Thursday, August 11, 2016

BLIND ITEM: This is uhm, awkward - who is the MultiChoice publicist who sends out non-DStv related stuff to press on company time using the MultiChoice media list?

It's been so awkward getting press releases and even an invitation from MultiChoice - at least from a MultiChoice email address and publicity person - that has nothing to do with, and doesn't promote MultiChoice or DStv at all.

As a journalist and a TV critic I cover television. I don't write about cars (although I report about Top Gear); I'm not a restaurant critic (although I will cover the Food Network); and I report on the Animal Planet channel although I don't have any pets.

Television is what I cover, not other stuff, and it's grating to have stuff land in my inbox from people whose job it is to know better, that has nothing to do with it.

I already and often get irritated when I'm sent mind-numbing press releases and irrelevant PR trash by PR companies and publicists who can't even bother to personalise a press release with a name, who can't even bother to check what I actually cover and just email-blast irrelevant product and service information without checking to a whole clobbered together mailing list.

It's even worse and even more awkward when a publicity manager uses their "work" email, during work time, and what I presume is the company's mailing list for media, to market and promote their own sideshows.

To be fair: Yes, everybody has lives and personal interests outside of their 9-5 weekday lives.

But if you're into model trains, perhaps "alert the media" over weekends from your gmail account even if you've copy and pasted the email addresses and contact details bounty from work that actually is the work product of the employer.

It's embarrassing to get communication from a company - for instance MultiChoice - that has nothing to do with MultiChoice or any of its products or services.

Also, it's not really my place or job to tell a company about it, but I can highlight it as unprofessional and borderline unethical.

It's ironic to me that for instance recently SuperSport couldn't be bothered at all to just let me and other journalists covering television know that there would actually be a media launch for SuperSport's 2016 Olympic Games coverage on DStv.

Yet the Randburg pay-TV conglom is able to let me know about stuff I don't care about.

Another example: It's been days since the announcement and press release went out about nominations opening for M-Net and MultiChoice's AfricaMagic Viewers Choice Awards 2017.

Take one guess as to whether anybody at M-Net or MultiChoice sent or said anything about it at all to any media in South Africa?

For the 3rd year in a row, South Africa is completely being ignored, as if trying to get entries from South African film makers and TV producers are not really a priority. You have to read a Zambian newspaper to know you can enter.

While this is something I'd very much like to get from MultiChoice and M-Net I don't; but that which falls outside of television as a personal project, that I ironically do get.

If you as a Telkom customer get your monthly statement emailed to you, how would you feel if you suddenly get communication from Telkom by email about a summer concert in the park sponsored by Cell C?

It would be too weird and "wrong", right?

As embarrassing? In my line of work I've come to accept (although I don't like it) that I won't regularly hear from certain people about stuff about their company, service or organisation although they're actually paid to supposedly communicate and communicate a lot about it.

Yet, it then happens that you're good enough to be notified about personal side projects that's not even remotely what you're interested in or covering.

It would seem like knowing not to do something like this is PR 101 and a rookie mistake, but it's not.

Ironically the times I've experienced it before, like now again, it's not been interns of marketing or publicity people who'd just started, but people who should know a lot better, but somehow don't.

Now, let me tell you about my personal obsession with Lego Star Wars (because that is why you're reading a TV news source, right?), and share some details about our Skywalker South Africa Lego group's next get together ...