Unlike the vast majority of editors, I answer my phone. I don’t hide behind voicemail, and check it twice a day. I don’t, but I may yet.
In the world of process automation there are PR counsels who are terrific, and there are the rest of them. I will take a phone call at 3 AM from some of them, and they know who they are. They aren’t necessarily working for the big vendors, either. Some of the very best, like Sheri Worthington of Telesian Technologies, work for small to medium sized vendors. There are others, but I don’t want to get into what is really a very long list of highly professional PR operatives who are knowledgeable about the industry and our magazine.
And there are the other ones.
The ones that call up and ask if I’ve gotten the absolutely off-topic press release they sent me two months ago, and did I run it, and could I please send them a clip? Can’t these people subscribe to a clipping service? If they sent it correctly, we got it. If we ran it it will be archived on the website. If it isn’t on the website, we didn’t run it. QED. I will NOT debate “why didn’t you run this?” with anybody.
The ones that call up and offer a story written by some vendor, or by themselves. For 17 years it has been the unbreakable policy of this magazine not to accept vendor-written material for publication, with the exception of white papers on the website. A cursory reading of the editorial guidelines (which you would think they’d have a copy of, now wouldn’t you?) would make the call unnecessary. And still they call.
Is it the brain drain of the 90s from agencies that is responsible for this? Where have all the really good PR folks gone? And what is a poor editor to do when the good ones retire, if this is the kind of training the newbies are getting?
Ah, well. Rant over.