Our forceful, thrusting News Editor, Michael Parsons, thrustingly forces his way to a PR conference where clients, PR types and journos get together to quest for vision. He enjoys himself, and even gives a little speech about the future of tech journalism
But one of the companies there really got his interest with their particularly cute take on PR. They don't use it like most companies use it, to get news about their activities into the press and to build some sort of fuzzy public image: no, they use it to generate sales leads. Moreover, they can demonstrate this with graphs. And charts. And Powerpoint. Look, here's a visit from the US CEO. Here are the press mentions. And here's the spike in sales leads that follow. Parsons is intrigued, and feeds this back to me.
I'm not entirely comfortable with this idea. Are all our efforts really there just to be milked by some all-seeing data-mining computer, carefully judging how and when to seed information in places that will yield only the heaviest harvest of cash? Is the careful sifting of information, our constant hunt for the unvarnished truth, all to be subsumed in the crass maw of commercial interests? As far as I can tell, the only way to subvert this frightening idea is not to mention the names of any company involved.
Works for me. How about you, Company X?
Still, if it really worked that a mention in the press resulted in automatic interest, then yer regular journalists would be snowed under by emails, offers of work, daughters, jewels and dukedoms in small yet wealthy states. I've just checked my inbox, and you lot ain't sent me nothing. Again.
I don't know why I bother.