Spam As A PR Tool
Every company wants you, the public, to know about it. And a lot of companies would like it if certain writers conveyed the latest product information to you.
This can result in a good deal of e-mail that has a certain “spammy” quality about it.
Before I get into this, please note: sometimes PR people offer unsolicited information that is extremely helpful. Writers like those kind souls, who can give us material before we think to ask for it.
Even a standard press release can be informative. But a number of people and companies tend to send nuisance e-mails that amount to “hey, look at me!”
Paul McNamara of Network World wrote an article recently that touched on this subject.
He received an e-mail that began, “Hello [RecipientFirstName].” This not-very-personalized missive had been sent to “11 Network World addressees, three former employees, and 102 other journalists,” making McNamara feel somewhat less than special. Worse still, he could not “find the name that matters most: mine.”
Our own Jason Lee Miller has encountered similar problems – an e-mail he received the other day appeared to be nothing more than one blogger’s resume.
It took a minute of study to figure out that the man’s goal was to be the subject of an article. David Utter has also addressed this sort of thing in an article titled “How To Chat Up Writers.”
Spam is just not the most effective medium of communication, whether a person is trying to hawk Viagra or publicize their business.
That shouldn’t come as a shocking revelation, but some people just don’t seem to get it.
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