PR Spam On Why You Shouldn't PR Spam Bloggers?

from the you-can't-be-serious dept

Every once in a while, we get fed up with all the poorly-targeted PR spam we get from people who clearly have no clue what we write about or what we’re interested in and we end up writing something blasting bad PR people (while admitting that there are a few good ones out there. However, this week I received what has to be the most classic PR spam of all time. It’s entitled: “Five Golden Rules for Blogger Relations” and starts off “Countless accounts of PR Flaks who have spammed bloggers, mis-targeted pitches or just plain gotten blogger relations wrong fill the Internet. Don’t risk finding your next pitch blasted on your favorite blog!” It then starts off by addressing me “As a PR professional…” and then pitching me on a whitepaper about how to better relate to bloggers. So, let’s see. This is a PR spam to a blogger about not doing PR spam to bloggers and a key point is about knowing who your targets are… and then misaddressing me as if I were a PR person. I would think the whole thing was a joke other than that it actually appears to be serious. I don’t want to read too much into this, but if a company putting out a report telling people not to blast off poorly targeted press releases to bloggers doesn’t know better than to not blast off poorly targeted press releases to bloggers, you have to wonder how useful such a firm would be.

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Comments on “PR Spam On Why You Shouldn't PR Spam Bloggers?”

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Amy Alkon (user link) says:

PR spammed

Oh, I am loving this topic. I have just had two people rip me a new one – one a PR lady from the army corps of engineers — for not getting off their lists THEIR way, by unsubscribing. The way I see it, they’re lucky I even politely write back and ask them to take me off their lists — instead of blocking their e-mail as spam, which should eventually lead them to be blocked by the servers.

In short: My time isn’t their time. Also, those unsubscribe links can be “lookee here, we got a live e-mail address” notifications for spammers. Oh, boo frigging hoo, it hard for you to take me off your list? Not my problem.

The army lady managed to do it — after I did click her damn link, after multiple e-mails sent back and forth…and then the link didn’t work for technical reasons on their end. I wrote her to tell her that. Well, well, well, whaddya know, she was able to write to the firm sending out their e-mail to have me removed. Initially, that option was presented as an impossibility.

Lazy, unethical asshats.


And professional PR people don’t blanket the universe with press releases. I write a syndicated love advice column. I am about as interested in the latest innovating in accounting department software as I am in growing an 11th toe.

RandomThoughts (user link) says:

One thing to keep in mind concerning PR types (as this is part of what I do.)

I understand that you need to understand what a writer, publication or blog covers, but when you think about it, does it really matter? Say I want coverage concering garbage collection. I want to target anyone who has readers that read about garbage collection (because you really don’t care about the writer, just their readers.) I could spend a lot of time doing research and making sure that my list of writers and publications would be perfect, but I would probably weed out a few writers and publications that might cover the topic out of the blue.

So you send it out to everyone, because if you piss someone off that doesn’t have readers you want to reach and doesn’t cover your topic, who cares? Hey, I don’t want to watch feminine hygene commercials, but I doubt if the manufacturers of those products really care what I think about them.

So Techdirt blasts a PR firm or company over mistargeted pitches, but their audience doesn’t read Techdirt anyway. Do you think they really care? Does the accounting software company care if the Love Column writer gets ticked off? I don’t think so.

D'Anne Hotchkiss says:

Spam from PR people

Perhaps if all writers were as forthcoming with information on their topics of interest as the writer who wants to grow an 11th toe, they wouldn’t have this problem. As an editor, I was always very clear as to the topics I covered, and I NEVER got pitches from PR professionals (not the mass spammers that promise to enhance body parts I don’t even own) that were ridiculously off target.

Fred Flint says:

All You 'PR Types'

First of all, please stop calling yourselves nonsense names like ‘Public Relations types’.

You’re just salespeople trying to sell me and everyone else in the world a pile of absolute crap we neither want nor need. You’re not a professional, you’re a salesperson, just like the people standing behind the counter in the beauty section and usually what you’re selling isn’t as useful as the powders and perfumes they’re trying to sell.

‘Public Relations’ are just words strung together by salespeople to make themselves feel like they’re doing something useful in the world when in fact, they’re usually doing the exact opposite.

At least the salesladies don’t steal my time with ridiculous email, faxes, press releases (sales pitches) and unwanted telephone calls. If I’m interested in their product, I find them on my own and I tell them and they help me out. They don’t depend on the mind-numbing repetition of sales spin jammed into my face twenty-four hours a day to ‘convince me’ I need or want their product.

If you don’t like my attitude as displayed above, please re-read your own post and apply those sentiments you expressed towards bloggers and everyone else in the world towards yourself.

You don’t like it, you don’t want it, you didn’t ask for it and it pisses you off? Well, I know you don’t care if I get ‘ticked off’ by your crap or Techdirt gets ‘ticked off’ by your crap, so why should we care if a few words on a blog tick you off?

Amy Alkon (user link) says:

forthcoming about topics of interest

This writer, when filling out forms for the publications used by PR people, is quite clear about what I cover and what I’m interested in. That doesn’t matter to the hacks, who blast-mail everyone and are too lazy to do their job properly. I’m not sure when you were editing, but I’m getting more PR spam now than ever, and the flow has increased dramatically within the past six months, perhaps because PR people are beginning to discover that bloggers have an audience.

So you send it out to everyone, because if you piss someone off that doesn’t have readers you want to reach and doesn’t cover your topic, who cares? Hey, I don’t want to watch feminine hygene commercials, but I doubt if the manufacturers of those products really care what I think about them.

Watching fem-hi commercials is the cost of watching network TV. If you pay for cable, you don’t have to watch them. I don’t maintain e-mail to spend my day dealing with crap from PR people. I get e-mail for a living (as an advice columnist) and I answer many, many more advice requests from my column. I’d much rather spend my time helping a suicidal inner city woman understand that depression isn’t a character flaw and connecting her with social services she can afford (ie, free) than having to cull e-mail like hers out from the ocean of e-mail sent by lazy-ass PR people. Which would you put a priority on?

RandomThoughts (user link) says:

Amy, you miss my point. If a PR person (I won’t say pro because it isn’t very professional) spams you on topics you would never cover in a million years and if you did, wouldn’t be read by people interested in that topic, the PR person really doesn’t care. It doesn’t take them extra time to include you in their spam and they don’t care if you don’t like it. You wouldn’t cover them in the first place.

Your priorities and the PR persons priorities are two different things and from the PR persons perspective, your priorities really don’t matter. In truth, their priorities don’t matter to you either.

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