepers and there is no other option.

    But if the entire PR profession were to dry up and blow away tomorrow, the papers would still be full of news.

  131. Louise Friend
    29 Oct 10
    10:04 am

  132. Just delete it. What a juvenile tantrum. Totally unprofessional.

  133. inq
    29 Oct 10
    11:21 am

  134. I think the greatest tragedy is that Renai is actually one of the perfect targets for this press release. Who knew he hated Facebook apps so much? His audience would actually be quite interested.

    So many journalists complain when they DON’T get a release.

    With so many pressers arriving each day, surely most are just deleted?

    Just. Press. Delete.

    FFS.

  135. inq
    29 Oct 10
    11:23 am

  136. Oh… and Black PR for the win.

    Edelman gets their product noticed more than ever.

    Renai gets shit loads of exposure.

    Mumbrella gets the traffic.

    Yay all round.

  137. David L
    29 Oct 10
    12:04 pm

  138. It’s always tech ‘journalists’ who seem to act like this – reducing (invariably young, inexperienced) PR professionals to tears or shredding their confidence to pieces. Where’s the humanity in all of this?

    i think it’s about time that the PR industry stopped pandering to these kind of individuals. How about the next tech journo who abuses a PR junior or lambastes an agency like this gets a one month ban on any review products?

  139. MissAK
    29 Oct 10
    12:05 pm

  140. I’ve always worked as an inhouse PR person for financial institutions and when I read this story I was like ‘wow sucks to be them right now.’ I professionally live by a few rules…

    1 – I dont call anyone after any media release I send out. I figure if a journalist is interested they’ll call me…and they do.

    2 – I dont to omit information purposely.

    3 – I’m not a roadblock. If a journalist calls me I’ll have them on the phone to a company spokesperson within the hour and if that’s not possible that same day at the least.

    4 – I dont write crap. My media releases are news and each one gets picked up. That way when a journalist who trust me receives a release from me they know its NEWS and not junk.

    5 – I’m never rude or fake. I’ve met so many rude PR people. I seriously dont understand how they have jobs.

    Yes the organisation I work at receives media coverage and in major dailies too. These simple rules have allowed me to build relationships with journalists and not soured them. I’d only hope that more PR contacts were like this.

  141. franksting
    29 Oct 10
    11:44 pm

  142. @inq (comment 68) Simple, It wasn’t about Android or an Australian Company.

  143. inq
    30 Oct 10
    3:59 pm

  144. @DavidL (#70) and so all tech journalists are tarnished by one’s behaviour. Sad thing is you’re right. He’s not alone. Still, at least they’re not car journalists…

  145. Anonymous
    31 Oct 10
    8:36 pm

  146. In response to Bill Posters’ comment that “if the entire PR profession were to dry up and blow away tomorrow, the papers would still be full of news”:

    Your ignorance to the symbiotic relationship that exists between PRs and journalists (one that has been acknowledged by both in these comments) is surprising.

    The fact remains that A LOT of media releases end up in publications, word for word. Rather than enter into a debate about what constitutes good journalism, I would like to ask how many pages the newspaper would be reduced to when all stories are sourced, researched and written without the assistance of those in PR?

    As well as that, the level of professional disrespect shown in this thread is just ridiculous. I think that everyone working in both journalism and PR knows just how competitive the media industry is and that those that make their mark, deliver results and have sustainable careers are highly talented. Unfortunately, egos seem to get in the way here and it a real shame that the people that choose to bring others down aren’t secure enough in their own ability to just get on with it.

    I can see why Renai was frustrated by the receipt of what he perceives as an irrelevant media release, but the way he handled it was pretty unprofessional and I think that, while he might not receive the odd misdirected media release, it ultimately reflects badly on him.

    Just my 2c.

  147. AdGrunt
    31 Oct 10
    10:07 pm

  148. Why this vacuous hack and his baseless ego warrant a story in Mumbrella, I have no idea.

    Next we’ll have stories about Agency receptionist fashion tips.

    His parents owe the world a retraction.

    NEXT!

  149. Miss Terry Shopper
    3 Nov 10
    12:05 pm

  150. I thought I’d find out what all the fuss was about: http://bit.ly/deab9f

  151. meh
    3 Nov 10
    9:11 pm

  152. We all agree the relationship is paramount. How do you build & maintain a relationship? By talking to one another. This sometimes happens on a telephone!

  153. Media Neutral
    4 Nov 10
    5:00 pm

  154. Wow. Thanks for the insights everyone.

    From now on when I’m having a bad day I will simply compare my job with the daily grind of a junior PR practitioner tasked with sucking up to wack job’s like Renai in order to secure coverage for their client.

    And when I’m having a REALLY bad day I will consider the plight of the Senior PR agency Manager tasked with apologising to said wack job for their staff having the audacity to send out a press release! (I don’t now how to use emoticons but please picture one of them shaking it’s yellow head in disbelief here)

    Renai – Keep tweetin’ the issues big guy.

  155. Veronica
    8 Nov 10
    3:44 pm

  156. As someone who has also worked as a journalist and now as a PR, I love reading this ‘debate’ so thanks Mumbrella. PRs need Journalists and Journalists need PRs and when both professions do their jobs properly, both have their needs met. All PRs know that Its often the follow-up call to a journalis that gives the PR an opportunity to pitch a story for a client, (journalists rarely get to read all the releases sent to them) and I know from 25+ years of work in PR that its the actual follow up call to the media that often delivers the results your client wants, provided there’s a good yarn to begin with… But it is of course vital to know who to pitch a story to so as to not earn a ‘straight to junk mail’ reputation by sending out poorly targeted or prepared media releases. Its important to treat each other with respect and for PRs that clearly means knowing what the journalist is likely to be interested in and for journos, that means just deleting material that is of no interest-but that said, I think its very kind of of a journalist to let the PR know (and a significant ‘gift’ of time) when they have missed the mark.

  157. Peter
    10 Nov 10
    3:16 pm

  158. The comment by Jo Knox is spot on. Make sure you read it. I used to tell our younger consultants never to call a journo and ask if they received the media release or to ask whether they will use it. And never, ever, suggest :”It’s a really good story”….the journo will make up their own mind about its quality and use it if he/she thinks fit.

  159. Carole Ann Goldsmith
    10 Nov 10
    3:26 pm

  160. Peter’s comment is interesting… As an international journalist and a freelancer, I love it when a PR consultant calls me after they email me the media release.
    There is a lot more chance that I will actually read it if they phone me.

  161. Q R PR
    12 Nov 10
    7:02 pm

  162. What about this PR from QR…
    http://www.news.com.au/money/i.....5952419931

  163. Anonymous
    22 Nov 10
    5:42 pm

  164. What a punch up! Interesting debate. Nice work Tim.

  165. Anna
    23 Nov 10
    7:46 pm

  166. Bet busy Mr. Renai is struggling not to make another comment on this thread. Painting up a picture of himself as this busy, important journo has in a way prevented him from further opinions.

    This whole story is quite hilarious and very embarrassing. Currently a communications degree student, I am quite distressed and appalled at this bickering – some perspective please.

    You may find this surprising – but the world does not evolve around Journos or PRs.

  167. Herald Sun reader
    23 Nov 10
    9:33 pm

  168. if they want publicity they should take the good with the bad