Thursday, 13 September 2007

'CASH FOR EDITORIALS' -- THE LETTER TRAIL -- I

Guys...We are overwhelmed.
Thanks a lot for sticking by Penpricks. Our big story was incidentally the 200th entry on our blog. For us anonymous bloggers to have enjoyed such a committed readership, really pushes us on. We have tried to respond to most of the comments we've received. Apologies, if we've missed out some.
Now, let's get back to business.
We'd promised to run the series of emails exchanged between Herald's Corporate Development and E marketing head Harry Mann and Penpricks (posing as Manoj Rastogi of Acer Consultants... Hey BTW guys you wanna know why we called our fictitious firm ACER? Cause on the day we conceptualised the story, we were working on a friend's Acer laptop ;) Funny na...)
Here's the first few mails. We write first... and Mr Mann responds with lots of advertising spiel. We are doing this in order to bring forth the entire conversation before our readers so that there is no scope for ambiguity. We'll also try and guide you along, as the conversation progresses.
We picked up a couple of email IDs on Herald's website and punched in this mail. Knowing that someone would respond. We just looked up the Delhi map on the internet and decided that Connaught place was as good a place as any to set up our fictitious company 'Acer Consultants'. We started this company the 'word by word' way, rather than the more conventional 'brick by brick' method. PJ. We positioned ourselves as a business with an expertise in packaging and marketing vacations. Here's our mail.

From: Acer Consultants [mailto:acerconsultants@consultant.com]
To: info@oheraldo.in,mail@heraldgoa.com,erep@oheraldo.in
Sent: Tue, 28 Aug 2007 09:38:43 -0500

Subject: ATTN MR SAVIO... BUSINESS QUERY
Dear Mr Savio,
We are Delhi based consultants speacialising in marketing vacation packages abroad, especially the South Asian and South East Asia region.
We are a 15 crore company based in Delhi with offices in the capitals of four South Asian countries, namely Sri Lanka, Thailand etc.
This Diwali and New Year we are in the process of making a strategic marketing thrust in Goa.
We'd like to know if you offer editorial space for write ups as a package deal with advertisements placed.
We'd like to know your editorial policies on the issue, we've stated above.
Our advertising spend for the forthcoming season vis a vis Goa is Rs 15 lakh approx. We are weighing options as to where we could get the best returns for our spend.
We have already written to your newspaper twice. once on this corpdevt_herald@yahoo.com and the other on the nfo@oheraldo.in address.
This is the last mail we write to you, before we seek other regional options. We request you to respond ASAP.
Regards
Manoj Rastogi
Manager -- Business Relations
THE VACATION SPECIALISTS
A-54 Cannaught place
New Delhi 110001

And here was Mr Harry Mann's reply. Guys... we were shocked to see the way this guy writes. For a moment we thought this was some dumb sub editor from the Herald writing to us. Check out these errors in the mail. Hey BTW, some of your believe that Harry Mann does not exist (we believe beyond doubt that he does... We've seen him... met him too)... So guys who'd really like to know if Harry Mann exists, call him on 9975594535 and ask for him. And let us know on the blog...;) Hey and BTW Harry Mann claims that the acronym HCN stands for Hottest Cable Network... Didn't we know it as Herald Cable Network? ;)

hi, glad to hear from you and by way this is Harry Mann handling the corporate development of HERALD PUBLICATION for marketing improvement and emarketing campaign. We are interested to have business with you, I would be very happy to hear from you please contact me at my mobile number 9975594535 or 0832 242 22859. We can give you a package as what you need.If you can send me your promo schedule so that we can give the best offer.
However, we are developing our website and we are hitting an average of 118,000 viewers a day. We have this HERALD HOTEL PARTNERS and we are selling this internationally, HERALD ON BOARD this is for the airlines and HERALD TOUR PACKAGE our target are the travel agency.
This is a new concept and development of our WEBSITE to cater more customers traffic.
HERALD PUBLICATION is coming up a TV CHANNEL this coming SEPTEMBER 30, 2007 called HCN (Hottest Channel Network). This channel is all about hard news, entertainment, lifestyle, sports and a lot more. I would like to share with you about this channel also. We are having a PRE-SELLING right now,and we are giving good discounts
Here at HERALD PUBLICATION, HERALD WEBSITE AND HCN we offer you more than your ADVERTSING PACKAGE. Combine innovative design and ideas with the knowledge of exactly where to place your advertisement for maximum impact and that means ? the right media, the right position and the right price.
HARRY MANN
COPRORATE DEVELOPMENT HEAD

More mails follow tomorrow...

14 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mann is a common Punjabi surname.

Herald is the pits, but Navhind Times is not lagging far behind.

Pricks, have the Herald people seen your expose? What is their reaction?

13 September 2007 at 06:38  
Anonymous SN said...

Great work guys.
Congratulations to the team.
Real investigative journalism.
SN

13 September 2007 at 07:39  
Anonymous grass is green said...

hey pen pricks,
you really pricked the place where it hurts the soul -- the editorial space.
good work n keep it up.

but may i ask a question as to why Herald was the chosen one for this pricky job. Why not NT which is the other influential 'pudve' paper in town.
is it that Herald was upto its neck in the shit of corruption when compared to the other newspapers?

i have to remind you guys that Burman used to promise watches and gold pens to the subeditors to publish stories during elections.
Burman also sponsored Old Monk, Christian Brothers, etc for christmas parties and August 15 bashes.

13 September 2007 at 14:38  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

grass is green: Love your last sentence...I think it should read as ...Burman also sponsored Old Scoundrel, Devil Brothers,etc for rogue parties and August 15 bashes.

...Why? because that is what it is. There is nothing auspicious or patriotic in those parties/bashes anymore!

13 September 2007 at 16:10  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone have a pic of this Mann ?

The post could do with it.

13 September 2007 at 16:59  
Blogger Pen Pricks said...

Anon 1: Hey Harry mann exists. He ain't a Punj. We are filing a piece on the reaction stuff.
SN: Thanks a ton man... Do keep writing.
Grass in green: Thanks a ton man... The reason why we worked the sting in there in the post. We weren't fishing for a story here. We had specific information that these guys do deals like this. And we knew how to go about it in this case to establish what we had learnt.
Anon who wants Harry Mann's pic: Sorry bud cant help you with that... are you from Goa?

13 September 2007 at 21:14  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

penpricks... on a related matter. How did you create an email id @consultant.com?

(The company www.consltant.com is a real company!)

Just curious..

14 September 2007 at 00:52  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This Harry Mann must the famous trio of Herald:

TOM, DICK AND HARRY series.

TOM : Raul
Dick : Robin
Harry : The Real Harry Mann

14 September 2007 at 10:54  
Blogger Pen Pricks said...

Anon with the email id query: Tradesecrets buddy... trade secrets
The last anon: Hey your comment inspired our latest entry. We twisted it a bit of course TWO DICKS AND ONE HARRY... ;)

14 September 2007 at 19:20  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon with the email id query : Try visiting www.mail.com

Tradesecrets; oh come on... penpricks come on.

15 September 2007 at 00:39  
Blogger Pen Pricks said...

tradesecrets anon: Ditto... ;)

15 September 2007 at 00:57  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

pen pricks: All you need is a search engine(like google)...there are no 'tradesecrets' anymore man!

Did you, in that comment (14 September 2007 19:20) believe in 'tradesecrets'?

15 September 2007 at 01:05  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

pen pricks: Your quote... "Penpricks has been around for almost six months now. And we've finally mouthed our first syllable."...from http://penpricks.blogspot.com/2007/09/wait-until-wednesday.html

Wow... you have really grown up in 5 days and started uttering words like "trade secrets"...I'm amazed! (This word is usually used by monopolistic corps. bullying their customers!)

Hey did you forget who your audience is? It's us remember?

We are part of the trade... what secrets could you possibly keep from us?

15 September 2007 at 15:17  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dear pricks,

you all really seem to be after herald and especially the harry 'mann'? i dont think he is doing such a bad job after all...especially in the land of goans who sleep half the time and a phillipino comes along doing their job?

anyway, the deal is not just harry mann. you should check their tarot reader on HCN. not only is her make up so bad, its the cards she is reading.you can make out how fake she is. she picks up a certain card and the explanation is all wrong and askewed. she seriously thinks goans can be taken for a ride.

all in all, guys you are doing a good job keeping everyone on toes, but, i swear soem of your informations SUCK.

cheers!

31 March 2008 at 15:27  

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