To those who try to pimp me their wares…

Since I started writing for the Sunday Tribune a few weeks ago I’ve been getting almost daily solicitations from PR and Marketing companies wanting me to try out their client’s new doodahs or inviting me along to the AGMs of chemical companies and stuff totally not related to what I write about. One crowd even decided without permission to pencil me in for a conference call to chat about their product.

So, just a few things to consider before contacting me to let me know of your product/client and hey I appreciate you contacting me at the address supplied on the Tribune articles, if they don’t interest me, I can delete them, so this isn’t me saying get lost:

  • 1) If I do write about PinkWidgets one week, emailing me and telling me I never wrote about your PinkWidgets is fair enough. Expecting me to then write about them the next week won’t happen. Pitch me something new.
  • 2) My name is spelled DamiEn not DamiAn. I don’t mind people getting it wrong, happens all the time but writing insincere best buddy friendly emails trying to pimp your client and calling me DamiAn when the top of my column has DamiEn will make me think a little less of your ability to research your market. I never said I wasn’t precious.
  • 3) I am very easily influenced. I will write about stuff if you bring it to my attention. That’s why I wrote about BarCamp, SEO Marketing, Pat Phelan’s AllFreeCalls, Twitter and that’s why I have quoted Eoin O’Dell, TJ McIntyre, Richard Hearne, Ed Byrne, Joe Drumgoole and lots more. But are you seeing a pattern? I’m influenced by them because I subscribe to them or I subscribe to people who mention them. They are not an inner-circle but they are some kind of circle and some kind of community I am involved in. Familiar strangers is a term I use a lot and that’s what they are.

    I’m lucky with the brief I have and can write about stuff I want to write about and that interests me and I find I write more naturally (not necessarily better) when I write about familiar things and familiar people. So yeah, make it on to my bloglines, or get picked up on and you’ll have a greater chance of getting my attention.

  • 4) I’m based in Cork. I work by day as a technical writer. Yes, let’s get a coffee, what time does your train arrive at?
  • 5) I write my articles for my mum. She’s being all proud and mother-like by saving everything I write. She’ll tell me if she can understand what I was writing or not. If she can’t, I try and make it simpler and make her go “Ahh yeah”. The one on crowd-sourcing is her favourite so far. Please understand this fact if you want to give out that I didn’t go in depth about the technology. I welcome your criticism but now you can see where I am coming from.
  • 6) Press releases don’t work on me. Send me a link to a YouTube video of what you do.
  • 7) I have to end lists with odd numbers. They just look better to me. You don’t have to do the same.

12 Responses to “To those who try to pimp me their wares…”

  1. Michele says:


    I feel your pain 🙂

    Even with “Mr” prepended to my name I still get loads of emails (and letters) addressed to “Ms”, “Mrs” and “Miss”, while my first name gets butchered on a regular basis

    For some odd reason the marketers are now sending their blog solicitations to our support desk!


  2. Twenty Major says:

    Dear Ms Damian Molloy,

    please meet me in Starbucks on Dame Street, Dublin, I have a very interesting proposition for you.


  3. Pat Phelan says:

    and nice articles they are
    thank you

  4. 1. Why not become if only to lock in the spelling of the name?

    2. Why not insist the first approach for broadsheet coverage comes via twitter? Distilling the msg to 140 characters would be a clever test of relevance.

  5. Paul Sweeney says:

    Bernie, that’s a pretty good idea. Just a FYI for people, the InterTradeIreland private equity conference is on tomorrow, and has a few VC types floating around…. and no doubt some interesting start ups.

  6. Des Traynor says:

    Journalists can be pretty bad for that stuff too. After we launched Bigulo, I was referred to by one newspaper as “Mr. Des Trainer, a college drop out who started after quitting his job”, which was wrong on so many levels. There are errors & mistakes, and there is just plain “I’m not bothered typing his name into Google, I’ll make it up”

  7. Darren says:

    Hang on, is there a Starbucks on Dame Street? Or was that part of the joke?

    I ask because Starbucks were notably absent from Dublin when I lived in there from 2001 to 2003. Have things changed? I’m curious, coming from a city which features Starbucks on opposing corners of the same intersection.

  8. Damien says:

    Darren, yup there’s one on Dame Street now. One in Cork Airport too.

  9. Darren says:

    That’s shocking–I thought Ireland was this hallowed Starbucks free zone. Mind you, you did have those green sandwich shops everywhere. O’Dowels? O’Donnell’s?

  10. congrats on the column damien – don’t suppose it’s available online?

  11. Just to put matters in perspective, to PR companies you are just a gadget geek in a rapidly shrinking business section of a third rate newspaper. A gadget geek is just a technology journalist who “reviews” products to fill space and hopefully get advertising. For a product company, getting a gadget geek to review their product is often cheaper than taking an advert in a publication.

    So to them, you are no different to the other gadget geeks in Computers In Business, Siliconrepublic, ENN or the Irish Times technology section. PR companies do not care what way your name is spelled. To them, you are just another press release recycler like most of the other Irish “technology” journalists. The PR companies’ job is to get favourable coverage for their clients. And judging by the way that product reviews and press releases outnumber real journalism in the Irish technology press, they are very good at that job.

    The quality of what passes for the Irish technology press has traditionally been poor. As a result, most PR companies can easily game the system and get their press releases run almost verbatim. It is no surprise that the IIA’s technology journalist of the year award was sponsored by a PR company for quite a few years.

    And this is the harshest part: you don’t matter. To any real journalist, the most important thing is the story. If you start worrying about how PR people get your name right rather than concentrating on the story then you are at risk of becoming a glorified nobody that merely fills space between adverts. The question is: do you take the red pill or the blue pill? Do you do real tech journalism that enlightens and informs people? Or do you wallow in the the mediocrity of irrelevant opinion columns, press release recycling and gadget geekery that passes for the Irish technology press?

  12. Lal says:

    So what have u got against “PinkWidgets”?

    come on… u need have more concrete evidence than that!

    ye geekie guys (and I’m saying that in Cork accent) don’t know what its like in the real world where we have 2 convince the public 2 buy these things. U think I like having 10,000 of these stuff in my crummy little office and the company phoning me every 1/2 hr saying how is the “campaign” doing…
    help me out here …man
    U’re leaving me no resort….

    hello – anyone out there?

    This is a private forum – right?