Anyone who’s been following this blog for awhile knows what I’m referring to when I use the term Media Mutt.
It’s somebody who doesn’t belong in the same league as a
Publicity Hound. MMs do silly things like call reporters and ask,
“Can you tell me if you got my news release?”
MMs order TV reporters and camera people to “get out of my lobby immediately or I’ll have you thrown out.” This usually happens when the TV station has caught the MM doing something like selling tainted hamburger, and the reporter wants the MM’s side of the story for tonight’s newscast.
Then there’s this week’s newest MM: Google. The search engine giant has fired off a series of legal letters to the media, warning them against using the word “google” as a verb.
Are they nuts or what? Nobody, not even Google, has enough money to buy that kind of publicity.
What do you suppose Dogpile–the metasearch engine that “fetches” information from places like About.com, Ask.com, MSN and Google–would do if people suddenly started saying, “If you’re looking for information on the benchmark index, just dogpile and see what you find.”
I doubt they’d go running to their legal department. I don’t care what the trademark attorneys say. Telling somebody to “just google the phrase and see what you can find” is the very best kind of PR imaginable.
If my competitors told their followers “Now be a good publicity hound and take a reporter to lunch,” I’d do back flips.
The worst part of this whole mess is the bad publicity that’s
already resulted. The bloggers are yucking it up with each other at the very thought that Google will threaten them–or sue them.
Mirriam-Webster, by the way, has added the verb “google,” with a small g, to its dictionary. So it will be interesting to see how this ends.