It’s no secret. the doctor doesn’t like PR pros. To be specific, the doctor does not like “professional” PR pros who work for PR Agencies who believe that all they need to know to do their jobs is “best practice” PR techniques and that subject matter knowledge is not required. This really bugs me because even the best salesman knows that you have to have both some understanding of the product and a customer’s desire if you want to sell it. Thus, in order for a PR “pro” to sell a story to publisher, would it not stand to reason that she should, at a minimum, understand the product or service she is pushing as well as the interests of the publishers she is pursuing?
Apparently not. Apparently SI wants to write about website building using glorified Facebook profiles, physical therapy, the average ball player’s salary, lipstick, reality TV, and PR agency press releases! Anyone who took fifteen seconds of time to look up SI (and scan any post in the Blogger Relations series or any entry in the FAQ) would realize that the doctor disdains social media for the sake of social media (if you want to take selfies and poke, prod, and farmville your life away, go for it, but leave me out of it), only writes about supply chain, and has a general disdain for PR agencies so the last thing the doctor wants is to write about your recent press release on how you just released a new social media tool that is going to revolutionize the business world (not), how you just ran a campaign for client X that was revolutionary (and probably had no impact on actual sales), or how you just hired more more PR “pros” to increase the number of publishers you can spam with inane, irrelevant, bullsh!t on a daily basis.
And to make matters worse, they all have outreach press release syndication engines that not only blast you with the most ludicrous story idea you can think of, but that send two to four follow-up e-mails on a scheduled basis where they remind you of how great the story idea was, in case you missed it the first time. If you’re lucky, it will include an unsubscribe link, but it won’t matter, because they set these engines up with a thousand lists, and every time they get a new e-mail address, immediately syndicate to all of the other engines in their PR network, so that way, even if you manage to unsubscribe from the Reality TV in Atlanta list, you’ll still get the same story from the Reality TV in New York list, that cross-runs all of their stories from the Reality TV in Atlanta list to make sure all stories get as wide a reach as possible. In other words, these PR pros have taken the art of spamming to a whole new level! (the doctor bets that even the Nigerians are impressed!)
But even this isn’t what’s currently driving the doctor mental. What’s currently driving the doctor crazy is how every ridiculous story (which is an accurate term because this is the word many people use to describe fiction, which is probably the most accurate term for a good portion of what SI gets pitched, which is another accurate term because this is what should be done with most of the content suggestions sent SI’s way) comes preceded by the words I think this is a great story for SI because …
PR Pro: What You Think Doesn’t Matter! Not in the least. No one gives a sh!t. All the company paying you cares about is that you promote their product or service. And all the publisher cares about is bringing quality subject matter on topic to their audience. SI isn’t being consulted by beauticians who want lipstick advice, isn’t being consulted by agents to professional athletes who want insights on how much their clients should be getting paid, and I certainly hope that SI isn’t being read by PR Pros who want insights on how to do their jobs even more annoyingly! (Although it’s possible that with this rant SI just gave a few amateurs a few ideas they shouldn’t have …)
And at least where SI is concerned, you have an archive of over 4,000 posts to search to determine whether or not SI has ever written about the topic, a detailed 20+ (or is it 30+) page FAQ that answers many of your questions, and a Blogger Relations series that, if read appropriately, makes it quite clear on how to NOT be an idiot. So if you can’t get the clue that all SI wants is Supply Management / Supply Chain related stories* and keep sending him stories about lipstick and baseball, expect him to unsubscribe to every list associated to your agency and blacklist you — permanently. (And this means that if you ever do get a great story in Supply Management, just like no one would listen to the boy who cried wolf, no one here is going to listen to you!)
So please shape the hell up and put a little intelligence and insight into your job or get lost. Seriously.
*SI is quite willing to be pitched loosely-related stories that have a 1 in 100 chance of being written about as long as there is some, clear, relation to Supply Management / Supply Chain.