I mean, it’s not that he was technically wrong but…

If everything went as planned I’m in Japan right now so this week I’m sharing some of the best-loved/weirdest posts of the last 12 years.  This was one from 2011:

And then some PR guy called me a fucking bitch.

I know I just posted a few hours ago, but I’m posting again because you all know how dedicated I am to writing about PR pitches (both good and bad) and this one just can’t wait.  I got a form letter email pitch (more than one, actually) about a Kardashian sister being spotted in pantyhose.

Actual line from email:

“The Kardashian’s once again show they are right on trend, and this is on (sic) Mommy’s are all going to want to follow.”

As I do with all unsolicited form-letters about celebrities-doing-shit-no-one-cares-about, I replied with my usual, simple response:

me: And here’s a picture of Wil Wheaton collating.

I got a response from the woman who sent the original email:

Hi there,
That wasn’t very nice. We send certain pitches out to people so they have the chance of getting more hits on their page. We’ll make note of this email in moving forward and remember if we have any advertising opportunities with any of our clients not to go through you.
Best of luck to you.

That sort of email might be threatening to a blogger who makes a living by getting advertisers who go through PR companies, but I’m not, and (as far as I know) neither are most people.  For the most part, my blog is supported by people.  People who are bloggers.  This becomes relevant soon.

I wasn’t going to respond, as she did have a point, but then a VP of the company (Jose) hit “reply all”.  With me on the reply-all.

Jose:  “What a fucking bitch!”

Wow.  I sort of felt bad for the guy (as I’ve accidentally fallen victim to the reply-all trap as well) and I considered just cowing down and remaining quietly chastened by this man, but then I remembered that this isn’t the 18th century and that I’ve never taken a high road in my entire life.

My response:

Hi. This is sort of why “reply all” doesn’t usually work well for
companies. Unless, of course, you decided that “What a fucking bitch” was
a great response from a public relations company. Personally, I preferred
the “Best of luck to you” one, which was much more honest and cutting,
while still being professional.

If you’ve read my blog you would know that a great deal of my blog deals
with the importance of public relations companies doing research before
sending form letters to bloggers. Specifically, I’m very vocal about
ridiculous pitches involving celebrities using products. So much so that
I made that actual Wil Wheaton collating paper page to combat this very
sort of thing in a quick and painless way. My blog has nothing to do with
fashion, the Kardashians or pantyhose…none of which I understand, to be
honest. Plus, you’ve sent me this form letter TWICE today. I only point
this out so you can delete this *ahem* “fucking bitch” from all of the
mailing lists you have me on, rather than just one.

Also, I apologize if you were offended by my email. Honestly, I’ve been
sending that thing out to PR people for the last year and this is the
first time I didn’t have someone respond with either a laugh, or with a
simple “No problem. We’ll remove you from the list.” In fact, many PR
companies have turned this entire thing around and sent really hysterical
exchanges to me, which I’ve used to promote their great work in
understanding (and working with) the unique personalities of the very
bloggers they’re trying to reach out to. Just a thought.

Jenny (aka “fucking bitch”)

I don’t know what I expected, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t this:

Jose: I get it and I was out of line by saying that however you put way too much effort
into your approach. A simple “I don’t cover this, no thanks” or “Please remove”
would suffice. To go out of your way to be snarky and rude is a little
inappropriate. Again, I should’ve been less harsh – but I also feel like your email
was rude and unprofessional as well. We will do a better job to research who we are
pitching but maybe you should be flattered that you are even viewed relevant enough
to be pitched at all instead of alienated PR firms and PR people – who are actually
the livelihood of any journalists business. Don’t be offended, you started the
cursing game so maybe we should all just laugh it off and plan not to work together
in the future.

Wow.  Jose was sticking to his guns.  Sadly for both of us, so was I.

My response:

“You should be flattered that you are even viewed relevant enough to be pitched at all.”
You sure know how to flatter a girl. Are you even in
public relations? Am I on Candid Camera? Because I’m kind of baffled.

Please stand by for a demonstration of relevancy.

And then I tweeted to the company to let them know that one of their VPs just sent me an email referring to me as “a fucking bitch.”  And many, many of my 164,000 followers replied and retweeted in the most clever and hysterically awesome ways imaginable.

And it was beautiful.

PS.  The reason I post this is not to have everyone go all angry-villager on the company.  It’s to remind other bloggers that there are some amazing and wonderful PR companies out there who will do their research and will make your life wonderful.  And there are other PR companies that will try to shame you into posting their irrelevant spam and threaten you with talk of not using you in the future for when they’re doing advertising.  Those PR firms are assholes and you should probably question everything they say.

You are amazing.  You are relevant.  Your work is worth protecting and standing up for.  And you will find wonderful PR companies to work with over time.

Even if you are “a fucking bitch.”

UPDATED: I love you people. Really. Thank you for always having my back and for being so supportive during this weirdness. Jose has apologized, and I’ve been assured by the woman in charge of the company that they are aware and are handling it the best way they know how, so let’s give them some air and let them have the chance to do that. *deep breath*

Now let’s all go have a drink. Make mine a double.

56 thoughts on “I mean, it’s not that he was technically wrong but…

Read comments below or add one.

  1. Wow Jose was a fucking bitch. I’m glad you wrote back and stood up for yourself and all the other bloggers out there! Go Jenny!!!!!!

  2. Oh how much I’d love to respond to companies who treat me badly the way you do. Usually I just angry cry which gets me nowhere. Love you!

  3. How does someone who doesn’t know how the “reply all” button work get to become VP of a company? ESPECIALLY a company who does PR? And then he tried to say that “you started the
    cursing game”. What a douche canoe.

  4. You (almost) make me wish I was on twitter so I can have your back…Jose is a bully and a douche. You however – ARE THE BOMB!

  5. I had forgotten about the Wil Wheaton collating responses…and the Wil Wheaton collating papers of Wil Wheaton collating papers. Those were hysterical.

  6. These people make money for whatever reason and even though I’ve been perfectly nice through my whole 10 year old career but I’ve only been working with a decent boss for one year.

  7. My life is 100% better now that I have found you through my daughter. Standing up for oneself is the greatest challenge in life for many. You show us “how to” in sparkling ways!

  8. One of my absolute favorites <3 “Please stand by for a demonstration of relevancy” has been a favorite of mine for the longest now! Thanks for re-sharing this gem! I hope you have a fabulous time in Japan!

  9. Sometimes we just have to love the weirdness. For instance I love that the other night I had a dream I met you on a book tour and while we were talking we were joined by Alton Brown who turned out to be a friend of yours. I have no idea if this is true but it was a dream and a thought that makes me happy.
    Then because we were all three on the same book tour (apparently I had published a book, finally) we all decided to go to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame because we were in Cleveland. Then my phone rang and as I was about to answer it I woke up. In the Wakeland my phone not only was in the other room but never rang.
    Now I’m disappointed in myself for not bringing Wil Wheaton along.

  10. Priceless, good JOB! Those fucking PR people anyway. Go ‘kill’ Japan!! FUN FUN FUN

  11. A few years ago a woman that I worked with emailed her boyfriend, and also hit reply all. She notified our executive team and about 4000 other employees of the company that if she got the job in her interview that afternoon she was going to fuck his brains out as a way of celebrating that night. 🤣

  12. Oh, Jose. You idiot. 🤣
    Also, weaponizing Wil Wheaton collating is genius. If you two aren’t buddies already, you should be.
    Thanks for the fabulous Monday morning wake-up!

  13. OMG go to Popehat and then click “Fun” on the toolbar. This is what Ken White, the free speech attorney version of the most wonderfully fuckingly fucking bitch ever, does with persistent PR e-mails about posting content on his site. But go pee first.

  14. “You started it” is what a 13 year old brat would say. So, if Jose is 13 years old, give him a little space. But, since he’s actually a “professional” in a PR firm, strike what I just said, because he’s a douche canoe.

  15. aaaah, I remember this moment well and was glad to have been a part of it at the time. You’e still just as awesome and I hope that PR firm’s only client is a generic hemorrhoid cream that no one’s ever heard of. 🙂

  16. I remember this. But you know what stands out to me now? The 164k followers. What are you at now? Like half a million? Suck it, Jose. 🤣🤣🤣

  17. I honestly don’t understand how your simple link to Wil Wheaton collating could be seen as “not nice” or “bitchy” or “starting the cursing game”.

  18. That was BEAUTIFUL! My favorite part is where he suggests that you should be flattered that they consider you relevant. Even though their pitch is IRRELEVANT. The award for Doubling-Down Asshat goes to… JOSE!

  19. How did you start the cursing game? Looked to me like Jose did with his comment – unless Wil Wheaton collating has become a curse when I was unaware?? And alienating, not alienated – if he’s going to try to tell you off, he should at least do it in the proper tense.

  20. You go Jenny! What a fun and moment of stress relief you have provided to me and many others this afternoon. Thanks! and Keep up the good work!

  21. You are fabulous, Jenny! I hope I can learn to handle people as you do someday.

  22. Jose would rather be right than be happy. Despite being unemployed at the moment, I am grateful I don’t work for Jose.

  23. As someone further up said, go to Popehat.com and click on FUN.

    The ponies will have you rolling on the floor.

  24. This is epically awesome and I’m going to put post-its with “but then I remembered this isn’t the 18th century and I’ve never taken a high road in my life” all over the place for myself. I’m sad I missed this when it first happened – I desperately need a reason to go angry villager right now.

  25. It must feel really, REALLY good to have so many followers and enough of a reputation to actually DO something in a situation like this. That’s the power you bring – you bring us together and make us stronger.

  26. Every time I think, nah, this post won’t be that great, YOU MAKE ME LAUGH OUT LOUD! Thanks Jenny. You have my support. Always.

  27. Sorry, I can not spell narrcicist (Jose) right now, As a farmer experiencing climate induced crop failure and a USDA that clearly cares nothing about food security, I will dutifully commit to “being a sustaining member of feeding as many hangry villagers as possible support system” Love, Di

  28. Wow I really hope “in the best way they know how” involves a serious investigation into how someone who apparently thought it was just fine to use hateful misogynist language in internal work communications was hired and promoted. What an awful work environment that must be creating.

  29. I was a publicist for over 15 years. We never pitched products. That’s marketing. So if they do it under the guise of PR, they’re kinda lying. Also, know your audience. I don’t pitch the gardening reporter for my new TV show on psychics.

    I’ve received emails minutes after the news announced that Robin Williams and Joan Rivers died (different years) offering to get some talking head expert on the air or for a story about depression, suicide, plastic surgery, etc. I’m not a reporter. I’m not a booker. I’m not a talk show host. I don’t have a radio show or podcast. WHY ARE YOU PITCHING ME? Also, unless you were a personal doctor or BFFs with Robin or Joan, how dare you pitch me 5 minutes into the story breaking that you’re ready to talk. Who even are you?!?

    Do your research, people.

  30. When you announced earlier that you would be reposting some of your classic stuff, I immediately thought of the “fucking bitch” story, as it was the first thing I read on you blog. Rereading it, even though I knew what was coming, I still had a big laugh! This is such a hilarious story! And the way you handled this was with inimitable and commendable style! Love it 🙂

  31. DID ANYONE NOTICE REPLY #10 FROM JOSE?? He got demoted.
    6/10/2019 9:57am

  32. I want to be like you at one point in my life. You handled that “Jose” in the best way possible. Have a great rest of your trip.

  33. “To go out of your way to be snarky and rude is a little inappropriate.” No, it was entirely appropriate! Also, exactly what they should have expected if they’d done any research…

  34. LOL, mansplaining from a toxic mansquito. Buzzing around, making annoying noises, and sucking the blood out of everything good.

  35. You know how companies will say “This phone conversation may be taped for training purposes.” That was a conversation that needed to be taped!

  36. Anybody else still a little salty Nathan Fillion wouldn’t pose with twine?

  37. Once when I received a text that was obviously a scam, I texted them back pretending to be a branch of internet service advertising to them. I listed a bunch of benefits, then wrote, “For additional information, see our linked flyer.” I proceeded to send a link to this image: https://pics.me.me/dance-party-35750771.png

  38. Reading some of your old posts and enjoying them again. I love this one, and you, because reading your stuff is like talking to a girlfriend. You’re so real and I agree that no one gives a shit about who’s wearing what, especially Kardashians wearing pantyhose. It’s like being in Jr. High again…and I never even cared then. I love that you told them what they deserved for passing around crap like that when there are so many more important things to talk about. You are the reason I started blogging. Just wanted to remind you of that because I’m sure I’ve told you that before.

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