10 Top Tips For PRs Considering Whether To Phone The Register

You'll Read These And LOL Even Though They're Serious

Rant So. You're a PR. Your boss, client, giant David Icke-style lizard or whatever it is you people have in charge of you, has ordered you to telephone The Register. Here's a handy list of things for you to consider before you do that.

  1. Do not EVER call us to ask whether we read your email. If you feel the need to ask the question because of the lack of reply, the answer is invariably in the negative. Accept that your client's world-shakingly disruptive cat-feeding app is a load of total bollocks and move on.
  2. Don't bullshit us. We all sit in the same room. So when you ring up and give me the “Hi, I spoke to [insert random scribe's name here] just now, can you put me back through please?” spiel, I will put you on hold and shout across the desk “Did this person really speak to you?” If I'm particularly low on tea and/or biccies, I may not bother putting you on hold for this phase because the sheer joy of making you listen as your lie unravels and then destroying you like a fisherman giving a particularly fat carp a thump with an angler's priest cheers my stone-cold sub-editorial heart.
  3. Get our names right. If you want to speak to someone with an unusual name, take five seconds and check its pronunciation. If you want to speak to someone with a common first name, be sure to have their surname and/or job title to hand. It's all on the website, we don't make a secret of this stuff. If you ring up and start making inane noises down the phone I am more likely to slam it down than I am to help you. Also, if you're cold-calling a list of publications, at least try and remember which one you're speaking to as you read out your script. Like girlfriends, we don't like being called someone else's name as we get down to business.
  4. Learn how a newsroom works, including details of its basic structure. If you think our editorial director is interested in listening to your intern read him a script about innovative web apps, quite frankly you should be flipping burgers in McDonald's for a living.
  5. Whoever it is with the plummy voice who keeps ringing up and asking for our MD – we know you're a salesman and we're never going to put you through. Give over.
  6. Get some kind of internal info-sharing system going, for pity's sake. We tell the industry which of our people are attending conferences and the like. We don't then want the entire PR industry to ring us up and ask the same bloody question 10,000 times over and again.
  7. “Hello, is that [x]?” NO NO NO. Didn't your mothers teach you basic etiquette? “Hello, can I speak to [x] please?” Is that so hard?
  8. Nobody, but nobody on God's green earth in Satan's red dungeon gives a flying monkey's gonads what PR firm you work for. Tell us your client (and what they do if nobody's heard of them) straightaway. If your client has never been covered on El Reg before (protip: Google!), consider pitching to someone who gives a damn. If it's some mobile app you're hawking then try the Verge.
  9. Email is not always ignored. Most of the time unsolicited commercial email from you is. But at least one person in the newsroom does look at each mail as it hits the inboxes. If you take the time to actually address it properly and consider our beat, we might – might – just give it a second glance. At least your work will have counted for something by that point as we click delete.
  10. If you have an existing relationship with us, please mention this. We don't hate all PR people. Some of you actually help us cover the IT industry and its technology in a way that we and our readers value and we like that – no, really, we do. All we ask is that you let us know this so we can separate out your wheat from the tons of chaff we have to wade through every day. Not all PRs are bad people and we don't hate you. Except the ones with the unsolicited phonecalls.

Ahh, that's better. Now, where's my pint? ®

Normally your correspondent devotes his weekend missives to writing about privacy and/or shooting. This column is inspired by a particularly rash month of phonecalls.

Other stories you might like

  • Tesla driver charged with vehicular manslaughter after deadly Autopilot crash

    Prosecution seems to be first of its kind in America

    A Tesla driver has seemingly become the first person in the US to be charged with vehicular manslaughter for a deadly crash in which the vehicle's Autopilot mode was engaged.

    According to the cops, the driver exited a highway in his Tesla Model S, ran a red light, and smashed into a Honda Civic at an intersection in Gardena, Los Angeles County, in late 2019. A man and woman in the second car were killed. The Tesla driver and a passenger survived and were taken to hospital.

    Prosecutors in California charged Kevin George Aziz Riad, 27, in October last year though details of the case are only just emerging, according to AP on Tuesday. Riad, a limousine service driver, is facing two counts of vehicular manslaughter, and is free on bail after pleading not guilty.

    Continue reading
  • AMD returns to smartphone graphics with new Samsung chip for your pocket computer

    We're back in black

    AMD's GPU technology is returning to mobile handsets with Samsung's Exynos 2200 system-on-chip, which was announced on Tuesday.

    The Exynos 2200 processor, fabricated using a 4nm process, has Armv9 CPU cores and the oddly named Xclipse GPU, which is an adaptation of AMD's RDNA 2 mainstream GPU architecture.

    AMD was in the handheld GPU market until 2009, when it sold the Imageon GPU and handheld business for $65m to Qualcomm, which turned the tech into the Adreno GPU for its Snapdragon family. AMD's Imageon processors were used in devices from Motorola, Panasonic, Palm and others making Windows Mobile handsets.

    Continue reading
  • Big shock: Guy who fled political violence and became rich in tech now struggles to care about political violence

    'I recognize that I come across as lacking empathy,' billionaire VC admits

    Billionaire tech investor and ex-Facebook senior executive Chamath Palihapitiya was publicly blasted after he said nobody really cares about the reported human rights abuse of Uyghur Muslims in China.

    The blunt comments were made during the latest episode of All-In, a podcast in which Palihapitiya chats to investors and entrepreneurs Jason Calacanis, David Sacks, and David Friedberg about technology.

    The group were debating the Biden administration’s response to what's said to be China's crackdown of Uyghur Muslims when Palihapitiya interrupted and said: “Nobody cares about what’s happening to the Uyghurs, okay? ... I’m telling you a very hard ugly truth, okay? Of all the things that I care about … yes, it is below my line.”

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022