3 July 2008

Who is PR for? Companies or their honchos?

"You don't do the Boss column anymore?" the PR person asks.
"No," I reply, with an increasing sense of glee.

Dealing with public relations folks is part of the drill I have to go through, but you will not believe the number of PR agency dudes and dudettes who have called me about a column called "Boss Day Out" which we at Hindustan Times also ran for a while later under the tag "Boss After Work."
It was a nice thing to tell readers about the other side of the blue suits and pinstripes, but it can get a bit sickening when every two-bit trainee in a two-bit PR agency calls you up to discuss the two-bit CEO of a two-bit company. Very often, the request was to prop up a 20-something with a fat title who got there because papa told him.
Ah, figures. The honcho signs cheque, agency pleases honcho, agency hounds press. All is well with the world. But does that do the company any good?
There are companies that I have never heard of or rarely so, and the PR person would call up and say nothing about the company and often prop up somebody who in our scheme of things is hardly high enough (Gawd! vice-president-marketing isn't quite it!).
That's some tripe hype gripe!

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