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The World’s ‘Most Quoted Man’ Isn’t Much of an Expert on Anything

Quotes are valuable, right? Everyone wants a client to be quoted in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal or a major tech blog. Well, in case you thought that scoring quotes is all about being a legitimate expert on the topic at hand with something valuable to add to the conversation, The New Yorker gives us this video profile of Greg Packer. He has amazingly been quoted nearly a thousand times on everything from the new iPhone to the local football game and the war in Iraq despite being the least qualified expert around.

This interview quickly establishes the fact that Packer, a retired highway maintenance worker, doesn’t have any particular insight on, well, much of anything. And yet, he’s been so successful in getting his quotes published that the Associated Press had to issue an effective ban on him way back in 2003. How did he do it? He simply showed up and let everyone know that he was eager to offer a few words.

The lesson here is to keep pitching quotes to reporters and bloggers (especially bloggers). Our standards apparently aren’t as high as you might think.

(Ed. note: this video’s being a little wonky on Safari, so if you can’t watch it you might want to try another browser.)

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