Archive | November 2013

If you have to ask, we rescind the invitation

This invitation to meet the employees of a new venture came without any indication of what, precisely, that venture did.

Hi [redacted],
Come hang out with Pave!
We’re hosting meetups in San Francisco and New York to bring together our growing Pave community.

San Francisco
Meet our founders – Justin, Sal and Oren – on Tuesday when they host a gathering at the Hub in San Francisco to connect with the Bay Area community. RSVP.

New York
Next Monday, November 25th, we’ll host an open house at our NYC headquarters. RSVP.
Hope to see you there!

P.S. For those of you not in SF or NYC, we’d love to meet you!  Please be in touch if you’d like to help us organize an event near you.


I’d take a bullet for all of my personalities

Sent to, of all people, a freelancer (meaning someone who is their own boss) who focuses on science and medical issues. Don’t miss the last paragraph for information that would obviously be essential for covering this story.

Would you take a bullet for your boss?

[PRESSWIRE] United Kingdom – 25.11.2013 — That was the questions asked, in a recent online survey conducted on behalf of, in which more than 1,100 people took part.

Over 70% of the participants replied “No”, that they would not stand between someone with a gun, and their boss. David Simmonds, a close-protection officer, creator of the website, doesn’t see this as a surprise, and urges people to spare a thought for the bodyguards who protect the “rich and famous”.

Simmonds states that being a bodyguard “is an incredibly hard job and a massive responsibility”. Would he take a bullet for his client? “Yes, of course, after all this is what I am getting paid for, although bullet-catching is absolutely the last resort”. As an instructor in conflict management and physical intervention, Simmonds always tries to utilise these skills first.

Notes to Editors:

About David Simmonds

Former soldier, and then Police Officer, David Simmonds is keen to point out the benefits of an Independent Close Protection Officer. Being independent involves making one’s own decision on what assignments one takes. This is a very effective practice, when it comes to clients with very fast-pace schedules, when decisions have to make instantly, without the need to refer back to the line manager. This system is much prefered by clients too, as it always creates a good working relationship.

David recently launched his website: – although most of his work comes from word of mouth, and personal recommendations. Admittedly, he built the website himself, in a couple of hours, in a hotel room in Dubai.

There’s an app for those pants, too

Sent to one of the people who also received the pants pitch:

Hi [redacted] —

I’m writing to suggest a great Thanksgiving segment idea for [your publication] — What NOT to Wear to Meet the Parents.

I’m a publicist for Postelio, a cute app that lets you quickly ask friends and family for their fashion opinions while you’re out shopping – all from your cell.

The holidays – like Thanksgiving – are a stressful time for ladies who will be meeting their man’s parents for the first time. You must find the perfect look to impress his mom and sisters — one that’s fashionable, chic and classy.

What are the exact steps you need to take to really wow his family?

No one will be a better judge of the in-law’s judgment than your significant other. Ask him what his moms and sister’s fashion sense is. Check out Facebook photos from past holidays. If they look like East Coast Blue Bloods, dress conservative. If they’re total ex-Berkeley activists, try hippie chic and go vintage.

Bring one flowery dinner outfit, one semi-sexy outfit for a night on the town with your guy, and one laid back combo for that Sunday morning stroll with his mom. Tiny skirts are best left at home – because you don’t want them to think you’re Miley’s doppelganger – and don’t channel Lady Gaga with uncomfortable fashion ensembles that will just make Granny give you side eye.

Pack tons of great accessories, especially a statement necklace to glam up any normal outfit. Stella & Dot pieces, for example, can enrich any holiday outfit.

We know you can’t bring your fashionable friends that weekend to help you find your perfect outfit. But you can send them your fashion selfies and ask them for advice. Postelio is the perfect app to quickly and discreetly ask your friends for fashion advice.

I can help arrange an interview on this topic with Postelio’s Ameena Syeda about dressing your best when meeting the parents. She is available for phone or Skype interviews this week, November 25.

If you’re interested in a guest blog post from Ameena, let me know as well.

Protection racket

A helpful reader (who happens to be the science editor at a major online publication) writes: “Not sure if batshit crazy PR counts.” Yes! It most certainly does. And this one tips the crazy scales because it’s about a product that proudly protects people from a risk that most studies indicate doesn’t actually exist.

Hi [redacted],

Of the estimated six billion cell phone users around the world, few are aware of the potential health dangers posed by the radiation emitted from their devices.

Due to the growing number of people using mobile devices, Green Swan announced the launch of The Cell Spacer™, a device that puts distance between a mobile phone user’s head and headset.  The Cell Spacer will help people use their mobile phones in a safe and healthy way.

If you are interested in sharing this with your readers, I am more than happy to provide you with a sample of The Cell Spacer or connect you with experts on the topic. Green Swan Founder and CEO Harry Lehmann, and/or Olle Johansson, Ph.D. at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute in the Department of Neuroscience are available for interviews at your earliest convenience.

More information can be seen in the release below.

[Links removed above because, really, we don’t want to be giving these people any more attention than we already are.]

As our submitter is unquestionably aware, a few studies have found tenuous links between cell phone use and various cancers, but these have not held up in larger, more rigorous studies. And there is no biologically plausible mechanism by which the radiation these phones emit can damage DNA. Nevertheless, the attached release quotes the PhD mentioned above as saying the dangers are so high that “To not act today would be deemed ethically and morally completely corrupt in the future.

Housekeeping notice

I’ve decided this site really needs a Twitter account, since I just don’t have enough passwords to forget already. Hopefully, it will help a few people keep track of when we publish something. Please, go follow.

One that has everything (including pants)

This one seems to hit every single aspect of bad PR: off-target topic, questionable information, a Kickstarter campaign,  and an offer of a guest blog post from someone who would benefit from the publicity—sent to an organization that doesn’t do guest blog posts. A truly all-encompassing effort.

[redacted] —

I’m writing to suggest a fun, story idea for [a prestigious international publication] based on timely survey data: “What are your pants communicating about you on a first date?”

My name is Cody Pittman, and I’m a publicist for Barley & Britches and their Everyday Chinos.

Do women actually judge you on a first date based on the pants that you wear to the bar or the restaurant?  To answer this question, we conducted a survey representative of 1,300 respondents.

Some interesting findings on men and their “first date pants” include:

* If you want women to think you’re rich, responsible and a perfect long term partner, wear khaki colored pants.
* If you want to seem like a wild, adventurous, offbeat, or creative date, wear colorful pants like dark red or bright blue – but you also run the risk of being seen like just a hookup.
* If you want ladies to think you like the finer things in life, wear dark but still colorful pants – such as dark purple.
* Wearing green pants will communicate that you’re a world traveler – but that you also may live with your parents.

To make dating fashion easier, Sim has created The EveryDay Chino, a premium pant that fits your lifestyle and wallet at $38, comes in 5 great colors, and is delivered straight from the manufacturer.

The Chinos go live on Kickstarter this upcoming Thursday, November 21. A preview of the page is available here (for your eyes only):

[links removed]

I can help arrange an interview on this topic with Sim Gulati about how to make the best first impression with your pants on the first date. He is available for , email and phone or Skype interviews Friday (Nov. 22) and next week (November 25-29).

If you’re interested in a guest blog post from Sim, let me know as well.

More baggage, less care

This one seems to have been sent to every single writer of a site that is neither travel nor luggage focused.

Hey [redacted]!

I wanted to touch base with you and see if you would be interested in doing featuring my client LugLess in any features you are working on?! Recently featured on “Shark Tank”, Brian Altomare is the founder of LugLess…. a lifestyle luggage shipping service that sends luggage ahead of time to wherever a traveler is going. This timely service lets travelers bypass airline baggage fees, check in lines, breeze through security, and avoid baggage claim and lost luggage. Brian was recently featured on Bloomberg TV, FOX News Radio, ABC- San Francisco and CW- San Diego. Brian could discuss holiday travel tips for your readers, which would make a timely and interesting feature. Let me know if you are interested….. would love to set this up!

Press release and images below.

Some choice phrases from the tagline of the PR agency that appeared below the release:  “an “out of the box” PR company”  that claims to use “an innovative approach to PR” using a “revolutionary automated system [that] is changing the face of PR.” If so, it’s changing that face for the worse.

Keep typing despite explosions near your laptop

A PR pitch sent to a science writer:

Larson Electronics Releases New Portable Explosion Proof Power Supply

Long time leading supplier of industrial lighting equipment Larson Electronics has announced the release of a portable power supply designed to provide a versatile and convenient source of power for running low voltage lighting equipment in hazardous locations. The EPL-RPS-70A explosion proof power supply features 4 receptacles, 70ah AGM battery, and can run four 12 volt lamps for up to 21 hours.

The EPL-RPS-70A explosion proof power supply from Larson Electronics gives operators in hazardous locations the ability to run low voltage 12 or 24 VDC lamps without the need for an external power source. This portable power supply offers a host of features including four 20 amp explosion proof receptacles, a 70 amp hour AGM battery for long operating times, and a wheeled cart for easy maneuvering around the work space. This rechargeable power supply can be charged from standard 120 volt outlets or explosion proof outlets, and when paired with Larson Electronics’ EHL-LED explosion proof LED hand lamp, can run four lamps for up to 21 hours on a single charge. The four receptacles on this unit are explosion proof twist lock designs rated at 20 amps and accept Larson Electronics own EPP-15A or EPP-20 plugs or Crouse Hind™ ENP general purpose plugs. The battery is a 70 amp hour unit and included charger/maintainer systems allow easy recharging from standard 120 VAC power sources. Also included is 25 feet of SOOW cord ending in a 1523 explosion proof plug to allow easy connection for recharging. The cart is constructed of non sparking aluminum for light weight and safety and features an easy push handle and solid wheels for maneuvering the unit from one area to another. Side brackets on each side of the cart provide a convenient place for hanging and storing hand lamps and their cords. This explosion proof power supply is Class 1 Division 1 approved and is an ideal solution for operators who must work within hazardous locations where normal sources of power such as outlets or extension cords are either unavailable or impractical.

In a word, no

Sent to a writer who knows a thing or three about genetics.

From getting ahead in business to beating cancer, could one gene hold the key?

Ex-Burger King CEO Barry Gibbons today shocked the scientific establishment by unveiling work that claims to prove that one gene is responsible for success in a variety of endeavours.

Without a microscope, any scientific training and through experiments on only one animal – himself – Gibbons has managed to isolate the elusive W Gene*. Unharnessed, this rogue gene, found mainly in the human male, can cause disastrous life consequences but, claims Gibbons, it has astonishing potential when brought under control.

“It triggers a strange behavioural pattern in those who possess it,” says Gibbons. “When things are going well, when recent life has been a sequence of climbing small ladders, this demographic, for no apparent reason, does (or says) something which provides a snake to slide down. But the W Gene might be controlled, and even harnessed, with positive results. Under certain circumstances the W Gene might prove to be an ally.”

It is estimated that only a small proportion of the population carries this gene, though incidence of W-Gene affected people seems to be particularly high in the north of England (Gibbons himself hails from Manchester), among football managers and in all strands of the media. Diagnosis can take years but signs include:

  • An uncanny ability to mess up one’s life, particularly when it’s going well – the W Gene seems to switch on when things get ‘boring’;
  • A heightened ability to say the wrong thing to the wrong person at precisely the wrong time;
  • Possession of a finely tuned bullshit detector;
  • An unwillingness to suffer fools at all;
  • A mischievous sense of fun and dry wit, neither of which is tuned to appropriateness of situation;
  • A highly developed sense of right and wrong and an unwillingness to pursue any other course, regardless of consequences.

Once Gibbons discovered this genetic quirk it became clear that it was behind both his career accomplishments and his continuing successful battle against bowel cancer. More detail on this potentially world-changing discovery can be found in Gibbons’ new book Pushing doors marked pull. Rude, funny, revealing and straight talking, this book is for anybody who wants to know what it takes to succeed in spite of, or perhaps because of, yourself.

About the author
Barry Gibbons is a business icon turned author. He has worked for Whitbread, GrandMet and most notably as CEO of Burger King Corporation for which he was named ‘Turnaround Champion’ byFortune magazine. In 1994, he left corporate life and began writing books. To date he has written six business books, one on public speaking, and one novel. He has also given more than 250 speeches to organisations around the world. In 2010, after returning to the UK to live, he was diagnosed with colon cancer. After surgery and chemotherapy he is currently clear of cancer and cautiously optimistic. He lives in Bedfordshire with his wife, Judy, who he met at Liverpool University. Their two grown up sons live well within mutual mickey-taking range.

*Also known as the Wanker Gene (n. chiefly British slang), this is hereditary gene most usually occurs in men, and can cause a range of irrational behaviours.

Unnecessary baggage

I’m a male science writer. I have neither a personal nor professional interested in this:

Hi [redacted]!

For the woman on the go it is essential to have the go-to bag for all her needs! Every woman will appreciate rockflowerpaper’s functional yet chic carryall tote bag. It is roomy to fit every day necessities and has extra storage pockets on the sides as well as an interior zippered compartment. Inspired by exotic locations all around the world, rockflowerpaper’s carryall totes come in a variety of beautiful designs and colors. There is a tote to fit with every woman’s personality! These will make great gifts for loved ones for the holidays or just as a gift to oneself 🙂 I have attached a press release for you below.

A press release did indeed follow, helpfully including this nugget:

For a gift she’ll love throughout the year, the Torana Chevron Navy Carryall is a must.