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November 01, 2012

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Getting pitches and follow up emails during Hurricane Sandy when they all know 212 and 917 area codes are definitely New York City was pretty insensitive. (I will let it slide if they aren't up to speed about 646, 347, 718 area codes also being New York City because I wouldn't want them to actually have to remember that much.)

What's even more upsetting is the expectation that you have to be able to call, email, text right back during a Hurricane/Super Storm. Not about a heart transplant. About a gift guide item. One that was probably off topic in the first place. Or pitched to you but you don't even do gift guides!

Quick Disclaimer: I feel for all families affected by the storm. The sad stories coming out break my heart.

That being said...I kind of feel like we're all supposed to drop everything because this happened to the NY area. I have been through 2 hurricanes, both which produced damage as bad or worse than Sandy. I had family members whose houses were completely GONE. Wiped off the Earth. Never found. Family that were forced from their cities for 6 weeks because the damage was so bad.

I went back through Internet archives and saw responses to those hurricanes: "That's what they get for living in a hurricane area." or "You shouldn't rebuild there."

The media gave us all a day or so of coverage then went back to its own naval-gazing...aka...guess what Britney/Oprah/Jessica/Whoever did TODAY!

So...I get it. There was a hurricane. It was bad and there are people who have died and been placed in awful situations that I would absolutely hate to be placed in. I feel for all those people.

Its just...had this happened elsewhere in the country...most of the NE wouldn't have given a second thought-- definitely not days and days of coverage.

We expect such immediacy, that people have gone all loopy and it's like time has no meaning. I can't count the number of PR people who email for three or four consecutive days asking, "any interest? Any interest? Any interest?" like some broken animatronic doll at Disney.

Maybe if you've gotten no interest there's something wrong with the pitch--or who you're pitching. Or uh, maybe half the Eastern Seaboard has got some other priorities besides your exciting new self-published Kindle book.

You'd really think that the PR managers would teach their employees about how to manage their jobs at times like these.

I got the most irrelevant pitches during sandy without even any acknowledgement of the disaster - at least say something stupid like "I hope you are staying dry"."

The one that really took the cake was the holiday gift guide with zero pictures. I should hunt and find my own....really? ...and I already know that the iphone5 is gonna be a big hit.
R

I'm never a fan of folks who take their own sweet time asking the same questions over and over, and then expect me to hop to it when they get their acts together. Pair that with overseas travel and a natural disaster, and I have to shelve those emails for a few hours (or days).

The idea that just because we have smart phones and tablets means we should always be looking at our email is something that seriously bothers me. When I am, I am. When I'm not, it's because I'M NOT WORKING!

I say, give them a piece of your mind. If they can't understand that a hurricane could slow life down for people, well...

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