Monday, August 6, 2012...4:13 pm

Tales from the trade press: so you thought it was a media agency’s job to talk to the media?

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[UPDATE: Premier Foods is clearly a great British food company, a fine brand, and full of lovely, helpful people. I thought my speculative email to the generic marketing department address would be ignored or dismissed, but no! I had a nice prompt and informative reply. Thank you, Premier Foods. It does still seem a bit weird that they have a PR company for trade media but don’t actually want to use them, but who am I to question?]

Yes – another month, another exciting trade press feature. And what better way to spend a wet August?

But try getting some information for the business-to-business press from, say, “great British food company and Britain’s largest branded food producer” Premier Foods about its super new Bisto brand stock pot product (yes, I have no idea, either), and you might be in trouble.

Because Premier Foods has apparently asked its trade media PR company – the ingeniously spelled Cirkle Communications – to only talk to publications on a vetted list. And the title I’m working for isn’t on it. Of course.

I’ve whinged before about this (ahem, *Clinique*), but really it’s crap. I mean, Premier Foods bleats on about how “proud” it is of its brands, but is too busy, or prissy, to talk about them to decent, hard-working trade press hacks (or me).

It doesn’t even use the fig leaf of “I’m sorry, we won’t be able to help you this time, because we’re on holiday/too busy with end of year results/trapped in a burning elevator.” No – it’s clearly “you’re just too insignificant to bother with”.

Yes, I know – many people, even many journalists, (even myself) might agree. But, still – if you are a brand and employ an agency to represent you to the media, how hard can it be to actually, you know, deal with the media?

Monday whine over – time to walk the dog. At least she still has respect for the fourth estate…


  • It’s a short drive from “only talking to publications on a vetted list” to “only talking to corrupt or stupid publications that’ll print our propaganda for free”. In fact they may be already be neighbours.

    And that is so self-destructive for a PR agency, because if it only deals with media giving positive coverage then it is:

    a) Already semi-redundant
    b) In a really bad place once the hostile press stories start appearing.

    In fact, if I was told that by a PR company I’d start looking for the bad news, because sure as hell it’ll be there somewhere.
    Bill Bennett recently posted..Hard lessons changed my opinion of Google Docs

  • Freelance UnboundNo Gravatar
    August 7th, 2012 at 11:37 am

    Well, as per my update, it seems that Premier Foods is only too happy to talk to me – it just doesn’t want its PR company to do so. Which is odd. Maybe it’s a budget thing, thinking about it…

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