George Kotsolios is joint managing director of GolinHarris in Dubai
“How rude, unprofessional or simply incompetent are those who don’t get back to you with feedback after PR pitches?
Everyone reading this knows exactly to whom I am referring. What you don’t know – nor indeed do I – is why? Since no one tells me, I decided to make some public assumptions, which even ‘they’ may read and blush; I doubt the blushing bit though, for they, shamefully and boastfully will continue their mission to destroy any iota of decent conduct left in our industry.
Assumption number one: They have zero PR/comms background, yet their employers, in their infinite wisdom, entrusted them with the jobs that shape their companies’ reputation. Confronted by having to make a decision after a pitch, they close their eyes, flip a coin and appoint their high school buddy. At the end of the day they did what they had to – sending rejection letters is not part of their job description.
Assumption number two: They are experienced and nice people. So nice that they are not good at breaking bad news to people they respect for their professional ethos. Therefore they prefer the path of silence, keeping us perennially guessing, hoping and despairing. Do we ever find out? Eventually yes, but not from them.
Assumption number three: They mean well, they are thoroughly professional, keep notes, ask the right questions and make the right comments but have no actual decision-making powers. They convey the appropriate feedback to their bosses who have no clue, time to waste, interest, inclination or budget to even consider appointing an agency.
Assumption number four: Irrespective of their level of experience, disposition or intentions, the pitch process which they instigated and facilitated has stumbled upon a stubborn procurement manager who does not know the difference between a brick supplier and a services provider, so once he came upon the term ‘communications’ decided that the company’s existing contract with Etisalat is sufficient to cover their needs and buried the proposals in depths from which no one has emerged. Why bother indeed?
Should we start the name and shame game to expose those who take us all for a ride simply because they can? I know a good Twitter account if you’re interested. Perhaps it is time for action.”