Bad Moments in Online PR or (Most People Suck and That’s Great News)


Check out the balls on this guy. It’s the worst media inquiry I’ve seen to date. Think about how illiterate you have to be to judge books not on their covers but on the idea of them having covers.

This isn’t so much a new media lesson as it is one of most shocking and disturbing things you eventually realize about the world:

Most people are absolutely incompetent.

Even at the very highest levels they are incompetent. Executives. Writers. Bloggers. CEOs. PR people. The ones you read about in the paper – you meet a good chunk of them and realize, “Holy Shit, the emperor has no clothes.” They don’t know how to use common sense. They have no empathy. They can’t plan. They’re uninformed. They do things like this and then throw up their hands and wonder why it doesn’t work.

This guy is the host of his own 4 hour radio show. Not on some tiny station either. That’s pretty fucking cool. He managed to work himself firmly into the middle of a highly competitive field, name a show after himself and hold on to it.

And yet, here he is sending unquestionably the worst media request I’ve seen in the last two years. It’s so bad that I thought I must have read it wrong. There’s no way someone would admit upfront that they hadn’t bothered to read a 200 page book and then follow it up with the narcissism it would take to think that their approval would still be appreciated. No. Way. But of course, here we are.

So, if you’re sitting their thinking that it’s too hard to crack into media or maybe you don’t have what it takes to do whatever you want to do, realize this: Chris McClain is not an anomaly. He’s better than average. Some would call him accomplished. That should be the most inspiring thing in the world.

Written by Ryan Holiday
Ryan Holiday is the bestselling author of Trust Me, I’m Lying, The Obstacle Is The Way, Ego Is The Enemy, and other books about marketing, culture, and the human condition. His work has been translated into thirty languages and has appeared everywhere from the Columbia Journalism Review to Fast Company. His company, Brass Check, has advised companies such as Google, TASER, and Complex, as well as Grammy Award winning musicians and some of the biggest authors in the world. He lives in Austin, Texas.