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
    Joe Tavares, 20 Sep 2006 @ 9:18am

    Re: Definition of SPAM

    Actually, unsolicited email is just that, unsolicited. SPAM, by the original (and I think the current) definition is unsolicited email sent with no direct way to back to the source. The level of obnoxious behaviour can make the interpretation looser, but spam could simply be that pic of your golden retriever puppy if the header has been obfuscated so the return is impossible.

    I agree with other posters when they made the observation that identifying non-SPAM as SPAM poisons the gmail list. Some of us might like reading gratuitous self-congratulating rhetoric.

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