Is It Really That Difficult For Some PR People To Pay Attention?

from the let's-try-this-again dept

Let's just start off by noting that there are a lot of very good PR people out there, who know better than to make the mistakes that others make. I'm not trying to tar all PR people with this brush, but unfortunately, there are still an awful lot of bad PR people out there. Sometimes we have to try to remind them to stop spamming us with stuff we'd never write about and absolutely don't care about. Of course, that never works, because the real problem is that the PR folks who spam us with stuff we'd never write about clearly don't read the site (otherwise, they'd know we'd never write about what lame press release they're submitting). A second annoyance, after the press release spam, is the conference spam. We can always tell the week or so before some big tech conference is about to happen, because our emails and voicemails overflow with "next week at BlahBlah Conference, you should meet with ABC company because they have an awesome new widget." Once again, these are rarely involving companies or products we'd write about -- and often are at conferences we have no intention of attending. Still, it seems that one PR person has taken this to the next level. Rather than just spamming random bloggers about some company appearing at the Spring VON show, this PR person spammed Jeff Pulver, the founder, creator, organizer and "master of ceremonies" of VON to ask if he was going to be attending and if s/he could schedule a briefing with the company. It's one thing to be so clueless not to know the audience of who you're pitching. It's another not to do the basic research to know if they're actually going to be attending a certain conference. However, not recognizing the organizer of the event you're attending and pitching at -- and sending him a generic boilerplate "hope your attending/schedule a briefing" email is pretty inexcusable. While Jeff doesn't reveal the name of the PR firm or the company it's representing, he might want to alert the company that it's wasting a lot of money on its PR bill.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Erik, Mar 5th, 2007 @ 9:19pm

    Skeptical Reasonable Doubt

    A quick disclaimer, I am a PR flack (not the one who made this mistake though).

    Depending on the bulk mail system being used to send out pitches, I could possibly see this being an honest mistake by a junior flack (as you're well aware, senior PR folks leave the grunt work to juniors).

    But its still a pretty colossal error. And there really are a huge number of incredibly bad flacks in this business. When I was in market research I once got an eamil from an unknown flack with nearly 8 megs of attachments. I let him know how stupid it was and he still tried to "land me" for a briefing.

    Also, I hate doing the conference call downs as much as you hate getting them, I'm sure. But I do always make sure the editor is appropriate before contacting them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 5th, 2007 @ 9:26pm

    Re: Skeptical Reasonable Doubt

    At least you are better than marketing folks :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 5th, 2007 @ 9:26pm

    Re: Skeptical Reasonable Doubt

    At least you are better than marketing folks :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Search Engines WEB, Mar 5th, 2007 @ 10:17pm

    Personal Arousal

    these are rarely involving companies or products we'd write about -- and often are at conferences we have no intention...

    Even if they were inappropriate for the theme of this blog - they still might arouse a personal interest... or come in handy for future needs.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Search EnginesWEB, Mar 5th, 2007 @ 10:18pm

    Personal Arousal

    ...these are rarely involving companies or products we'd write about -- and often are at conferences we have no intention...

    Even if they were inappropriate for the theme of this blog - they may still arouse a personal interest... or come in handy for future needs.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 5th, 2007 @ 10:49pm

    Re: Personal Arousal

    "Even if they were inappropriate for the theme of this blog - they may still arouse a personal interest... or come in handy for future needs."

    Isn't this the intent of spam?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    |333173|3|_||3, Mar 6th, 2007 @ 12:44am

    Link farming

    If they could get you to link to thier page in a flame about how crap thier PR folks were, then thier page rank would go up a lot.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Enrico Suarve, Mar 6th, 2007 @ 2:54am

    Re: Personal Arousal

    Yeah interest - thats what these inpersonal mails sent by automatons (and machines) on your behalf generate

    I've had a few occasions where I've missed legitimate mails from companies as I started to receive so much PR crap on their behalf I'd flagged them as spam...

    PR companies used to be all about setting a companies image - I must have slept in the day when being an inpersonal spammer became a desirable image

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Steve, Mar 6th, 2007 @ 8:03am

    " Know Thy Shit"

    I'm a PR person. and amarketing person - the worst of both worlds eh? PR 101 is (in my Cincinnatiwellian-like interpretation) "know thy shit" and then know others shit too. If both shit's are known - this shit would never happen. Obviously someone didn't know their shit(s).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Enrico Suarve, Mar 6th, 2007 @ 9:15am

    Re: " Know Thy Shit"

    Good shit man ;0)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    a, Mar 6th, 2007 @ 9:51am

    As a PR person, I actually think its pretty funny that Jeff got that request. I bet he had a pretty good laugh. Hopefully he sent them a message saying "sure, I would love to meet with you" and arranged for the person to come up during his keynote with the email up on the screen.

    Reporters get pissed when conferences release their info when they register for the conference, but if conferences don't give that info out, then they all get spam. Guess its dammed if you do and dammed if you don't.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This