Bad PR Gone Good…

It happens sometimes to assiduous Flaks that your carefully sculpted, brilliantly messaged inquiries or pieces of literature fall before the eyes of an unintended recipient resulting in the ubiquitous, “Please remove me from your email list, I do not cover trends in small-dog winter fashion,” or some such reply.
Such an occurrence confronted me during my steadfast International Builder Show (IBS) outreach on behalf of the preeminent brand in loudspeakers worldwide ( The offended was a senior editor from a major national consumer magazine who also writes a blog and presented me with a valuable fork in the road.
HIM: Please remove me from your email list, as I do not cover electronics. Thank you.
One option was to disregard a response, remove him from all lists and go on sending emails while watching street fights on Youtube (haha, jk Boss). Or, I could stand up for myself and try to turn the situation into a positive (and blogpost) by taking the time to see where I went wrong.
ME: My apologies (obscured), we’ll make sure you’re removed from our list. For your reference, the Vocus media service has this listed under your profile: (obscured) is a senior editor at (obscured) and covers appliances, do-it-yourself, gardening, home furnishings/housewares, electronics, and technology. He has written five books on consumer topics.

With a feeling of slight exoneration I continued my servitude and was pleasantly surprised a few minutes later to receive the following:
HIM: It’s wrong! No wonder I get plagued. Thanks for the heads-up. Here’s something more precise: (obscured) is a senior editor at (obscured) and covers appliances, home improvement and outdoor power equipment. He has written no books on consumer topics.
Ha, the homefield advantage has shifted. Once seen as the villain, I now held court over the situation and was actually thanked for offering the enlightenment of our media services’ failure (Don’t worry, I still heart you Vocus). One more exchange and I think our lesson should come full circle:
ME: If you don’t tell them to change it, maybe next year you’ll have written 10 books and be interested in water sports and nanotechnology.
HIM: Alas, I won’t be going after all—but I was registered, so your info isn’t off-base on that count. But I like those additions.
A little extra legwork with a positive attitude can mean the difference between being a good PR person and an indolent blob disseminating information to those who don’t need or want it.
– Nick

One Response to Bad PR Gone Good…

  1. Nice job, Nick! My fellow eds and I get misdirected mail and e-mail all the time. Every once in a while, the media listmakers will call to update their info, but they really only ask for e-mails and titles. Would be nice if we could all get a chance to review our listings every year or two. And helpful for you too, I’m sure!

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