Chris Anderson, editor of Wired vents about ‘PR spam’ in a recent post. It’s a common theme and I guess we all reach a point where enough is enough. In fact, who can’t sympathize with this sentiment, regardless of your profession?
So fair warning: I only want two kinds of email: those from people I know, and those from people who have taken the time to find out what I’m interested in and composed a note meant to appeal to that (I love those emails; indeed, that’s why my email address is public).
I only want those kind of emails too. He then publishes a list of offending email addresses. PR pros probably scanned down the list and like me were relieved not to find themselves or their agency on it. But we knew our firms could have been – or why the relief? Why even look?
The fact is that PR and media do have a symbiotic relationship. And all relationships wax and wane. Email is a useful tool and sometimes people are lazy, short on time or even just learning. So mistakes are made. And there’s a list of people who perhaps made them this month.
Their reward will be to get some spam and some more headhunting pitches. And Chris Anderson gets to vent some steam. Perhaps that system works. Or perhaps the punishment doesn’t fit the crime.
Personally I think these things reach a balance – you reap what you sow. Some PR consultants send broad based emails because it works for them (or else they wouldn’t right?). Occasionally they get flamed. Some reporters are more sensitive to unsolicited mail (or calls even) than others and so get fewer pitches. Occasionally they miss the big stories. The majority fall in the middle – working hard to build relationships, accommodating others’ working styles and understanding their pressures.