Tuesday, 29 May 2012

PR Fail


One of the subjects we discussed at fair length at the recent European Beer Bloggers Conference is the thorny one of free samples and whether bloggers should accept them. Most are happy to do so, though a few aren't. Kind of allied to that, we also discussed the influence of bloggers and whether brewers read our blogs and if so, as a result, did they do the slightest thing about what they read. The consensus, backed up by brewers big and small was that brewers were very much on the ball and scoured blogs (or paid someone to do so) for good and bad feedback.

Now I get very little by way of free beer, but I do get quite a few press releases, some of which are interesting and some of which aren't. I was looking through some that send me stuff and thought I could do with some more from some of the bigger companies. After all I do a fair bit of industry comment, am just a little interested by beer and I have had ideas or even actual content triggered by press releases, so it does work. I started with,  shall we say, a certain large brewery based in Bury St Edmunds. I dropped their PR company an email asking to be put on their press release list. This was in my own name and referred to my blog. What has happened since then? Nada. No acknowledgement and no flow of lovely info either. Another annoyance is at trade events where a brewery rep asks you to drop him/her a line. I sometimes do and that's usually the last I hear of it. It happened fairly recently with a North West Brewery. It would be embarrassing to contact them again. I don't want to be put in that position. Their loss I suppose. I even did a small piece (unpaid) for a brewery in house magazine and had huge trouble even getting a copy of the published item.

So this isn't the first time this kind of thing has happened. It isn't unique to Greene King either, but you know, if I was them I'd be quite annoyed. The employ, presumably for a large wedge, a company to look after their PR and what do they do? They ignore a genuine and valid request, thus allowing what could have turned out well for their client, into something negative and giving me cause to have a pop.

That's value for money!  Not.


There's no copyright statement on the cartoon, but a shout out goes to Hugh MacLeod at www.gapingvoid.com It kinda sums it up.

16 comments:

Cooking Lager said...

I'm amazed you've not turned this into a brand. A "Tandleman necks this because it isn't piss" logo is worth any number of "cask marque" and "CAMRA say this is real ale" logo's.

I'd buy owt approved by the Tand.

Tandleman said...

If only more people saw the light as clearly as you Cookie.

coxy said...

Greene King's press release list probably fell a little short and you missed out, a bit like the the ammount of beer they put into pints, then again less of a bad thing is a good thing.

Bailey said...

Having worked with PR people on the other side of the fence (not in the world of beer, though) I'd guess that half the problem is the turnover of staff (interns, juniors and partners coming and going every five minutes); and of agencies running campaigns.

You might give your name to someone who, a week later, is out on his or her ear, and you're back at square one.

Two big PR irritations for us (of many...):

1. agencies who mither us -- can we send a sample? can we send a sample? -- and, when we give in and let them have them our address... don't send a sample. Grr. Waste of our time.

2. Agencies who send us irrelevant press releases; then, when we complain grovel, apologise, promise to take us off the list... but send us something equally irrelevant a week later.

Tandleman said...

Bailey. I agree with the likely causes, but as I say, GK and others pay big bucks for that. Adding someone to a mailing list is hardly difficult.

Let's see if they pick this up.

Kristy said...

Bailey might be right but any brewery paying for PR and not checking fairly regularly who's on their media list doesn't know their stuff (or is happy wasting money).

Easy get out to blame the PR agency but they're only as good as their brief - I'd want to know why GK haven't previously checked you're on their mailing list, it's not like you're new to the game and, apparently, some people read this guff :oP

I wonder if they need someone new to pick up their communications.......

Nate Dawg said...

Don't be surprised if they have actually seen your request and automatically put you on their press release list!

One thing I've learned through reviewing music is that they don't always reply... recently I emailed a rather big heavy metal label asking to be put on their press list, got no reply then a week later they sent me two albums to review!

Just wait and see!

Sid Boggle said...

Interesting, Tandie. Dunno about the e-version, but must be doable, but I'm getting me some'a them cheap business cards so I can schmooze like a Yank. Give 'em to everybody you meet so they can find you online and on the blower. They might not, but a card isn't as easily overlooked as an email.

Tandleman said...

Nate. Sent on 10th May? Maybe. But I doubt it.

Tyson said...

I've got the opposite problem. They send me PR releases which I don't want.

Tandleman said...

Tyson - Ha. I now have had a nice call from someone in charge of the PR firm at GK. It was good they took the trouble to phone. I'm now on the list.

So they DO read blogs and that's good too!

Paul Bailey said...

They can send me as much free beer as they like!

Erlangernick said...

Hey, I comment on a couple of blogs...where are my samples of twiggy delights?

dave u said...

careful what you wish for, you might end up with free Greedy Kerching... ;-)

The Beer Nut said...

Copyright is automatic, btw. A copyright statement is just a reminder of this; it doesn't follow that things without them are somehow not copyrighted.

Tandleman said...

Fair enough. Good job I acknowledged it then. I know. That's no good either. Bloody librarians.