Re: Scum of the earth
Despite my grumble in the first comment, I think that's unduly harsh. There are some excellent PR people, who take time to build relationships, without a hard sell, will dig around to point you in the right direction when you need to speak to a technical person, and understand the concept of deadlines.
When I first started in this business, there were probably quite a lot of those, and it would often be a joy to hear from them, as they would call when they had something genuinely useful to offer.
However, with the explosion of blogs and online media, there has been a resultant explosion in the number of 'PR' people and some seem to have very little training, beyond a home counties name, a posh accent and an Alice band in their hair (I generalise, but I'm sure many will know the type). PR is sometimes measured in terms of bums on seats, because the big boss doesn't want see any empty ones when he's talking about his latest gizmo, and since much is published online, a lot of people don't seem to grasp the concept of a hard deadline in the way that they used to.
Worse, some seem unable to grasp that "journalist" is a broad term, and we all have our specialities. I mentioned the oddly targeted products in my first post, but at least it was a gadget. Some of the Jessicas and Amandas seem to have bought a list of "journalist emails" and think that's all they need to to do get coverage. So, I'm not along amongst my colleagues in receiving utterly mystifying releases on topics ranging from double glazing to mexican food stores.
In the old days, when much was sent by post, of course there was a real cost, and perhaps that helped PR people ensure they send information to the best people. Sadly now, all too often, information is sent out indiscrimately and the money saved wasted on stupid follow-up calls and emails that wouldn't be so necessary if information was properly targeted.