Clinique’s Website Makes Reporters Jump Through Hoops

As many reporters know, sometimes companies make it especially hard to reach an actual human being in their press department. That is, if you’re relying on their corporate newsroom as your primary source.
One freelance journalist writing for an industry trade publication had such trouble with Clinique, who made him fill out an online form to contact them, and then didn’t respond until two weeks later with the following:

Thank you for your recent (sic) application to Clinique’s online press office. It would be great to find out some more information about the publications that you work for. We would just like to get a bit more information as I don’t believe we’ve worked together before.

It’s not surprising that a brand like Clinique may get a lot of press inquiries, but to respond two weeks later with a generic message doesn’t seem appropriate. However, it got worse. Here was Clinique’s second response to the freelancer’s email:

Our corporate policy is that we request a media pack or hard copy of any new publications that we haven’t worked with before, in order to gain brand approval. As you’re freelance, we require information on the publications that you work for. We are more than happy to help out with your queries if you are happy to respond with this information.

As our sibling blog MediaJobsDaily notes, a few minutes of quick Googling could have helped this freelancer track down a direct contact at Clinique. But the question remains: why make your brand’s press page a brick wall as opposed to an open channel?