Friday, October 10, 2008

How not to do PR

I received some email from a PR agency called Cow*—tagline, "we're not sheep"—who sign themselves as...
Consumer PR agency of the year 2008
Consumer campaign of the year 2008
40x award winners or finalists since 2002

Here's a tip for you PR people out there (especially given that I am disinclined to punt your clients' products simply because you ask**): if you want me to plug your product, may I suggest that you actually get the name of my blog correct? Don't, for instance, send me emails saying...
In a nutshell, [the software] is a service that converts speech to text***. It works for everything from voicemails to social networks, and we would love to give you the opportunity to voice-enable Mr Eugenides blog.

Well, that's very kind of you guys. No, seriously, I would love to voice-enable the poor little Greek boy's blog. Unfortunately, you are best contacting Mr E seeing as how it's... well... his blog.

Better luck next time, chaps...

* Do not visit that site unless you are prepared to encounter one of the single most abysmal, tedious and downright fucking shitty load-of-crap Flash websites that I have ever come across. I spent two minutes on there and found no useful information whatsoever. A website is supposed to give information to potential clients: seriously, you monkeys, what the fuck were you thinking?

** Give me free samples of booze or fags though and I may well consider it...

*** As some may know, your humble Devil works for a company which specialises in the field of web accessibility; this actually sounds like a useful service—a service a bit like Browsealoud, in fact. I may check it out: I may not.


marksany said...

They can't compete with can they?

Boy on a bike said...

I was listening to a podcast on free speech yesterday and I think they mentioned your blog - except they called it "Hell's kitchen". I am sure they meant the devil, as it was paired with Guido Fawlkes.

I think you are doomed to be mistaken for other people forever.

Er, sorry - other fuckers.

Will said...

Holy cow! The website says very little in the time I spent looking.

Does the software they are promoting convert speeck to text - like, for example, Dragon Naturally Speaking, so that I could have spoken this comment into my laptop - or did they mean text to speech, like Browsealoud's main purpose?

Space Covvboy said...

Browsealoud? A useful service? No, no way. Browsealoud skews the whole concept of making accessible websites.

As a website creator you need to ensure your website is accessible, and that it linearizes it's content well. That's your half of the contract.

What then determines how that contact is presented to the consumer is their browser agent. If a customer needs text-to-speech it's far better done in their browser agent rather than installing an additional piece of technology on each and every website they're likely to visit.

I'm sure browsealoud would love to have every website using their technology, think of they money they'd make, but I am convinced that the different requiremets of users are best met by specialised browser agents.

Shug Niggurath said...

Wonder if they got your link via the banner on Mr E?

David Gillies said...

I write web software for a living. Flash is an utterly execrable technology that demands a furious cock-punching for any dipshit that renders his site inaccessible for its lack*. Its merit beyond showing YouTube videos is thoroughly inexplicable. A half-way competent developer can replicate most of its features in DOM/AJAX, so why bother with the pesky thing?

*A site that won't let me in until I 'upgrade' to the 'latest' version of Flash is one I will never, ever give any of my custom to.

dirkthecow said...

The fact is, this was a cock up that shouldn't have happened and I can only apologise.

Regards the flash site, it was well received when it was first built, but now I agree it's past its sell by date. Which is why we're about to take it down and replace it with something more functional (I hope by early Nov).

Booze and fags? Sadly, we don't have those as clients at the moment!