Tips for Metblogs Shills

astroturf-suit.jpgI’m one of those people who really did kill her television. I pretty much hate hype, and “PR” to me still stands for “punk rock.” But the reality is we live in a city with a disproportionate number of publicists and PR goons, and I can accept that.

Here’s a simple request though: if you’re going to spend your life pressing flesh and kissing babies, at least do it well. A recent run-in with an Astroturf queen here on Metblogs made me realize that a few tips might be useful for y’all whose life work is devoted to manufacturing desire.

1. If we post a rant/slam/critique of your client/project/company, say for instance, hypothetically speaking, a post like my send up of Blankspaces, and you want to post a rebuttal comment, don’t pretend to be a random customer/fan.
workstations1.JPG2. If you insist on pretending to be a random customer/fan rather than telling the truth, don’t do so from the work email address that identifies you as, in fact, the company’s publicist.
3. If you do make the mistake of using your work email to leave such a comment and one of us emails you to request that you unveil yourself don’t include two smilies and two exclamation points in the response.
4. And for the love of god, don’t try to buy our enthusiasm with something like, hypothetically speaking, an offer of forty free cube hours at a place like Blankspaces accompanied by photographs of scary shadow people walking around the workspace.

 Hope this helps! Happy selling. :-)

(Ingorrr’s Astroturf suit picture used through a Creative Commons license.)

6 Replies to “Tips for Metblogs Shills”

  1. As Nelson from the Simpsons would say, “Ah Ha.”

    I totally knew the person who was all “blankspaces is great” was part of the company.

    It was just too fake and “yay-yay-yay” about the whole thing….

    But your post Travis made that all worth it.

    Browne

  2. I’ve been a PR person before, so for this person to claim ignorance or that they did nothing wrong proves they either don’t care about industry integrity, or they never learned the basics.

    There is nothing wrong with commenting to defend a client, employee, or whatever, so long as you disclose your relationship. Otherwise, it not only makes you look bad, but also your client.

    Any press is good press for a new company. Travis didn’t say the service sucked, she said she didn’t like the concept. She may not have hyped Blankspaces, but she gave an accurate portrayal of what it was. More people will likely take a look at Blankspaces based on her mention than she’ll change the minds of people who never would have heard of the place otherwise.

    Of course, this now makes us suckers, since we’ve written about Blankspaces now twice. Good for Blankspaces, but not so good for their publicist.

  3. Travis, you deserve and I mean DESERVE an award for this clever post.

    You did it so tastefully and outright funny. Of course we now know that krock is also a nice way to say “crock of shit” or was it the other “c” word I had in mind?

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