Like it or not, PR people make professional critics’ lives possible. Behind every review—of a restaurant, Broadway show, book, or tech product—there’s a PR person whose job it is to notify critics of something new, point out its newsworthiness and get any questions answered.
In my 10 years at The New York Times, I’ve seen a universe of different PR pitches and met an endless range of PR people. Sometimes it’s clear that they love their jobs and believe in the products they represent. Sometimes, it’s clear that they don’t.
Sometimes, it’s clear that they have no idea what they’re doing. (Yesterday, I received eight copies of some guy’s press release.) And sometimes, I have no idea what they’re saying. Here’s an actual press release I got: “[Company Name] Announces Association with Leading Digital Content Creators Offering a Comprehensive Digital Solutions Package from Start to Finish.”
OK, but what are they selling? Turns out it’s mouse pads. (Just kidding. I actually have no clue.)