A top international mining company calls me in the morning. Upset with the story! haha. “We have such a good rapport. Why you write this?” “You are a friend. The management knows you. See if you could write some positive story. Otherwise would be very difficult to talk again.” This is PR. The arm twisting tactics are nowadays very direct. Earlier the game was in subtlety.
“We had so much trouble accommodating you for that exclusive interview. The chairman rarely talks and this is what you write.” “And on top of it we have a relationship of so many years now. You are like (company’s name) family.” You want me to be your mouthpiece then you rather hire me as your corp comm. Will be happy to edit your internal magazine. But the kind of arguments corp comm heads and PRs come up with nowadays is pure bizarre.
According to this particular gentleman, I should be thankful that the chairman agreed to meet me. I ruined it by writing a scathing story. “This is not the first time you have done this. Even in the past have written negative stories against us. Why can’t you see good things.” This is a very common grudge of these mining/metal companies against me. “Why can’t I see what they are doing for sustainable development.” Just because I have a rapport (or lack of it) with them, they expect me to ignore all the negatives. Why?
These guys will do one good thing (mere token) and harp as if they are championing a cause. Multiple press releases, shouting from the top. Find one negative (which is the job as companies never say what is wrong with them) and they shut your doors like heaven on Osama (I hope). If this is the business of communication then please try not to tell me what to write. It is a two-way process. Let it be that way. And then you expect me shut my eyes and look the other way. Well, this is why I have glasses (bad pun).
All I can guarantee is that I won’t be biased against you. And this is where these companies play dirty. “How much has the rival paid you to write this against us?” Hear this often now. Its like a Hindi Film script. Poor boy, rich girl. Typical. And they think that by not talking they can stop us from writing about them. Mistake. To top it all, it is they who come back. “Wassup buddy? Long time! Accha sent you a press release. We are spending xx on CSR. Please zara dekh lo.”
I will write about your CSR if you spend more than the amount made compulsory by the law. Else it is just a law which has to be followed. And what CSR? Bloody your CSR depts are run by your wives. Who have nothing better to do apart from socialite parties. Use CSR as a show-off. This is a thankless job and will always remain one. You write good then you are a pimp. You write negative and you are paid off by rivals.
But no one wants to see the merit of the written word. Mud slinging is the order of the day. Let me get some shrapnel, then.
*End of Rant*