Monday 29 June 2015

Silence of the lobbyists

Ground Zero for the EU lobby

Why PR people are so annoying

Phone rings, “Hello. I’m Shiny Person from mumble and we represent mumble.”

How the heart sinks because some useless idiot has decided to add their pointless nonsense to our lives. No decent human being has anything but contempt for PR people. If they had any worth or ability, or what used to be called, gumption, they would do something on their own terms.

Instead, they sell their bodies to tell lies, mistruths and the myriad of deceptions asked by their corporate clients whose combined intellect couldn’t match a reasonably stocked whelk stall. I return, they get to bask in the reflected glory and pretend they’re even slightly important.

It doesn’t last which is why these companies have a turnover faster than a Libyan people smuggler.

This is how it works and why it is so stupid. Company wants to be seen in Brussels so hires a PR firm, who get the job by over promising on everything. Company wants an event, PR firm organises. Then Chair – or increasingly President, decides the media need to hear the blessings of his golden mind and voice. The PR have promised X amounts of briefings with Y amount of journalists.

So the invites go out and clog up hacks inboxes, for a brief moment of life before they get deleted.
Faced with the fact that an understaffed and overloaded press corps is uninterested in an event (Say a global conference held on May election day for example, that level of incompetent organisation) that has nobody of any note talking about nothing of any import, there’s only one thing to do.

So, the PR underlings then start hitting the phones. Its funny how they always mumble who they are and work for, so we get them to enunciate and they move on to their question, the point of it all: ‘Did you receive our email?’

The honest answer is that nobody knows or cares. Faced with this disinterest the PR – either someone on the firm’s naughty step or the gimp of modern life, an intern – ploughs on regardless.

Sometimes they foolishly try to engage our enthusiasm, “There’s be some MEPs there, I can set you up with an interview” not realising that journalists can sort that out without bringing in a PR company, or there’s the “President of the European association of associations of European Whatsit producers” who is wafting their way towards the holy land of some hotel with two more stars than it deserves and a buffet that would benefit from the addition of soylent green.

So, because a common sense-challenged company was told a pile of rubbish by an overly-needy PR firm, the end result is to annoy as many journalists as possible in order to save their own jobs.

That’s the generous interpretation, the other is that they are so cosmically dense that light curves around them and believe that their event has such an obvious news value that journalists will cast bread and salt over them for alerting them to an unmissable event.

The kind thing to do is to help them all break out of this downward spiral of co-dependency and put the phone down.

Shooting them would be more humane though.

No comments:

Post a Comment