May 15th, 2005


The Internet: isn't it supposed to be for communications?

One of the major frustrations of this job is trying to get basic information out of companies who ought to want to give it. PR companies are paid good money - and spend good money - trying to get coverage for their clients. So why, when I need to know something so they get accurate coverage, is it so hard to get any information?

Over the years, doing PR for IBM has broken several good PR companies into pieces - literally in some cases when they've split off a section so they could handle IBM and A N Other company at the same time. Getting information from IBM is always a pain because the company is so big; I used to have 36 different IBM contacts in my address book. So they need responsive PR representatives who can simplify the task.

And which PR company has answered none of my emails this week? The one I had as the last IBM PR contact. Their Web site is slick - literally, it slides away from my mouse - with no details of clients or contacts AT ALL. Well, unless I want to apply for a job there.

Even if they don't handle the account any more, how about an email to say so - email giving the new contact gets even higher marks (and a comment to the client that maybe they should switch back to someone competent). How about any response at all? It amazes me that in this day and age PR companies can still be this unhelpful and don't care about doing what should be their job, when there are so many tools to replace so much of what they do: it's not about posting press releases any more, it's about forging relationships with journalists so we can get - guess what - the information we need, when we need it.
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