A Conversation with a PR Firm

Listen to this:

Yesterday, I had a 5:50pm Bloomberg car pickup for Rewind. I had a half hour to kill after I finished my work. I am puttering around, websurfing in the mostly empty office when my extension rings:

Me: Ritholtz!

PR: Is this Barry Ritholtz?

BR: Hence, the phone greeting Ritholtz!

PR: We have been trying to reach you for days! You haven’t answered any of our emails

BR: I answer all of my emails — except the spam. And the PR eejits — I do terrible things to those people.

PR: [ . . . Long silence . . .]

BR: I sense I touched a nerve.

PR: Well, we are trying to invite you to be the keynote speaker at [PR event].

BR: Great — my speaking fee for a keynote is $15k, plus Business class R/T tickets and hotel accommodations. If its a longer event with me doing panels, dinners etc. the fee is more. Who is the client and what is the event?

PR: The client is [XXXX] PR firm and the event is the annual XXXXX PR Gala.

BR: Name sounds familiar — what do you guys do?

PR: [Names of clients who I will not ever promote or so much as mention. Never.]

BR: Ahhhh, now I understand why your emails are not getting through. You guys are horrific spam weasels. You send me wholly unrelated junk — garbage you should know I have utterly no interest in. And you send it to the wrong address. Or you send it to every one of my addresses.

PR: Well, we do mass opt-in marketing, with safe unsubscribe.

BR: Bullshit. I never opt-in to any of your crap. And “Safe Unsubscribe” isn’t any of the above. It isn’t safe, it doesn’t unsubscribe you. All it does is let asshole spammers know its a live address. No thanks.

PR: We don’t think that is true.

BR: Yes, I know. That’s why I mark all of your emails as junk. I have neve ropted in to your garbage. You guys have been so abusive that pretty much every email address from your shop is simply auto-deleted. That’s a very simple Outlook rule.

I also blacklisted your domain at the ISP level. That means I simply NEVER see anything your firm ever emails out anymore. Nada. You are on my DEAD TO ME list.

PR: Um, why?

BR: You really haven’t figured this out yet? Its because you are the worst kind of PR whores. You waste endless amounts of other people’s time. I do not tolerate that.

I would never do anything illegal, but I bet you get some pretty horrific porn in your office, billed to the cell phone number one of your idiot staffers includes in their spam PR release.

PR: Why would you do that?

BR: Its called Consequences.

I would never do anything unlawful. But I know people who are not so law-abiding, and I suspect they did, and I hardly prodded them.

PR: That’s terrible!

BR: Turnabout is fair play.

PR: What’s that mean?

BR: You waste my time, I waste yours. Your firm is lazy and inconsiderate. If you spent even a modicum of time, you could target the right people with stuff they are interested in. You could automate it, key word scan their blogs, and send only relevant items.

That would be efficient, intelligent and useful. Instead, you send out these irrelevant shitbombs to millions of people. You shift the burden of doing your work to other people. All I can say is Fuck all of the people who do that. That means Fuck you guys, too

PR: That’s harsh.

BR: Sometimes the Truth is harsh.

I despise anyone who wastes my time thru stupidity, laziness or simply I-dont-give-a-fuck-about-you-this-is-cost-effective.¬† People who do what [XXXX] does cannot die slowly and painfully enough or me. There aren’t many professions I wish ill upon en masse, but at least once a day I hope most of your industry drowns. You assholes make bankers look respectable.

PR: But what about the conference?

BR: I’d be happy to extend this conversation to a 45 minute rant about everything that is wrong in your industry. I would do it gratis. Even pay for my own plane ticket.

PR: I don’t think my boss would like that.

BR: Then we are at an impasse.  Please never never never contact me again.

Mostly true dialogue, exaggerated only slightly for comic effect.

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