For those of us in public relations fake awards means that I have to break the heart of the excited CEO that was just told he is on the shortlist for CEO of the Year for fill-in-the-blank-here market sector”. His face falls when I tell him it’s going to cost $1,100 to “apply” or that he needs to tell all his customers that this “award company” will be contacting them to do an “interview” (which is code for, we’ll really be pushing hard for you to spend money on an ad too).
Or how about the ever popular “guest on a TV show hosted by a famous person”? Those are the real pain in the a** because by the time I get involved the CEO/President/CIO/CFO is already so pumped at the idea of being on TV I have to work really hard at convincing them otherwise. And once they’ve already showed any interest to the producer of these “TV shows” it’s like prying a gator off a kitten to get these people to quit calling.
But fake PR firms? I’ve never seen that one! Before I continue I should preface this by saying, just like the awards and the TV shows these companies really do exist they just don’t do for you what they say they are going to do and now that trucking is suddenly hip cool and popular these PR firms are coming out of the woodworks! In the case of the fake PR firm (actual email captioned above) I’m actually pretty impressed with their ingenuity in trying to find new clients (how could they know that while conducting their massive fishing expedition 3 of their “fish” would happen to be LaunchIt clients thus allowing me to quickly catch on to their game). Unfortunately though I’m sure many suppliers took the bait and what it’s ultimately going to do is make it really hard for we legitimate trucking technology firms that actually know the industry and know what we’re talking about. Cleaning up their mess of overcharging and underperforming, overpromising and under delivering is my firm’s equivalent of a trucking company’s Rip and Replace nightmare!
So just as this article advised carriers to ask questions of suppliers when it comes to technology purchasing decisions, I now give that same advise to suppliers when it comes to making your PR firm (or any agency for that matter) selection. Ask questions! If a firm that claims “experience in trucking” can’t answer the below questions then move on!
What’s the difference between truckload and LTL?
Who are ATA, TCA, NPTC, NATSO and OOIDA?
Should we exhibit at MATS and GATS or MCE and NACV?
Should our target readers come from Overdrive, The Trucker and Landline or Transport Topics, HDT, Fleet Owner, CCJ and Freightwaves?
Easy answers for anyone that knows the industry and they should be able to answer them on the spot, right then and there (no Googling allowed!)