Gawker obtained an internal Burson-Marsteller email that plainly asks senior management to use CEO Mark Penn’s latest Wall Street Journal “Microtrends” column as a marketing tool to pitch potential clients.
This particular column was about “Glamping,” i.e. glamorous camping. BM EVP and former Bill Clinton speechwriter Josh Gottheimer sent an email to the very top people suggesting they use the column as an excuse to call the national campground association, Coleman, “or emi ll beam etc.” and set up meetings for “mjp.” I assume he meant L.L. Bean, and either REI or EMS.
Illustrating what I call the “Denton Model” of blogging, former PRWeek reporter Hamilton Nolan weaves solid reporting with a full-dredge of all negative news Penn has been involved in, most notably his being spun out of the Hillary Clinton campaign for conflicts of interest. Once you’re in Gawker’s crosshairs, you can’t get out.
Business development is a bare knuckle game so we can’t really fault Gottheimer’s tactic. Nolan also takes a shot at Dow Jones and their Code of Ethics, and makes a stronger a point about the business of these softer trend op-eds.
What never fails to surprise me about these emails though, is the needless typos and errors for the sake of looking really, really busy. It’s better to be clear.