I Will Honor The Embargo

Our constant rants on the PR Industry do not go unnoticed. In return our tips box is filled with humorous anecdotes, articles and now, a video. Here are two we’ve received in the last week. Which we’re posting in honor of Yahoo breaking its own embargo, and the AP sending the launch of CODE advisors completely sideways by breaking an embargo by nearly 24 hours. Outcast PR was on both stories.

First, the job description. Even a decade ago everyone thought PR was just about the worst job around. Forbes did a roundup called “Five Crappiest Tech Jobs,” and “PR account executive for a dot com startup” was on the list. Other winners included “porn sifter for filtering company” and “packer for dogdoo.com” (a site that actually sold dog excrement online):

PR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE FOR A DOT-COM STARTUP—Here’s the perfect job for people who want the worst of all worlds. For starters, everyone hates flacks. Journalists hate them because they think they’re incompetent whores. Businesspeople hate them because they think they’re incompetent whores. And flacks hate themselves because deep down inside they suspect that they might be incompetent whores. But what’s particularly bad about doing publicity for Internet startups is that everyone in the media has already heard every story with every angle about every product and every service a thousand times and never wants to hear from another PR firm as long as they live. But flacks can’t explain this problem to their nitwit 23-year-old CEO clients because the CEOs have all persuaded themselves that their generic success story is the stuff of legend. Flacks get personally abused by clients, insulted by journalists, stiffed out of their fees by customers, ridiculed by colleagues, and humiliated by their superiors. One flack for a major software company says her boss got so upset that he ordered her to attend charm school. Another had to go shopping for underwear for a skivvy-less journalist. How uncouth. All in all, being a dot-com flack is exactly like being a whore, except the hours are worse.

Second, this video (in fact created by TechCrunch Europe Contributing Editor Steve O’Hear) which recreates a conversation between a PR professional and a blogger or journalists. We have this same conversation oh, five or more times per day:



PR Pro: Hi I’m just checking you got the email I sent.

Blogger: When did you send it?

PR Pro: Five minutes ago.

Blogger: Oh. I get a lot of email.

PR Pro: Shall I send it again?

Blogger: No. What did it say?

PR Pro: I’d love to tell you, but you’ll have to agree to the embargo first.

Blogger: Ok whatever, I agree, now tell me more.

PR Pro: Can you email back first saying you agree to the embargo?

Blogger: I get a lot of email.

PR Pro: Please.

Blogger: Look, I honor the fucking embargo. Now tell me more.

PR Pro: A Silicon Valley based startup is going to announce a new revolutionary software as a service for social media companies targeting B2B. It will change the way social media marketing is done forever. Are you interested in a briefing with the company’s CEO.

Blogger: No, I don’t cover B2B.

PR Pro: But I thought you wrote about social media.

Blogger: I do, but not B2B.

PR Pro: But it is revolutionary.

Blogger: So are all the others.

PR Pro: Really?

Blogger: Yes. Look, when every new social media service is revolutionary it is no longer news.

PR Pro: I didn’t know that, but we are working on an API.

Blogger: I’m not interested.

PR Pro: Oh.

Blogger: Sorry.

PR Pro: Can I still email you the details?

Blogger: If you must.

PR Pro: And you’ll honor the embargo?

Blogger: Yes, I’ll honor the embargo. In fact I’ll make you a better offer.

PR Pro: Oh.

Blogger: I will honor the embargo for the rest of my working life. As I have no intention of writing about your new revolutionary software as a service for social media companies that will change the way social media marketing is done forever. So, yes, I’ll honor the fucking embargo.

PR Pro: I can’t thank you enough.

Blogger: It’s nothing. Really.

Our past rants:

The PR Roadblock On The Road To Blissful Blogging
One PR Firm’s Lack Of Ethics: Reverb Caught Astroturfing The App Store
The Reality Of PR: Smile, Dial, Name Drop, Pray.
Meet Lois Whitman, The Poster Child For Everything Wrong With PR
Death To The Embargo
The Last Has Fallen. The Embargo Is Dead.