Advice to Publicists: Know Your Audience

A publicist who obviously didn’t read my site very carefully sent me this e-mail:

Subject: wow…website is giving away free psychic readings with a famous psychic

Thought your audience would be interested in this. The savvy staff from the site,, is offering a refer-a-friend sweepstakes that’s unlike anything else …, whose contributors include Whoopi Goldberg, Marlo Thomas and “60 Minutes” Lesley Stahl, is offering four people the chance to win a free psychic reading with revered psychic, medium Peggy Rometo. Peggy has worked with celebrities such as Demi Moore and Fortune 500 execs to provide life-affirming and life-changing information.

Feel free to post the link on your Web site and share this opportunity with your readers.

If any of you want to enter this sweepstakes, readers, have at it. But somehow, I doubt we’re the intended audience.

I’d never heard of this “famous psychic” Peggy Rometo, so I went and Googled her name. Judging by the number of results – a few dozen at best, most of which were advertising – I’d say “world renowned” is out of the question, and even “famous” would be stretching the truth. She doesn’t have any discernible history prior to her affiliation with this site. Even by the necessarily lax standards of psychics, her credentials seem extraordinarily thin, and I strongly suspect she’s only getting all this promotion because she’s a personal friend of one of the owners of this site. Not that this stops her from charging a jaw-dropping $500 per hour for personal consultations, according to her own website, which also hawks books and CDs with titles like “Using Your Intuition in Real Estate”. (If only Wall Street had sought her advice before investing in all those subprime mortgage bonds!)

If you still haven’t had enough Peggy, there’s also this interview, which liberally piles on the gibberish:

My main psychic sense is hearing and feeling (known as a clairaudient, clairempathic and clairsentient); seeing is secondary (clairvoyance). I mainly focus and listen for any thoughts that come through my inner right ear/right brain. A spirit will oftentimes express themselves to me by interrupting me, unless I’ve asked for them ahead of time, per the client’s request. I always start out a session by connecting to what I call “Universal Consciousness”; it’s an energy flow that is available to all of us, at all times and is all inclusive of everything we should ever want or need.

With all those incredible powers, I don’t suppose you’d be interested in applying for James Randi’s million dollars while the challenge is still open, would you, Peggy? No? Didn’t think so.

In all seriousness: This, from all appearances, very garden-variety psychic is just another specimen of the legions who exploit people’s deep-seated fears and personal troubles for profit and offer nothing in return but trite platitudes and supernatural gibberish. It’s a shame, and frankly an insult to women, that a site designed to appeal to the female gender promotes such credulous nonsense. There are plenty of smart, skeptical women out there. Why don’t we hear from them instead?

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About Adam Lee

Adam Lee is an atheist writer and speaker living in New York City. His new novel, City of Light, is available in paperback and e-book. Read his full bio, or follow him on Twitter.

  • Brad

    Thought your audience would be interested in this.

    Well, technically this is correct in light of one interpretation. You did, after all, put this up on Daylight Atheism for all of us to see, Ebonmuse. ;)

    A publicist who obviously didn’t read my site very carefully

    Understatement of the week. Stop me if I’m being obvious, but this was probably done by a bot. You’d think the gigantic title of this entire website would clue in a real person that this is a haven for skeptics and not a barrel of gullible fish! (Perhaps we should perform a Turing test …)

  • Alex, FCD

    I’m not a doctor, but I’m pretty sure that if there are any thoughts going through your inner ear, something is wired wrong.

  • Cerus

    You sure that wasn’t just run-o-the-mill spam mail? It has all the hallmarks.

  • Brad

    Peggy is a member of FIND ME, a non-profit organization that allies psychics with retired law enforcement and canine search and rescue teams. Founded by a retired police detective, FIND ME helps police departments around the world bring closure to their unresolved investigations.


  • vjack

    I received the same e-mail. Funny stuff, and I agree with the knowing one’s audience suggestion. Maybe they figure even mockery is better than no publicity.

  • Valhar2000

    [...]bring closure to their unresolved investigations.

    Check it out! He doesn’t say that the psychic helped solve cases: he says she brought “closure”. In other words, she made the cops feel better about the unsolved cases, without making any real difference.

    Never has honesty been so deceitful.

  • Polly

    My main psychic sense is hearing and feeling (known as a clairaudient, clairempathic and clairsentient);

    “…and my theme song is Au Claire de la Looney.”

  • terrence

    Folks, this is unrelated to the topic, but couldn’t resist sharing it. It’s a comment from one of the Ike survivors who found sanctuary in a church, along with a lion. File it under “REFRESHING change of pace from the usual post-hurricane/tornado/earthquake/flood story”

    “Jones said he hadn’t stepped foot in a church in the 40 years he has lived on this spit of land. And he wasn’t ready to call his survival divine intervention.

    “I drink beer and chase women, gamble, cuss,” Jones said. “You can’t call that religion. I’m either too good, the devil won’t have me, or I’m so bad the Good Lord won’t take me. That’s a good toss-up.”

  • Christopher

    Ha! I like this guy already!

  • Lynet

    Hm. You do realise you’ve just increased her Google standing?

  • Christopher

    Who cares? Those who are dumb enough to go for this shit will be suckered, and those who aren’t won’t!

  • Ebonmuse

    Hm. You do realise you’ve just increased her Google standing?

    Yes, that thought did cross my mind. Ah well – she can have the free publicity just this once.