I’d consider this my first week “back” after getting my negative test on Monday, and man, are my arms tired! Ha Ha Ha. Anyway, I’m exhausted, because everything crushed into this week as I tried to recover the week before, and thus I think my brain is going to drip out my ears and into my coffee. But I’m getting better - I did some time on the bike on Sunday and Wednesday, and while it’s definitely work, I’m not falling over and dying during it.
Manufactured PR Crises
Nvidia is, as they say, at it again, with their impossible-to-buy-because-it-got-bought-by-scalpers GPU review campaign going swimmingly as they blackball PC hardware Youtube channel Hardware Unboxed from reviewing their Founders Edition GPU because, well, they wouldn’t focus on the thing they wanted them to focus on:
Specifically, Nvidia appears to be annoyed that they won’t focus on something in a review, and thus won’t send them a unit. Which is insane on numerous levels, the most notable of them being that this sounds like it wouldn’t even be a negative review, based on the fact they already are saying nice things about Nvidia’s ray tracing:
This is one of my standard favourite things that happens with bad internal and agency-driven PR - someone who likely doesn’t know their ass from their elbow decides that the “thing” to be focused on is specifically one thing, and when a reviewer won’t literally do exactly what they want (thus making it not a review), they’re blacklisted. This is egregiously stupid - a really fucking dumb way to do business, because the very nature of these specialist publications is that it’s not a question of if they’ll address something bad about your product, it’s a question of when. They will simply go out and buy the product, even if they have to wait, and they will likely not approach it with any mercy as you gave them the runaround.
This usually ends up being some combination of either ignorance or arrogance. A great deal of tech companies staff their PR side with people who don’t actually know anything about what they’re talking about, who have simply learned enough to get by and actually find further domain expertise as something that might get in the way. They believe that the idea of being a “nerd” is bad, despite the fact that reporters can see right through someone who’s learned the bare minimum necessary to put through an email. This happens a lot in PR - a deeply sociopathic element that wants to pretend to know enough to manipulate people into doing stuff without the actual emotional or intellectual heavy lifting to be a real person.
These people also do not know who the best reporters to target are. They don’t read much. They don’t pay attention. They’re just there to fill space and memorize exactly as much as they need to pretend they’re intelligent. And they’re really common in PR.
Another type of person - and yes, you can absolutely combine them with the one I just discussed - is the one that views anyone who doesn’t simply write positive coverage as a “hater.” This one is extremely common. Give something a 7/10? Heavily test it and point out significant issues? Don’t immediately give every big triple-A release 9/10? Hater. You’re just looking for problems. These PR people will do all they can to sanitize a media list to remove any potential detractors. I get that in PR you need to avoid people who are going to write shitty things, but if you’re releasing a product with problems, well, that’s your problem, not theirs.
I will fully admit that every time I read one of these stories about shitty PR people doing shitty things, I get bitter, because I know how well my agency would do running that PR.
Also, this kind of hostility toward the truth and domain expertise is why people hate PR people. But what do I know?
This weekend I’m making a beautiful prime rib. Nothing else to say.