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I’m very privileged to work with some wonderful public relations organisations. They are professional, great communicators, they work hard for their clients, are personable, take the time to know my blog(s), have made an effort to know me personally, and consistently present relevant, targeted, often tailored ‘news’ about their clients.

Having worked in media on and off since I was 18 in a variety of roles, I know PR peeps get a lot of flack both rightly and wrongly. As a full time blogger, when I have witnessed my counterparts lamenting their approaches from PR’s, I’ve often defended and have consistently stated that it is the job of both the public relations organisations and bloggers to ensure that relationships and how approaches are made are managed effectively.

On one of my blogs, I’ve written a ‘what we like‘, a FAQ, and often take the time to respond to approaches and steer them in the right direction. Short of doing their frickin’ job, you would think that would be enough.

Over the last few months, one particular agency has done nothing short of spam me with highly irrelevant press releases, sometimes loaded with cumbersome attachments that cause my inbox to become constipated. Generally speaking, I hit delete for anything I receive that isn’t of interest unless I know them personally or feel that I can direct them to something or someone more relevant. But this particular agency has managed to get a hold of three of my email addresses which means I receive their emails at least three times per blast and then they just keep repeating. On over ten occasions, I have asked them to remove two of the emails and have advised them why whatever they’ve sent isn’t relevant, with guidelines about what I would be interested in. Still, they ignore me. I politely bollocked them a couple of weeks ago with promises quickly received stating that they’d sort it out. Still my inbox continues to fill up.

This morning I received Yet Another Shite Press Release that was so inappropriate for a blog that features cool stuff for kids under the age of 5 and their discerning parents that I saw red and I’ve asked them to remove me from their lists.

If all you ever send me is irrelevant press releases, I consider you irrelevant.

If you occasionally send me relevant press releases but by and large send me a load of guff, I consider you lazy and occasionally in luck.

If you consistently send me relevant press releases with even the occasional irrelevant, I consider you a professional public relations organisation that’s working hard for your clients.

Yes I can and do hit delete, but I receive thousands of emails every week and quite frankly, it’s overwhelming at times especially when certain numpties send me the same mail several times!

Public relations organisations that continue to have an approach of throwing as much shit at a wall as they can to see if it sticks, are aside from doing themselves a disservice, being incredibly disrespectful to their clients. You are effectively taking their money and peeing all over it and then taking a match to it while doing a jig.

You’re also doing a disservice to every PR organisation that actually gives a damn. And there are plenty.

In an economic climate where many companies have cut their budgets, say that they can’t afford to advertise and many media companies are struggling, it is galling to see PR agencies waste time and money that quite frankly could be better spent elsewhere.

A certain organisation that claims to be a source of media lists emails me ‘indiscriminately’ every few days with email addresses that they’ve harvested from God knows where. I pity the organisations that buy their lists…

Another heavyweight media organisation sends emails with ‘info@’ ‘sales@’ ‘customerservices@’ – these are made up email addresses!

“Spam is the use of electronic messaging systems (including most broadcast media, digital delivery systems) to send unsolicited bulk messages indiscriminately.” source Wikipedia

What some PR organisations are engaging in is spam. Seriously. The shady ones that persist in sending out press releases and emails where they pretend they’ve read your blog, are sending these out indiscriminately.

What some PR organisations are doing is the equivalent of those people who send out Viagra and penis enlargement emails! Most of your emails will be ignored but you might get some takers….Have some shame! Surely you’re better than low-rent emails!

I’m not your frigging lackey!

I’m not here to parrot your highly irrelevant emails and turn them into highly irrelevant blog posts!

No I don’t want to tell my readers about your competition/initiative or effectively advertise your client for free.

If I didn’t reply after you sent the press release to me ten times, why are you chasing me up? The silence says NO.

There is a reason why only 5% of the content on one of my blogs has been triggered by news from a PR – because most emails I receive do not answer the question of why I should write about it/why I should give a damn.

It’s not ‘news’ because your client burped or farted today. Most blogs don’t want to update their readers on the minutiae of your clients businesses.

If you can’t answer the question of why the hell a publication’s readers should be interested in what you have to say, I would hold that thought and resist pressing send.

Considering how much money some of these dubious agencies receive, it’s about time you started doing a Donna Summer and working hard for the money!

If the best you can do is send highly irrelevant emails, often forgetting to BCC and often being too tight and lazy to use a proper email newsletter service (I recommend Mad Mimi incidentally) because you’re afraid that if you use a proper service you’d actually have to admit that the email addresses were ill gotten gains, you may as well start planning for the death of your PR organation because clients will become tired of paying you to throw shit at a wall to see if it sticks.

I keep hearing about how bloggers are influential (and they often are) but that doesn’t mean that we’re now billboards for whatever tosh you want to put out. Have some respect, not just for us, but also for your clients and your industry and stop peddling viagra dressed as your latest news release.

 

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