Here's Some PR For You, CDNetworks

If you want to sell something to TechCrunch, or anyone, the best way of going about it isn’t to call people at their home number, accuse them of dishonesty, and then follow up with an email requesting a clearly unethical trading of services.

All those things happened to me in the last five minutes. An account executive from CDNetworks called on my home phone to discuss our content delivery needs. I said we were all set. I was asked if I traded content delivery for PR. I said “yes, we always trade stories for free stuff,” and, when she didn’t hear the sarcasm, told her I wasn’t being serious and that I was offended. We hung up.

Then I get a cheery email offering content delivery in “some type of exchange for some article write up or PR with TechCrunch.”

Sorry, that may be how the old trade magazine did things, but it isn’t how any ethical blog would behave. But you can have this post for free.

It’s worth noting that lots of companies give us free services all the time, and we often thank them with a link in the right sidebar. But asking for free press is just so distasteful. And I hate sales calls to my house.

Hi Michael,

Great chatting with you today. We are interested provide CDN in some type of exchange for
some article write up or PR with TechCrunch. If you are interested, would love to schedule a
call with my VP Marketing to discuss more.

Let me know your level of interest.


Update: A follow up email from CDNetworks:

Hi Michael,

I wanted to follow up with you regarding your exchange earlier today with one of our sales reps, which has caused some confusion and this rather critical blog post.

During this call, our sales rep thought she had contacted a technical decision maker at TechCrunch (not someone on the editorial side) regarding CDN services. Our records indicated that earlier this year, we were engaged with TechCrunch to perhaps provide CDN services free of charge in exchange for a notation on the website as the “official CDN provider for TechCrunch.” However, she apparently gave you the impression that she was trying to offer free CDN services in exchange for positive press.

I can assure you that this could not be further from the truth. In no way were we attempting to ask TechCrunch to compromise it’s journalistic integrity to provide PR in exchange for services. This is certainly not our company policy, and we know this is not the policy of TechCrunch.

Like many other companies, we are often asked to provide our CDN services free of charge to various companies (including non-profits) in a legitimate exchange for an acknowledgment such as “TechCrunch delivered to you by CDNetworks.” This is what our sales rep was referring to, but obviously she did not convey that to you clearly, hence the misunderstanding.

I’m sorry that we gave you the wrong impression on this call, and I’m VERY sorry that we contacted you at your home (we have removed that number from our data base). Thanks very much for allowing me to clear this up.


Jim Campbell
Vice President of Marketing