PR Pet Peeves

At least Russell Shaw didn’t indict the whole profession for the mistakes of a few.

At 1AM this morning, the VoIP, IP telephony and broadband journeyman journalist for the likes of ZDNet (not to be confused with sibling CNET) and others, aired his frustration with trade show PR “types” charged with capturing, for their clients, the already captive reporters who slog from one confab to another.

I was encouraged by Mr. Shaw’s measured tone and actionable advice. He didn’t resort to the usual PR bashing histrionics we’ve come to expect from tech and gaming journalists, many of whom seem so uncomfortable in their own skin. Shaw’s a vet who recognizes the value proposition we offer when done right:

“Over these years, I have developed some pet peeves about trade show exhibitors and the p.r. people who represent them. If you are of either of these persuasions, consider this list of pet peeves a constructive, best practices document.”

After running through some practical suggestions, e.g., “Make your trade show booth findable” or “Let your booth personnel know we are coming,” Shaw eventually hits the #1 on the hit parade of PR pet peeves (#5 on his list):

“Know me and know us. At this show, too many p.r. types place priority on filling up client’s appt calendars without knowing who we are, what we cover- and then letting the client know. I mean, check out our blogs and articles before you pitch us. And please don’t confuse ZDNet with Ziff-Davis. I still get that alot. Hey Ziff-Davis are fine folks but that’s an entirely separate company with no overlap with us. We’re part of CNET, not Ziff Davis. That’s been true for the last seven years.”

Russ, thanks for the advice (and constructive tone). Hopefully it won’t go unheeded.