PR and the fine art of not being crazy


Our buddies Rich and Eric got a delightful missive in their email boxes after replying to a CES meeting request about TVs. See, Rich and Eric run PhoneScoop, the best phone site on the web. They don’t write about TVs. The result of their polite email? A crazy message from HWH president Lois Whitman.

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

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

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

Lois Whitman
HWH PR/New Media

HWH represents Westinghouse and Samsung’s HDD division and I’ve actually had no issues with them over the years (mostly because I don’t care much about Westinghouse or Samsung’s HDD divisions). This is CES season so I’ve been getting 40 calls and 100 emails a day about CES meetings and I think tempers are flaring on both sides of the PR battlefield. Unfortunately, however, I think Lois is out of touch and a little bit crazy in this email, but I guess that’s what you get when you deal with CE for 42 years. Eventually, given enough years in the biz, you know who will melt like a snowball in a rainstorm uphill on a Sunday in June after a trip to the Catskills with the in-laws. Keep up the good work, HWH!

UPDATE – Rich’s original email:

For the curious, this is what I wrote to prompt it:

“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.”

I’ll be the first to admit that I may have been duped by the CES registration process, which implies that you are granting permission for PR blasts ONLY about the specific categories of products you cover. Some folks have told me this may not be the case.

Still, I don’t see how my email warranted such a vile response.