Tell someone who cares (and it’s not us)

Date:22 February 2013 Author: Alan Duggan Tags:, , ,

Three days ago, much to our amazement, we learned from Wired Communications that “the granting to the RMI of leave to appeal the recent judgment by N Bam, AJ in the matter pertaining to the gazetting of the REDISA Waste Tyre Management Plan will not affect the implementation and operation of the Plan…”

As if that wasn’t enough, today we were told that the 100-year-old Umzonyana water treatment works was to be refurbished in a R50-million upgrade project that would increase its treatment capacity by 30 Mℓ/day. The announcement was made by SW Marketing on behalf of Royal HaskoningDHV, a consulting firm appointed by the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality.

In fact, it’s been an exciting month for PM. Only a few weeks ago, The PR Collective tipped us off that Hannelie van Wyk was a hair stylist with a gift for making hair work. Not only that, but she had a deep commitment to communicating with her clients. It gets better: Style Central invited us to attend a vintage fashion sale in Bryanston. (Sudden thought: Did they take their cue from one of my recent blogs titled, “Fashion showdown? J’accuse!“? If so, bad move: I actually dress very badly indeed.)

Where are we heading with this? To the statement that PR firms are cocking it up badly in their lazy, ill-considered and hugely annoying “shotgun” approach to spreading their clients’ message. Challenged on why a science and technology magazine would be interested in their badly aimed and mind-numbingly boring press releases, they respond with limp excuses ranging from “technical error” to “an intern’s mistake”.

Worse still, we continue to receive invitations to events ranging from astrological seminars (aaargh!) to “confidential” UFO briefings, from “quantum bracelet” product launches (puhleeze) to exclusive meetings that would reveal how scalar energy fields are set to revolutionise power generation and shut down the fossil fuel industry (er, they’re not).

Our earnest request to PR people: please divide your media list into sensible categories and stop bullshitting your clients into believing that PM (or the Salvation Army’s War Cry, for that matter) has any interest in their announcements about staff promotions or adherence to industrial safety standards designated by utterly meaningless numbers.

Also, do not confuse Popular Mechanics with journals that print messages from angels, or attempt to sell us on your woo-woo science release, even though you think the word “quantum” is really sexy and, you know, sciencey. And finally, we don’t care that Constance Le Prince Maurice has found its groove as one of the premier bespoke hotels on the island of Mauritius, or that someone in America named Kent, who admits to no scientific background whatsoever, would like us to get in touch to chat about his cold fusion theory.


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