Viva Las Vegas! An Intel Insider’s 2nd Trip to CES

December 18, 2009 in News & Events | Comments (0)


About two years ago I was approached by Intel to see if I’d be interested in being one of the Charter member of their (then new) Intel Insider program. The premise – gather a group of top bloggers, influencers and entrepreneurs to provide ongoing perspectives and insight to Intel products and use of social media. At the time, intel was preparing to move 80 percent of its marketing spend from traditional media to online platforms and they were keen to ensure they had a clear view.
I, along with Frank Gruber, Brian Solis, Irina Slutsky, Sarah Austin, iJustine and several others began participating in an array of activities with Intel. One of the major events was their taking most of us to Vegas for CES 2009. It was a blast – if not exhausting!
At the end of the first year, Intel evolved the program, some of us staying involved, a few shifting to “alum” status and a few new folks joining the ranks including Daniel Brusilovsky and Corvida Raven.
As the holidays approach we’re now looking at preparation for the second journey of Intel Insiders to Vegas for CES. The folks at Intel asked some of us to provide a few thoughts as to why we’re looking forward to CES 2010 … I couldn’t resist getting a little cheesy. We are, after all, going to Vegas. 🙂

The thing that is somewhat unique, I think, about my role with the Insiders is that I’m not a product reviewer. Never have been. My focus leans heavily towards the real world implementation of technologies – less about the bits and bytes and more about what one does with them and how our world changes as a result.
Ironically as an Insider I’m registered as Press for CES 2010, which has meant an almost ridiculous flood of pitches from PR folks. When I say ridiculous I’m not talking about the volume (which is to be expected with a show of this size). I’m talking about the sheer ineptitude of the alleged professionals who are sending these missives. I’ll put aside the fact that they’re almost all cut and paste mass mails. Knowing from my own experience having done PR for myriad clients at a big conference, sometimes the mass mail is necessary. However, the utter lack of any research on the lists is astounding. Nearly every pitch talks about setting up an appointment to learn about a product – not a single one has a trend story, theme or higher level perspective.
Now having been in their shoes, I tend to err on the side of using these notes as a teaching moment. That means I reply to every one letting them know that I don’t do product reviews, I don’t do company news, but if they have something relevant for the writing I do – which requires doing some homework – I’d be happy to consider.
Okay, so perhaps my tone gets a bit snarky and I’ll admit that part of that may be just feeling insulted that there are people who have such little regard for quality of work that they’re so sloppy. Perhaps it’s because I’ve been sloppy myself in the past and feel guilty. Probably a bit of both.
In any case, my efforts largely go towards the old adage – no good deed goes unpunished. You wouldn’t believe the responses I got.
Some are downright rude, demanding I meet with them anyway. Others just ignore my note and send another request for a meeting without any clarification. A few try to work around it by sending a pitch that’s clearly not thought through.
PR people who are this clueless are a disgrace to their industry. For the record, I realize many of those pitching for something like CES are likely the junior-level account folks with little to no experience. In those cases, I say to the agencies employing them – SHAME ON YOU! To set them out into the wild with no guidance or mentoring is reflection that your agency sucks.
However, several of the pitches came from people with titles like “managing director” “senior account executive” “account supervisor” – all of which should theoretically carry enough experience to know better.
Okay … rant over.
I’m still excited to be going to CES with the Intel Insiders and for those whose pitches are relevant and thoughtful, I’ll look forward to meeting them too.


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