The Sun is Out
Smart Man Online: Phil Gerbyshak

The Technology Diet

For the Love of…ahem…PR
by Lena West (guest blogger)

I am officially off lecture mode and am quickly approaching rant mode, as per my promise last week.

Warning: beware she’s about to blow…Lakshmi_lena_west_3

As some of you may or may not know, in addition to being the CEO of a technology consulting company, I am also a writer. I write for some pretty prominent - and some not-so-prominent but utterly fabulous - publications, both online and off. Which means that I'm constantly on the look out for qualified, reputable sources who want to share actionable tidbits without giving too much of a sales pitch for their latest book, program or doo-dad.

In fact, right now, I’m on deadline for 8 (count ‘em 8!) articles…all due before October 1st. So, I AM what you would call media.

By now, everyone knows that you should have some sort of media room or page on your web site – or contact information at the least. Even the newest of newbies knows this. That’s what makes the following two scenarios even more frustrating…

Ticked-Off Situation #1

One of the articles I’m writing covers “Web 2.0” applications (blogs, wikis, podcasts, etc.). I knew who I wanted to talk to about podcasting…a very popular, affordable hosting company that recently launched a service making it easy for small business owners to create and deliver podcasts. Heck, even the CEO of this hosting company has his own podcast! What a cool source, right? Nope.

I went to their web site and searched and searched for contact information. I searched some more for a phone number to the administrative offices, surely I could be directed to the appropriate party if I called the main office?

Ha! There wasn’t even a phone number on their web site. I called their support phone number and waited in queue even! The support rep had no clue on how I could contact the main office -- even AFTER I explained that I was a writer on a deadline looking for an interview. Wow, what a bunch of freakin’ million dollar losers! As luck would have it, their PR agent replied to one of my queries on ProfNet so, I eventually got my interview (which is why I’m not naming names!) but not without a lot of unecessary rigamarole.

Ticked-Off Situation #2

Something similar happened with another popular social media company in the same week! The search for media contact information led me round and round, loop-de-loop, from page to page on their web site. I ended up having to send a blind email with hopes that someone would get back to me in a timely fashion. They did. I set up the interview and asked for a contact number. The date and time of the interview came and went and I had to send another email for a contact phone number -- because they are yet another company with no phone number on their web site! When asked what would be a good time to reschedule the interview, their response was, “We’re on Eastern time.” C’monnnnn, what gives???

What does this have to do with technology? I’ll tell you: The technology is there so USE it! Create a flipin’ media page. Use a tool like LivePerson to field media inquiries. Use a contact form…anything!

How can these companies ever expect to get media coverage if they won’t provide basic contact information on their web site? Am I over-reacting? Is there something I’m missing? Is there any good reason for this complete and utter incompetence? If so, please fill me because as far as I can see, this is just plain stupid.

And, breathe. Ok, I feel better now.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Lena West


That's a rockin' idea and actually Moveable Type, TypePad's older cousin, does have this functionality available.

I see that you are a pro-blogger...have you ever heard of the "blog as web site" deal? Where someone is using blog technology to make an entire site? Well, your idea would fit right in with this web site approach - using a blog as a web site.

Good ol' Tom Peters uses a blog back-end to create a "regular" looking web site front-end. Take a look: -that's a blog! :)

Your recent blog posting rocks. I'm a TOTAL fan of Frommer's - they have great tips...I know a smart woman when I see one!



Lip-Sticking Guest Blogger


Good idea - typepad should put that into their system and give people an option of a personal about page or a business about/contact page to fill in.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)