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PR = Public Repellence

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Oh me oh my oh manischewitz.

Being a semi-professional product reviewer/writer/blowhard, I get to deal with PR people quite often. Most PR people understand the key to getting good press:

1. Make the press people happy.

2. Pester the press people often, because writers are just one step removed from artists on the flake-scale. Doubly so for me, as my ancestry is from 19th century Bohemia (now the Czech Republic), so I am a true Bohemian.

3. Make the press people happy.

4. Be able to write a decent press-release.

5. Give press people really nice pens.

Anyhoozle, I was charged with doing an interview with a certain company. I won't tell you the name, but the interview will likely be appearing in a couple of days so you can spoil yourself later. For the first time, I met up with a PR guy who seemed to find the press to be a genuine nuisance.

I must make it clear that I really dislike "20 question" style interviews where I send off 20 canned questions and they respond to 'em. Those interviews fill me with boundless ennui. Instead, I like to ask one or two questions at a time and let 'em respond as they go. That way I can ask followup questions and explore more interesting avenues.

Case in point, my interview with Metanet. This was actually done 1-2 questions at a time over the course of a week, and I think it reads rather well and doesn't look like a job application.


This particular PR guy, though, apparently wanted to do as little PR as possible. He sent a handful of "suggested questions" that I found to be really contrived. Then he got upset when I opened with a general "For starters, tell me a little about " question. He actually got mildly offended that I wasn't already familiar with and would ask such a question rather than the ones he sent.

I then had to explain to him that I actually was familiar with and was actually asking the question for the benefit of the audience, some of whom might not be familiar with .

Next, he decided he didn't want to answer questions one at a time and just wanted me to send him the rest of my questions. It was clear that he just wanted to answer his own questions (which I did intend to get to, but was apparently wasn't getting to fast enough), so I just gave up. I fixed the grammar in his suggested questions, sent 'em back to him, and will try to cobble whatever I get into something resembling an interview.

But it won't be one that'll make me proud. When you read the interview, try to recall anything Chevy Chase has done in the past 20 years (especially "Caddyshack II"). Realize that it was done with that much passion.
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