It’s a story about a hopeless LOW guy.
I last heard about this LOW guy about a year ago from a Marketing Manager who was managing and planning for an island wide campaign. The LOW guy was roped in to handle the Publicity of this brand while another media agency was appointed to do the media planning and buying. Being in the industry, there are unwritten rules. For example, if the media agency was appointed first, and if there are PR work involved, chances is another PR agency will be appointed either by the client or the media agency acting as a “Sub-Contractor”, but taking instructions from the “Main-Contractor”. In local context, the media agency will give the PR agency briefs on the campaign and how to put several things together in a time-sensitive schedule to make things happen.
This LOW guy was representing the PR aspect of this campaign and things started going wrong even before the campaign was started. Why? This LOW starts to brag about how “close” he was with most of the editors of local press and publishers and how “well connected” he was with the journalists, broadcasters and even with “Big Bosses” of many media owners and media agencies. With his bragging, he offended everyone in between and even tries to score points with the client (bypassing the media agency) by offering to link up the client with a few "hard-to-get" editors to generate maximum publicity. The media agency is of course, pissed. After all, media agency meets more media owners than you can meet PRC on the road.
This LOW guy is supposed to generate publicity via a few channels of selected media and a deadline was given to him to coincide with the Launch of this brand along with the media buys (from the media agency), road shows, point-of-sales promotion…etc.
Guess what? When the advertisements went live, NO magazines, radio or newspaper feature this brand. Not even a small feature. Now, the client started questioning the media agency why this is so? The media agency was of course dumbfounded. When they try to contact this LOW guy, he was nowhere to be found. After a couple of days, the embarrassed media agency found this LOW guy and demanded explanation.
This LOW guy told the media agency that he is not responsible as the deadline given to him was not realistic and he only managed to send out 3 press releases. He sent 1 to a magazine which was already defunct and another 2 to “reporters” of a local newspaper. The media agency were furious. When they first briefed this LOW guy till the launch date, the period we are talking about here is 5 months. Unrealistic? (My toes are laughing already).
This LOW guy whom was boasting about how experienced, how well connected he is with the media owners are now giving such laughable excuses.
Now back to the story of this associate friend of mine. This associate recently took over the family business which the main business is in food manufacturing. This falls under the FMCG category which is highly competitive and sometimes over-saturated. This LOW guy came into the picture (Somehow). He offered his PR services (again) which promised my associate friend to put their brand into the “limelight” involving extensive PR work like getting to know media owners and journalists from all related media and to penetrate into the market using “educating” & “understanding” of the products/brands under the company. Being badly shorthanded, short of time and short of direction, this associate agrees to try him out, why? This LOW guy promises highest return and PR effects with the lowest cost.
I almost fainted when I was told that this LOW guy actually agrees to take on a 6 months assignment for merely $400/ month?!?!?!?! Wow! If only REAL PR work is really this CHEAP! The lowest rated PR consultancy that I had used had already cost me almost $1,200/ month with a minimum contract period of one year.
If that ain’t fishy enough, here’s another lame one. Working with this LOW guy, my associate friend is NOT allowed to contact any media owners, journalist directly or else whoever that communicated in whichever way without the knowledge of this LOW guy, these media owners will lose their jobs. (Now I need a Panadol). What crap is this LOW guy talking about man?????
No bosses or editors will terminate anybody’s services just by listening this LOW guy’s claims. In fact, easily half of the media industry knows about (or heard of) this LOW guy’s operandi modus and would rather steer clear of him. (Don’t forget this is the Media Industry, good & bad news travel fast with the latter at breakneck speed) This associate also became fast friends with one of the media owners. They hit off well and the friendship sincere. (Being the introducer) this LOW guy came to know about this friendship, he fumed and threatened to make this media owner (as usual) lose the job.
And this is when the associate called me and seek my advice.
I reassure this associate that NO ONE LOSES One’s JOB just because of groundless claims, especially from this LOW guy. I am surprised to a certain extent to know that such a scum like this LOW guy can actually survive and “Harry Potter” in this industry for so long.
I told this associate friend of mine to ignore him and move on.
FMCG Sells by "Quality","Competitive pricing" & "A good Network of retailers (distributors), not "publicity". Don’t believe? Go ask any "Auntie" you chance upon in supermarkets. I wonder if this LOW guy knows anything about this industry to start with.