I work in public relations promoting companies in the telecoms, technology and media sector. I have done for the past seven years. I, along with my competitors communicate primarily by phone and email with the occasional use of Yahoo! Instant Messenger. I was surprised by a recent request for a reference from a company that is one of my competitors for a former work colleague.I was not surprised by the request for a reference itself, nor the fact that my colleague would use me as a referee. In fact I was happy to recommend him as a PRO with the potential to do great things.
What really shocked me was the feedback mechanism for the reference. I received a letter on letterhead that only had an address and company registration number. There was no phone number, no email address and they asked for reply by letter. As you can imagine that did not create a great image with me since they are supposed to be representing technology firms, yet are not eating the dog food. Hell, I know friends grandparents that at least have an AOL email address now.
Maybe this explains why iPod bribery is now rumoured to be used in some pitches.