This made news, I guess, because Twitter was involved. Do you remember the time when bloggers started explaining how they first heard of Twitter, and what the hell it is anyway? Me neither. You know, all bloggers have always known all about Twitter, so this is why they just started dropping its name whenever they felt the time was ripe. You know, me too. That Twitter. I'm not going to admit that I only got around to first reading about Twitter some three weeks ago. As a blogger, being well-informed is what I'm all about, and I always know about everything. Even if I don't say so.
Anyway, here's the story. Edelman PR is a company representing several tech firms. Its senior vice president Steve Rubel gets a free subscription to PC Magazine, and throws it in the trash. Tsk, tsk. Worse, he chooses to tell all the world about it via Twitter, even though his company routinely begs the editor of that very magazine in his trashcan if he could pretty please write about its clients.
I'm going out on a limb here, but my guess is that this may have been caused by Olympic-sized stupidity, and/or psychopathic tendencies that are not uncommon among senior vice presidents.
But anyway, PC Magazine Editor-in-Chief Jim Louderback learns this, and throws a hissy fit like I've last seen in fifth grade. He's taking his ball home:
Should I instruct the staff to avoid covering Edelman's clients? Ignore their requests for meetings, reviews and news stories?I know Louderback meant this as a rhetorical question, but the answer actually exists: no.
Louderback is an editor. His job is to know what matters to his readers, and then instruct his reporters to write about those things.
I somehow doubt that many PC Magazine readers think along the lines of "I wish they stopped covering all the companies who happen to be the clients of that PR firm whose senior vice president wrote something nasty the other day."
Or is it just me?
Yet his childish rant goes on:
I did a quick search through my recent email, and found that over the past few weeks Edelman staff pitched me about news and new products from Palm, MarkMonitor, Mozilla/Firefox, Microsoft (hardware and Xbox), Eyespot.com, Vulcan Flipstart and Dash Navigation. Heck, they even pitched me yesterday on the release of Adobe's new Creative Suite 3, which has to be relevant to at least some of the 11 million folks we reach across our magazine, web and video properties each month. And then I realized that this was probably just the callous act of a rogue Edelman exec, and it didn't necessarily reflect the views of the rest of the company. Still, it made me wonder. And in the future, if I'm on the fence, I'll probably be somewhat less inclined to take a meeting with one of Edelman's clients.OK. So if it weren't for Edelman, PC Magazine would never have covered Palm, Microsoft or Adobe.
And if some psycho at the same Edelman, a PR firm that no PC Magazine reader has ever heard of, says something nasty, the magazine will stop covering all these companies.
Here's the slogan of PC Magazine: the independent guide to technology.
If I were a subscriber, I'd cancel now.
And Twitter about it.