Gawker on PR: Creating Fake Friendships

October 19, 2007


In our ongoing series based on the Gawker Guide, and email interview with Managing Editor Choire Sicha, we look at how a publicist can cozy up to a Gawker Media blogger.

While Sicha’s answers are funny, there are underlying lessons about building relationships with bloggers. If you’re looking for more straightforward how-to information, naturally the techies have good advice, including becoming a blogger yourself.

Sicha also alludes to a certain young and talented PR exec. Hmm, who is he talking about?

PRNewser: How do you buy off a blogger from Gawker Media?

Choire Sicha: There’s really only one way to buy off a blogger–and it’s the subtle creation of unvarnished, raw honesty and semi-friendship. It’s the chatty off-topic email, it’s the random compliment, it’s the publicist who bitches about their boss (or pretends to!). (It’s not “We should go for lunch some time.” Um, no, we really shouldn’t.)

Carefully constructing a fake friendship is the single most successful tactic a publicist can employ–should they feel actual human feelings of friendship or good humor, so much the better!

This tactic is the exact opposite of one employed by a famous (and talented!) youngish publicist in New York, who says, on an hourly basis, “I’m not going to lie to you.” Oh really? Then WHY DO YOU KEEP SAYING THAT, SELF-UNDERMINER? (Most of you know who I mean.)


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