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  Dear Business Communicators…  
Posted 2006-11-29 by Tony Walsh
Thank you for keeping me informed about your product, service, client and/or company. I really do appreciate it, even though I'm not likely to reply. I'm not even terribly likely to write about it here at Clickable Culture (today excepted). In case it seems like your business communications are dropping into a bottomless pit, here are the most likely reasons (subject to change at any time, and without notice):
  • You have no idea what I write about. I focus on the intersections of technology, culture, and business here (video games being one of my favourite products of said intersections). I'm less interested in news and more interested in the story behind the news. Nine times out of ten, whatever you're selling, I'm not buying.
  • You're talking but you're not saying anything. If it's not really news, and it's not really a story lead, and it's not really interesting or specific, then I don't want to hear about it.
  • Your communication raises more questions than it answers. Don't tease me, give me everything you've got--succinctly and accurately. If I have to ask for clarification or additional information, mostly I just won't bother.
  • You've sent me something I can't write about yet. Embargoes annoy me, sorry. I'm not likely to prepare a story in advance, just so I can post it the second an embargo is lifted. I'll leave that to the mainstream media.
  • Is it on the record or isn't it? I need to know specifically what parts of what you've communicated to me are for public consumption, and that includes whatever you've sent besides the press release. Ideally, I don't want to know anything that's off the record.
  • You seem to be passing yourself off as an anonymous tipster or are otherwise astroturfing. We're all adults here, please don't play make-believe. Tell me exactly who you are, who you represent or what your interest is, and why you are pinging me.
  • You're on the bandwagon. You're crowing about being the cutting edge, either ignoring or ignorant of the row of folks just like you who have piled on this week (or last month, or 3 years ago). I get tired of hearing about how company X is the first, best, or latest to do Y with Z technology. I'm interested in what actual value company X is bringing to people by doing Y with Z technology.
  • I'm highly cynical, jaded, crotchety, and ornery. I might discuss one or more aspects of your product, service, client and/or company that will make you unhappy. I might use framing or language you're not comfortable with. I appreciate you want to read stories that stay "on message," but those aren't necessarily the stories I write (unless my views and yours happen to match).

So, thanks again to all who have sent, keep sending, and intend to send me business communications and story leads. If there's anything more noteworthy than who does keep me posted, it's who should be, but doesn't.
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Comment posted by Taran Rampersad (Nobody Fugazi)
November 29, 2006 @ 1:55 pm
Damned good post.

I'm not sure of the context, but I think these are generally good guidelines for anyone.

In fact, I may borrow heavily from it. I'd have to add ascorbic to your last point.

Truth is, behind the smoke and mirrors there are some really cool things. The problem is that they usually aren't associated with the smoke and mirrors.
Comment posted by Ryan Anderson
November 29, 2006 @ 4:38 pm
This is a great post. It's almost a shame that most of this has to be said, though. I've quoted you fairly extensively at
Comment posted by Tony Walsh
November 29, 2006 @ 4:48 pm
Thanks for your interest, folks. Mostly I'm saying stuff that's already been said less-acerbically by bloggers and other communicators. I just felt it needed to be reiterated today. Been getting lots of dicey PR material lately--best intentions paving the road to hell, that sort of thing.
Comment posted by Brace
December 3, 2006 @ 1:13 am
Thats a cheeze smack of a post if I ever saw one

Werkit T-Dawg!!!
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