Meet Lois Whitman, The Poster Child For Everything Wrong With PR

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Meet Lois Whitman-Hess, from the New York based PR firm HWH. Lois is one of the most obnoxious PR people you’ll ever meet, and the poster child for everything that is wrong with the industry. Consider this part two of my ongoing discussion of the industry.

Lois takes pleasure in making people miserable, and her specialty is spamming. She first crossed our radar at CrunchGear, which reported on her exchange with PhoneScoop.

The PhoneScoop guys registered for CES, not realizing that their contact information would be blasted out to any PR firm that wanted it. When they received a very off-topic pitch email from Lois (about Samsung TVs), they sent it back with the message “Please remove me from your list. My publication does not cover these types of products. I did NOT sign up to receive info in this category, nor anything close. By CES guidelines, I should not have received this, making it dangerously close to spam. That reflects poorly on your company. Thank you.”

Bad idea. They received two messages back from Lois:

CES publishes a list of press. You are one of a few thousand. Everyone has access to that list for all kinds of reasons. It is publicly published. As a PR agency we use that list so we can solicit press for booth appts. I hope you can appreciate that. If you don’t, let me introduce you to the “delete” button. Or in the future do not sign up as a press person for CES. Furthermore, do not make any threats to my company. I don’t need you to tell me what is right or what is wrong. I have been in the CE business for 42 years.

and

I have seen nasty people like you melt away faster than a snowball going up hill in the rain. I am waiting for an apology. Maybe we can meet at CES for a hug or a slug. P.S. I just visited your web site. I would hardly call your blog a publication, However, you do have very interesting content and we have lots of client you would like to know more about to help you in your endeavors. Call me.

That’s enough right there for Hall of Shame induction. But a quick perusal of Lois’ blog indicates her willingness to spam and spam and spam until she gets what she wants:

In September the Bad Pitch Blog (a new favorite) also called out Lois for spamming, yet it continues. What I don’t understand is why her clients continue to bankroll this activity. You are supposed to hire these people because they have relationships with the media, not because they know how to effectively spam and are verbally abusive.

Yes, I am going to keep outing these people and their absurd behavior.

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