America’s corporate overlords wants you to know the true meaning of Veterans Day: Buying their stuff
Ah, Veterans Day. It’s that federal holiday where most people just want to take the day off to celebrate America’s military veterans in the best way they know how: shelling out a bunch of money to their corporate overlords.
At least that’s the way corporate America sees it.
In the days and weeks preceding every Nov. 11, reporters at military-centric publications such as Task & Purpose are inundated with all kinds of pitches from public relations reps — we call them “flacks” — trying to get whatever company they are currently working for covered here on our pages, so that you, dear reader, will then go out and give them your money.
We get these on just about every holiday, appropriate and inappropriate alike. The Onion, for example, wasn’t far off with its 2013 article satirizing this phenomenon, “New Subway Promotion To Honor Subtember 11” — considering that we routinely get pitches like this one, tied to Memorial Day, announcing a discount for military members and veterans (Memorial Day is about honoring military personnel who died).
The pitches are often eerily similar: “Hi [Name]! Hope you are well!” they often begin, from a PR person who does not care whether the email recipient lives or dies. To illustrate the point, it’s quite common for some to put the wrong name, and, for the record, my name is not Thomas, or Bill, or Susan.
“As you consider your coverage on Veterans Day, I thought I’d share with you…” the pitch continues, before the actual meat: GIANT BRAND is doing something for veterans out of the goodness of its heart and NOT BECAUSE IT WANTS TO MAKE MORE MONEY.
This is what is called “earned media.” It’s when a company sends out a press release and tries to get free exposure from …read more
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