Attention All PR People: Stop Sending Us Press Releases

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

Every once in a while, it seems, we need to remind the PR world that we don't want press releases. It says so on our submissions page. We're not joking. However, too many PR folks either think we don't mean it, or don't bother spending enough time on the site to realize we don't want press releases. You think we plan to pay attention to either type of PR spammer? We've had our fair share of posts highlighting stupid PR practices in the past, but (of course) the worst offenders don't actually read this site -- they just spam us. It's not surprising, of course, to find out that we're not alone in feeling this way. Amy Gahran over at E-Media Tidbits is explaining how she's now marking all unsolicited press releases she gets as spam in her Gmail account, which hopefully protects plenty of other Gmail-using journalists from getting future spam from such people. Valleywag has recently pointed out that PR spammers are worse than traditional spammers, because they send you follow up emails to make sure you got the original. What amazes me is that these PR people clearly don't care and don't learn. There are PR people who have spammed press releases to me for years... and I've never replied or written about a single product. Yet, I'm still on the list.

I recently did a conference call/interview for an organization that advises PR people, and one of the questions was how to send pitches to Techdirt. The answer was the same way as it is for anyone who wants to submit stories to Techdirt: (1) Read the site. (2) Understand what the hell we talk about (3) Maybe participate on the site in comments (4) Use the submit form (5) Explain to us why whatever your pitching is really interesting to our audience, rather than just claiming its "exciting." Oh yeah, if you claim that the company you're representing is "the leading" company in whatever tiny market you've made up just so you can claim to be leading it... don't even bother. It's unfortunate that we need to put up posts like this every so often, but we're hopeful that sooner or later it will start to sink in.

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  1. identicon
    Time Wasted, 20 Sep 2006 @ 5:39am

    Misery loving company?

    Let's see if I can sum it up.

    1) PR people waste Techdirt time.
    2) Techdirt wastes its readers time by whining about #1.

    Why is #2 a waste of time? Because your readers, as you have mentioned, are NOT the PR people. So you posting about it does NOT target the PR people; it only targets your readers.

    I know it's your column/blog/whatever, but if you want people to keep reading it,

    YOU REALLY WANT TO AVOID MAKING THE FOLLOWING ASSERTION

    Reading Techdirt = Waste Of Time

    I'm getting that assertion "programmed" into my head every time I hear a Techdirt whiner go into a personal venting b****-p***-and-moan session.

    Please stop. You folks are better than this. Just realize it and move on.

    YOUR OTHER ARTICLES ARE JUST TOO DAMNED GOOD FOR YOU TO RUIN THINGS BY STOOPING TO THIS LEVEL.

    Thanks for all the work you do, seriously, it is a good column for the most part.

    But to follow the old mantra of never offering a complaint without also offering a solution.... Maybe as a compromise, if you folks really *DO* need the therapy of the b.p.m., you could split things up so that in addition to Techdirt Daily and Techdirt Wireless you could have a Techdirt BPM and all your b.p.m. stuff could *ONLY* appear in the BPM? (unlike wireless news, which crosses boundaries between Daily and Wireless, all the BPM should *ONLY* stay in bpm)

    Somehow I think there's a whole crowd of people -- the type who subscribe to People Magazine, US and Entertainment weekly to get the latest gossip -- that crowd might subscribe to the BPM version *ONLY* and not the "geekier" daily and wireless versions.

    Thanks for your serious consideration of this matter. I offer my opinion in sincere hope that it will spur you to make Techdirt even greater than it already is -- which is pretty damned great to start with.

    :-)

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