The Long Tail Of Bad PR People

Chris — The Long Tail — Anderson is fed up with bad PR people and said:

I’ve had it. I get more than 300 emails a day and my problem isn’t spam (Cloudmark Desktop solves that nicely), it’s PR people. Lazy flacks send press releases to the Editor in Chief of Wired because they can’t be bothered to find out who on my staff, if anyone, might actually be interested in what they’re pitching. Fact: I am an actual person, not a team assigned to read press releases and distribute them to the right editors and writers (that’s

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). Everything else gets banned on first abuse.

I’m no highly-prized editor, though I recently expressed similar chagrin as an advertising industry columnist and blogger. But Chris did what I’d probably never do: out the guilty. Seriously, he published the banned emails of 329 bad PR people and said:

The following is just the last month’s list of people and companies who have been added to my Outlook blocked list. All of them have sent me something inappropriate at some point in the past 30 days. Many of them sent press releases; others just added me to a distribution list without asking. If their address gets harvested by spammers by being published here, so be it–turnabout is fair play.

There is no getting off this list. If you’re on it and have something appropriate to say to me, use a different email address.

You can bet these outed individuals will be scrutinized by fellow colleagues, agencies, clients and members of the press. Again, I don’t believe in outing people, but you can’t argue that Chris wasn’t justified. I bet Chris’s post will influence future practice among PR people.

UPDATE: I got scared when someone told me he saw my name on Chris Anderson’s blog when reading the aformentioned post. In fact, my name was not in the actual post, but is permanently in the sidebar of his blog. He includes an excerpt and link to a column I wrote for MediaPost several years back on the long-tail of books. Phew.

Published by Max Kalehoff

Father, sailor and marketing executive.

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