The relationship between journalists and public relations people is often a topic of heated debate. You don’t want to get too close to a PR person, because that makes you look like a shill, but at the same time you don’t want to seem too distant, because then you’re not going to get access to products and interview important people.
But sometimes, PR people screw up to such a degree that it’s somewhat disturbing.
John Biggs, writer for TechCrunch, one of the biggest sites on the internet, was recently emailed by LG. They specifically asked him to write a review of the G2 and in return were willing to compensate him and the site. Now I don’t have to tell you that this is bad. If LG wanted to run an ad for the G2 on TehcCrunch, which is a perfectly fine thing to do, they knew they shouldn’t have contacted a writer, they should have contacted the site’s ad sales person. This is Marketing 101.
Will LG still give Biggs a G2 for review? Probably, but they’re not going to like what he has to say about it. Here’s a direct quote from John’s piece:
“So enjoy this, LG. The G2 is now tainted and will probably sink. I’m no crusader nor am I innocent of past crimes but this is terrible form.
Biggs knows as well as the rest of us, September will be filled with devices, from both Samsung and Apple, maybe even Nokia, so where will LG’s new smartphone fit?