Friday, November 23, 2007

When PR irritates beyond belief

We've got a lot of time for Chris Anderson, editor of Wired and author of The Long Tail.

So imagine our joy a few weeks back when Anderson posted an article on his blog in which he named and shamed all the PRs who pester him with unsolicited press releases, product information and plugs.

And he did this by reproducing their email addresses!

The post has caused a merry stir in journalist and marketing circles. Frankly, it made us laugh quite a lot, especially as it came just a few days ahead of World Travel Market in the UK, when the tourist board press machines go berzurk.

Fast forward almost two weeks and PING!, an email arrives in the Travolution inbox from a reasonably big London-based PR firm which represents a string of technology firms.

[No "Dear" or "To"]

Following the controversial blog post by Wired's Chris Anderson criticising individual PR executives for sending irrelevant pitches, we wanted to find out from journalists how serious this issue really is.

We'd be very grateful if you would answer the five questions in this web survey.

We understand the irony in spamming journalists to fill out a questionnaire about pitch and press release spamming, so there is a crate of beer of your choice for the lucky journalist drawn out of a hat.

Thanks,

****** [we have deleted the sender's name]
Does anyone else want to fill it in?

Are all hacks lured into taking part in this drivel by a crate a beer?

Oh, maybe it's just us who despise these things...

NB: I am delberately tagging Neil Maclean here - he writes the Travel PR Blog, and it would be good to get his comments].

Kevin May, editor, Travolution

1 comment:

Neil MacLean said...

Now let's see, what do you do with the data you collect about journalists who hate receiving duff press releases? Oh I know - you roll it all up into a press release!
http://www.rainierpr.co.uk/news/20Nov_pitch_survey.html
Much as I hate to create more electronic flotsam, I would love to see this sort of survey done specifically for the travel business. My experience is that most travel PR firms are still welded to the impersonal press release as the principle means to get their clients' products out there. I regularly receive a large envelope from one of London's best known travel PR firms with releases from five different clients inside. Perhaps they have persuaded them it saves trees doing it that way.
Which reminds me, Mark Hodson at the Sunday Times had some advice for travel PR's; they offered some advice in return:
http://www.thetravelprblog.com/2007/11/08/travel-writer-versus-travel-pr/