Friday, May 09, 2008

guess the restaurant

May 9

Guess which restaurant’s incompetent publicist had the following e-mail exchange with me over the past three weeks:

April 23:

Hi Bret,
I wanted to touch base regarding any upcoming stories you might be working on that feature up and coming young chefs.

[The restaurant I represent, badly] has several young chefs and pastry chefs that are quickly making their way through the ranks. They have recipes, entertaining tips and general cooking advice that I would love to share with you and your readers.

Finally, I wanted to let you know that female sommelier, [name deleted for obvious reasons] was recently made Head Sommelier at [this quite famous restaurant with a bad publicist], an accomplishment we are very proud of and would also love to share with your readers.

Please let me know if you are interested and I will be happy to send along bios and whatever else you may need.
Many thanks,
[bad publicist]

On 4/24/08 4:47 PM, "Thorn, Bret (NRN)" wrote:

Do you think I could have a five-minute phone chat with [the new female sommelier for whom you claim to want exposure]? I'd like to mention her promotion in my Kitchen Dish column in The New York Sun.

On 4/29/08 11:39 AM, [the bad publicst] wrote:

Hi Bret,
My apologies for not getting back to you sooner. Do you think it would be possible to send the questions you would have for [the sommelier] as opposed to arranging a phone call?
Many thanks,
[bad publicist]

On 4/29/08 1:39 PM, "Thorn, Bret (NRN)" wrote:

Okay. All I really need is [her] job history and a brief statement about what she plans to do with the wine list.

On 5/08/08 11:39 AM, [the bad publicst] wrote:
Hi Bret,
I have been working on getting some information for you regarding [the sommelier, something that could nearly be accomplished by a badly trained seal] and unfortunately it is proving a difficult process.

I wanted to suggest in the meantime mentioning [a totally different person], the pastry sous chef at [a restaurant that certainly has the money to hire a better publicist] who began as part of an externship but whose talent was immediately recognized by Chef [a famous chef, really] and he subsequently employed her permanently.

If you are interested please let me know-apologies for the delay with [the sommelier, quickly vanishing into obscurity]’s information.
[bad publicist]

So I wrote her back, asking for a résumé or bio or something of this fabulous pastry sous chef, but I haven’t heard back.

Enter your guesses in the comment section below, if you like.


Anonymous said...

You'll never tell right?

Bret Thorn said...

Well, never's a long time, but isn't the fun in the guessing?

Sean said...

Wow, this reminds of a zillion PR encounters I've had in a totally different field. Good to know that PR remains consistent no matter what they're repping.

(To be fair, these problems are often caused by clients who refuse to hold up their end of the bargain, too. Even a good PR person can only do so much with a client who refuses to do interviews or send a product, etc.)

Bret Thorn said...

Yeah, it’s true that pinning down restaurateurs to give you facts is something a badly trained seal would have a lot of trouble with. But don’t make promises that you can’t deliver.

Alexei said...

Stories like this are why I tell people I work in marketing.

We used this story last week at the NRA show, during a panel on how to properly do PR in foodservice. [without naming the restaurant] It drew the appropriate number of gasps and wide-eyed looks from the audience.

Bret Thorn said...

And people like you, Alexei, are why I know that not all PR professionals are incompetent.