I have a love/hate relationship with PR folks. I’m married to a PR person, who used to work for Burson-Marsteller and who now works for SAP. I have several friends that still work at Burson-Marsteller, other PR agencies and tech companies.
I love PR people because they help get us products to review, set up meetings with industry experts and tip us off on news before it happens. The best PR reps work to inform us of current trends and provide us with digital assets (like some of the photos and videos we post here) without being too pushy. The good ones reply to emails at 3am while we’re working on reviews.
Oh yeah- If it weren’t for the bubbly, over-achieving PR reps putting on the meetup and sending countless invites, I wouldn’t have ever met my wife at a PRSA event several years ago.
On the other hand, some PR reps are bad apples. Some simply send spam out to hundreds of publications with no relevance to their clients and won’t leave you alone. Some will not take no for an answer. Some will work their way through every editor at a publication, even after being told to back off repeatedly. These bad PR apples are annoying, but I at least understand where they’re coming from and that they need to burn billable hours.
But the ones I really despise are ones like Jim Goldman and John Mercurio, the two Burson-Marsteller employees behind the Facebook/Google debacle. These two jokers tried to manipulate writers into bashing Google over alleged privacy concerns. When the writers pushed back and asked who was paying Burson-Marsteller to push the articles, the reps refused to answer.
The details are hashed out over at The DailyBeast, but Jim Goldman’s name caught my eye. You see, Jim Goldman used to be a tech reporter for CNBC. I don’t have anything against the guy personally, but suffice it to say that if this guy is as good at PR as he was at tech reporting, this probably isn’t the first time Burson-Marsteller has been embarrassed by him.
As CNBC’s silicon valley guru, Goldman couldn’t even get his facts straight about Macs vs. PCs. I’ve bought more Apple gear than any other brand over the past few years, including several MacBooks. I like Apple’s computers and highly recommend them, but they’re not without fault and they are pricey. In the above video clip, Goldman appears to be drunk on Apple-flavored KoolAid and just plain making sh*t up. Apparently, I didn’t need to pay a couple of grand for CS5 since Apple throws in Photoshop with every Mac. According to Goldman, you can’t buy a thin and light PC or one that has a chip that’s as fast as the ones in MacBooks. Don’t even get me started on the idiocy of his price comparisons. If he did this kind of work while being an objective reporter, I can’t imagine what he does when there are billable hours involved and he’s not under public scrutiny.
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